It has been a wonderful year for Spain’s Ruth Beitia which saw her being crowned European Athlete of the Year 2016 at the Golden Tracks awards evenign in Funchal. And it seems she is immediately setting her sights on more glory in March at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade.
By then Beitia will be less than a month away from her 38th birthday, yet it has become almost pointless referring to how old she is.
Beitia defies the years every time she competes, never more so than in the past few months where she sealed a golden hat-trick at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam before winning the Olympic title for the first time in Rio last month. It was a glorious double success which she then added to being crowned Diamond Race winner for the second year in row.
Speaking in the aftermath of her Golden Tracks, Beitia said: "As for next year, I will compete indoors and then at the World Championships in London but I will conitnue to take it step by step."
Beitia will be chasing her sixth medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, which take place in the Serbian capital from 3-5 March.
It was in Gothenburg in 2013 where she finally won gold at this event, with 1.99m, beating Swedish duo Ebba Jungmark and Emma Green Tregaron, both on 1.96m.
Having had her brief break from the sport after the Olympics in London 2012, Beitia had returned in style to win this title at last after her silvers in 2005, 2009 and 2011 and bronze in 2007.
Now she will look to make the top of the podium again - and for the first time she will be introduced as both the Olympic and European champion.
For ticket information for the Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships visit www.belgrade2017.org/en/tickets.