Athletics Weekly | World Indoors gold is a big goal, says Katerina Stefanidi - Athletics Weekly
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World Indoors gold is a big goal, says Katerina Stefanidi

World Indoors gold is a big goal, says Katerina Stefanidi

The pole vaulter has won at every other major event and is keen to complete the set in Birmingham in 2018

She might now have world, Olympic and European titles to her name, but Katerina Stefanidi remains as motivated as ever and her next goal is to complete the major championships set.

An IAAF World Indoor Championships gold is now the only one missing from an impressive CV which features pole vault wins at the Rio Olympics, London world championships, Amsterdam Europeans and Belgrade European Indoors earlier this year.

While the 27-year-old’s immediate attention after this summer was on having a well-deserved break following a season in which she remained unbeaten and cleared a world-leading Greek record of 4.91m, she is looking forward to getting back into training ahead of another important year.

“It’s crazy to say but it is the only gold medal I don’t have now so it is a big goal,” says Stefanidi, looking ahead to the World Indoors in Birmingham next March. “It is a big year for the UK with London and then Birmingham, I think people are getting very interested in athletics and it’s exciting.

“I love competing in the UK. Fans are very knowledgeable and I think they are starting to learn who I am now so that’s really cool.

“We like to take everything a step at a time but we are ending the season a little earlier than last year which is nice,” adds Stefanidi, who won the overall Diamond League title in Brussels at the start of this month, “because I think I might be able to fit in a full training cycle more than I did this year before indoors so I think that will show in performance.”

“It’s crazy to say but it is the only gold medal I don’t have now so it is a big goal”

Speaking after the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, where she secured success yet again despite testing conditions, Stefanidi spoke of some of the benefits of competing indoors, especially at Arena Birmingham, venue for the global event this winter.

“It’s very fun competing indoors, I really like it,” she says. “You have the crowd closer and that’s really cool.

“I like how the Birmingham stadium is set up, where the crowd is a bit higher than you. I also like that you don’t have to deal with conditions, like wind and the cold!

“Indoors is cosy, I like it!”

» The IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 will be staged at Arena Birmingham from March 1-4 with more than 400 athletes from 150 different countries expected to compete. For more information on the event, tickets and news please visit wicbirmingham2018.com

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