Mari Klaup-McColl, Estonian heptathlete based in Sweden, has set personal bests in two disciplines to start the season, jumping 6.10 in the long jump and running 13.81 in the 100 m hurdles.
Klaup-McColl improved her personal best in the 100 meters hurdles by three tenths of a second because of favorable wind assistance. She has also set a result in the javelin throw of over 53 m. Being coached by her mother, Katrin, the 30-year old Klaub's preparation for the coming season is on a positive trend.
She told Vikerraadio on Wednesday: "We could not compete here (in Sweden - ed.) until mid-June. The season has come unexpectedly. The question was if we should continue with our base preparation or prepare for something specific. We decided for the middle ground, can't let my form slip away when the real competitions start in the end of the summer. Setting records in the hurdles and long jump, it is a positive sign."
Klaup-McColl, who has formerly battled injury issues, says her injury troubles are behind her. "There are always minor things in combined events. Something that has helped this year is finding a good masseur. I've had issues with that before and there have been shortcomings in my recovery. I feel like some of the things that could have bothered me this year, we've been able to prevent."
Because the Olympics were delayed until next year and the European championships, set to take place in August in Paris, are canceled entirely, Klaup-McColl is preparing for the Estonian championships in Estonia on August 8-9.
The Olympic qualification standard for heptathlon is set at 6,420 points, Klaup-McColl's personal record is 6,023, meaning the postponement of the Olympic Games might end up being favorable for the premium Estonian heptathlete.
She said: "In some ways, it is good that the Olympics were postponed, because I lost the last season (due to injury - ed.). I'm glad that I've had extra time to develop. That the European championships are canceled, that's sad. That competition is better for my level.
Commenting on Sweden's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and how it affects her living and training there, Klaup-McColl said: "About my personal routines, I don't go out much and I don't even notice it around town. I go everywhere as usual, there are just more hand sanitation stations everywhere. It does feel like I'm in my own bubble here. I can see from the news that it's ugly elsewhere. There haven't been many changes here."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste