Bayer taking nothing for granted | 04.08.2012
|Sebastian Bayer of Germany is aiming for a medal
at London 2012
He defended his European indoor title in Paris 2011, and was this year crowned European outdoor champion in Helsinki.
Now he is setting his sights on the Olympic long jump competition, in which he is a favourite to at least reach the podium.
He reached the finals with a jump of 7.92m in the qualifying round on Friday.
Despite the expectations surrounding him, he is philosophical when talking about his chances: “My goal in the Olympic long jump is to perform well, jump far, and be content when the event is over.
“Each Olympics writes its own rules – in Beijing 8.30m was enough but other times it took 8.60m to win.”
Bayer’s outdoor personal best of 8.49m is between those two figures, and he may have to better that mark if he is to be in with a shot at gold, though he is aware of how difficult that would be: “Everything must be perfect in order to jump a personal best, especially since my [outdoor] personal best [of 8.49m] is already really good.”
Ultimately, Bayer knows that it’s about putting in a good performance on the day, and reacting to the countless variables that will be at play in the Olympic arena: “It depends on the weather, wind and how the event will develop.
“Last year in Daegu [at the 2011 world championships] the event remained on one level, but there have been other championships where the jumps have gotten further in each round.
“However, I think you can win a medal with a jump somewhere between 8.30m and 8.50m."
Despite enjoying a good run of form going into the Games, his last few years haven’t been completely smooth sailing: “After the  world championships in Berlin I had some injury problems, but that’s part of elite sport. No athlete will remain without injuries.
“In 2010 I didn’t perform well, in 2011 I got better and in 2012 everything has been going well, so I’m confident that I will do a good job here in London.”
He takes nothing for granted, though, going into his second Games: “Greg Rutherford (GBR) and Christopher Tomlinson (GBR) are very strong, and you always have to count on the American jumpers."
However, he isn’t fazed by the strength of the Olympic field: “I don’t usually keep track of the other competitors, it’s of no use to me.
“Everyone will do their best and everyone in the top ten in the world could win the gold medal."