Di Martino has Zurich on her mind | 20.01.2013
|Ace high jumper Antonietta Di Martino of Italy, who
is currently recovering after knee surgery, has
her eyes set on Zurich 2014.
This Friday marks an important day in the life of Italian high-jumper Antonietta Di Martino.
The European indoor champion from Paris in 2011 was forced to miss the Olympic Games because of knee surgery, which took place 48 hours before the start of London 2012.
And that date of July 25 is very much in the mind of Di Martino this week. Friday represents six months since she had the treatment, and it means it will be the first time she can really step up her training on the long road back.
Di Martino, 34, holds the Italian records both indoors and out - with 2.03m and 2.04m respectively.
But now it is about the future with Zurich the next target.
She said: "I feel quite well but I have some pain. It is normal after the surgery I had last July.
"I can run and jump, I have gradually started taking off in the sandpit and on the mat. It's a great joy to return to training.
"If everything goes according to plan, I will be able to gradually start twisting at the end of the six-month period."
Di Martino, who won silver at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul last March, told the Italian federation website of what lies ahead.
She said: "2013 will be a transition year and my real return will be in 2014 if everything goes according to plans.
"The European Athletics Championships in Zurich could be my first real goal.
"I hope to return to competitions next summer but I will compete only if I am sure to be in good shape. I cannot afford taking any risks. There is no point in speeding up my recovery time."
As Di Martino prepares for her comeback, there is a new era in Italian high jumping to build on her success.
On Sunday in Udine, Alessia Trost, the world junior champion, cleared 1.98m to break the Italian indoor under-23 record by three centimetres which Antonella Bevilacqua set in Genova in 1993.
And it means Trost is now ranked as the second Italian jumper in history behind Di Martino.
Trost cleared 1.80m, 1.85m and 1.90m at the first attempt, before needing two chances at 1.95m and 1.98m at the third go. She even made a bid at two metres.
She was delighted with the performance and said: "I had no expectations before the competition.
"I narrowly missed 1.95m last summer and I knew that this height was within my reach and it was just a matter of time.
"My coach Gianfranco Chessa told me that I jumped very well at 1.95m and I could jump higher. It was a great feeling (to jump 1.98m) and it was strange to make the attempt at two metres which is an awesome height.
"I am aware of what I did today but I want to start from scratch and re-focus. I changed the run-up and this allows to be faster when I take off," she said.