Friedrich seeking new heights

Friedrich seeking new heights
Getty Images

Ariane Friedrich here competing in the high jump at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.

Almost seven years ago Germany’s Ariane Friedrich was standing on top of the podium in Turin, the high jump gold medallist at the European Athletics Indoor Championships.

That day in Italy she won with 2.01m but now a height of 1.87m might have given her as much satisfaction.

It came at the weekend at the Hessian Championships in Frankfurt as Friedrich made her return to competition for the first time since June 2013.

A torn Achilles tendon meant she missed that year's world championships in Moscow and then Friedrich became a mum with the birth of her daughter Amy in September 2014.

Yet this jump of 1.87m has seen the German outdoor record-holder qualify for the national indoor championships and seven words summed up her delight.

"That was as before and that’s nice," said Friedrich, speaking to Leichathletik.de.

Friedrich, who broke the outdoor German record with 2.06m in Berlin in 2009, is now 32 but Ruth Beitia has proved that age is no deterrent to a high jumper.

When Friedrich won in Turin, Beitia was second with 1.99m but her best was to follow. Now 36, she has won gold at the last two European Athletics Championships and took the indoor title in 2013.

Friedrich maintained her brilliant form from Turin when she won world bronze in Berlin 2009 before finishing third at the Europeans in Barcelona a year later.

Now come the German championships at the end of next month and for Friedrich, the beginning of a new era.