When Zuzana Hejnova ran her 800m personal best of 2:03.60 in Linz at the start of last month, it was her first major race over the distance indoors for three years.
But with that performance came a telling sign because Hejnova has chosen to compete in this event in front of her home crowd at this week’s European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague.
The fact Hejnova is there at all is fantastic news for the competition as she is one of the biggest names in sport in the Czech Republic.
After injury forced the 400m hurdles world champion to miss last summer’s European Athletics Championships in Zurich, she has returned to fitness at just the right time.
Now beckons the major track and field event of the winter and while Hejnova had been running over the flat 400m, with a 52.76 in Prague last weekend, she has opted for the longer distance.
See Hejnova win the 400m at the national indoor championships last weekend in 52.76:
Earlier in the year, when she was speaking to European Athletics, Hejnova said of the 800m:
When it comes to this event, if I am healthy and relaxed, I will try it at least once indoors and we will see what comes out of it. I am not very keen on the idea but I trust my coach when he says that I would not run it so bad.
And so it has proved.
Her fine run in Linz slashed her personal best time by almost eight seconds, and while she will have to reduce that mark by another second to make an impression, she will have the added lift of the support she is set to receive at the 02 Arena.
But Hejnova can revert to her normal distance when she will no doubt be part of the women’s relay team which took bronze two years ago in Gothenburg.