Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko of Israel competes in the women's triple jump qualification during the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With the Rio Olympics just around the corner, Israel’s Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko looks to pick up some much-needed confidence on Sunday by claiming a medal in the women’s triple jump final at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam.
Knyazyeva-Minenko, who won a silver medal at the world championships in Beijing last year, has struggled with injury so far in 2016, but advanced to Sunday’s final from third place overall with a jump of 14.23m on Friday.
Knyazyeva-Minenko set a career-best 14.78m on her way to second place at last year’s Worlds, and will likely have to improve on her season-best of 14.25m to have any chance of finishing on the podium in Amsterdam, “I’m very happy because this was a hurdle I had to overcome,” said Knyazyeva- Minenko. “The final is the real deal and I need to relax and make sure I’m mentally ready.”
High jumper Dmitry Kroyter will join Knyazyeva- Minenko in Rio despite failing to reach his final in Amsterdam on Saturday.
After setting the IAAF Qualifying Standard for Rio last year with a jump of 2.29m, Kroyter needed to prove he was in good form in order to secure his place in the Israel delegation. He may have missed out on a place in the top 12 who qualified for the final after finishing in 13th, but showed he is hitting top form at the right time by clearing a season-best 2.23m with his first attempt after also passing 2.09, 2.14 and 2.19 with a single jump.
“The most important thing for me was to show to everyone, and especially myself, that I’m displaying steady improvement,” said Kroyter, who failed three times at 2.25m.
“This was my ninth competition of the year and when you look at my results from last year you see that I set my personal best in my 10th event. I need a certain amount of competitions until I peak and I’m entering that period now. I believe that I’ll be ready for Rio. Of course it could have been nice to reach the final here, but when I take into account that I would have had to jump at 100 percent two days in a row this might be a good thing as that would have put me at risk of getting injured.”