Lena Malkus top of the world | 01.08.2012
It was Sawyers who finished just behind Malkus at the world junior championships in Barcelona recently when the German continued her successful march through the age groups.
The 18 year old who celebrates her birthday August 6, struck gold at the European Youth Olympic festival in 2009, gold at the Olympic Youth Games in 2010 before taking gold again at the European juniors in 2011 and silver in the world junior this year with a wind assisted 6.80.
Her personal best last weekend came in the sixth round and was achieved without a breath of wind, the wind gauge registering 0.0. That jump sealed her second national junior title in a row making her top junior in the world this year and sets Malkus up for a rosy future. In the last two years only Russia’s Darya Klishina has gone further as a junior.
The German federation online magazine leichtathletik.de praises her ice-cool attitude and nerveless make-up. Most of her fellow students take a holiday after the Abitur. Instead, Malkus set about preparing for the world junior championships.
She had to withdraw from the German championships because of a bruised heel, but pain did not stop her last week: “I had problems with my back – I dislocated a vertebra,” she explained.
After intensive physiotherapy, Malkus was not only able to recover but appeared to be better than ever when she launched herself on her record jump: “I think mentality had a lot to do with this jump,” she said later.
“It is a wonderful feeling to have that much confidence. I got a second wave of adrenalin.”
It is just as well. After two rounds Malkus was lying in ninth and was in danger of not making the last three jumps. But then she pulled herself together, took the lead in round five and then really let herself go in the last round. The stuff of champions.