Švábíková is one of the favorites for the first time at the senior event, she feels she has a chance for a medal

Švábíková is one of the favorites for the first time at the senior event, she feels she has a chance for a medal

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Illustration photo – Czech pole vaulter Amálie Švábíková.

Prague – Athlete Amálie Švábíková will be one of the favorites at the top senior event for the first time. The 23-year-old athlete, thanks to her Czech record of 472 centimeters, is third in the standings among the entrants ahead of the European Indoor Championships, and in an interview with journalists before her flight to Istanbul, she admitted that she feels she has a chance for a medal.

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Švábíková has had the indoor season of her life. At the Czech Indoor Gala, she improved her personal record under the roof to 457 centimeters. In the same hall in Ostrava, she pushed the national record to 472 centimeters at the home championship, and then won the meeting in Clermont-Ferrand, where she jumped 466 centimeters for the first time.

The junior world champion from 2018 and the winner of last year's European under-23 championship is, according to season highs, right behind the Slovenian Tina Šutejová (482) and the Finnish Wilma Murtová (475). “Of course, I realize that the medal potential is there, so somewhere in the back of my head I'm thinking about it. But step by step. The first thing is to advance to the final and then fight for the best possible position in the final, maybe for that medal,” she said.

She thinks that the experience from the youth championships can help her. “But the adult championship is something else. In the junior, adolescent category, they are such lower medals, even if you value them equally. It is not the first time that I go to the senior championship. I think that I have a good head and that I kind of disagree with that,” Švábíková said. She competed at the European Indoor Championships in 2019, when she was eliminated in the qualification. She lost her last HME due to injury.

Štěpán Janáček's ward explains the improvement mainly by acceleration. “We focused on the run-up because it was probably the most important for me. I slowed down a lot in it and didn't hit the pole. So I explain it by saying that thanks to that I get a better run-up to the pole and I can really use the potential of the pole I'm jumping on ,” she reflected.

Even in the record attempt at 472 centimeters, she saw great reserves. “I believe that if it goes even better technically, it could certainly soar higher. But I don't want to shout it out, anything can happen. The reserves are there and it's good, because at least there is something to work on,” she said.

She could also increase her self-confidence by winning the meeting in France, where she closely watched how Swede Armand Duplantis pushed his own world record to 622 centimeters. “It's always an incredible experience to see any world record. 'Mondo' is incredible, he still has a big margin there. It was beautiful. The atmosphere was great, the whole meeting was great, I think I've never been to a better meeting. And the victory was the cherry on top on the cake,” she declared.

The qualification awaits Švábíková on Friday morning, the women's pole vault final is scheduled for Saturday evening.