The London 2012 Olympic and world indoor high jump medallist has battled back from injury, driven by “unfinished business”
Robbie Grabarz says the belief that he had much more to give in athletics encouraged him to persevere after injury battles and his patience paid off as he secured world indoor silver and an Olympic fourth-place finish earlier this year.
Now, with a big 15 months ahead of him which includes the IAAF World Championships in London in August and the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March 2018, the Newham & Essex Beagles high jumper is again pushing onwards and aiming upwards.
“At the time of my surgery I knew I had unfinished business with the sport,” said Grabarz, who had a knee operation in 2014. “I hadn’t achieved the things that I really wanted to achieve, I hadn’t jumped as high as I thought I was capable of doing. Those things were enough to just keep me plugging away when the progress was so slow and steady.
“The 2015 season was nothing really to be writing home about but it was all progress, it was all slowly improving and that was just enough motivation to think I can get back and I can do better than I have ever done before.”
“At the time of my surgery I knew I had unfinished business with the sport”
Fast forward to 2016 and the London 2012 bronze medallist got off to a strong start by growing his global medal collection indoors in Portland. Then, a season’s best of 2.33m in Rio saw him just miss out on another Olympic podium place on countback.
“It was a really rewarding season,” reflected the Birmingham-based 29-year-old, who also claimed European silver this summer. “Finishing fourth at the Olympics was a massive achievement yet it wasn’t a medal so it’s a massive motivation to put the extra graft in this winter and see if I can come out stronger than ever.”
Already confirmed for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham next February, the Fuzz Caan-coached athlete has set his target for the global meeting at the same venue just over a year later and also has further medal ambitions when athletics action returns to the UK capital next summer.
“You never want to look backwards. You think, ‘if I’ve been capable of a silver medal there…’ You want more, especially on home soil,” he said, looking to Birmingham 2018.
On London 2017 and with a big winter of work ahead, he added: “I don’t really want to leave without a medal so I’m putting myself in the best possible place to fight hard.”
» The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the number one ranked indoor grand prix in the world. Tickets are available at www.britishathletics.org.uk