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Bronze EM pay-for-work - Seven Kalin: 'Zero to Champion' in 16 months - Sports

Bronze EM pay-for-work – Seven Kalin: ‘Zero to Champion’ in 16 months – Sports


The 2021 and 2022 seasons couldn’t be more opposite. A year ago, Annick Kalin finished the Olympic season, and now she is on the podium at the European Championships.

“It’s unbelievable that I can get back to that level at 22. Sure, the hope was there. But 4 sevens are at that level and without back problems,” said the woman from Graubünden. 6,515 points earned her the bronze, and as a return to the Swiss record again.

Sixteen months ago, Kälins was at the other end of the emotional spectrum. The athlete, her coach and her father, Marco Kalin, had to realize that the Olympic dream would come true at the moment. A back injury suffered by the seven-year-old in the obstacle course at the World Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, mid-March 2021, destroyed this dream. The diagnosis was a stress fracture of the vertebral arch.

Marco Kalin, a physician by profession, drew the right conclusions and ruptures the rope: withdraw, renew, and rebuild, focusing on weaknesses. Kälins had already made that cut in 2017, when Grison also ditched the heptathlon for nearly an entire season, but he’s garnered attention as a long jumper and hurdles runner.

As a potential physical therapist, Annick Kalin asserts, “I’m now in control of my weaknesses thanks to specific exercises.” Her recipe for maintaining body balance is: “Put loads on both sides and not just on the side of the ankle bone, invest in core strength, adjust technique and take breaks.”

Investments pay off

Investments in the Olympic year are paying off now. With the return as a Seven, this was immediately followed by confirmation of the abandonment of Tokyo. On May 1st in Grosseto, Italy, she snatched the Swiss record from Geraldine Rockstol with 6,398 points. Tough competition Three weeks later at Götzis I definitely got a World Cup ticket.

The all-around athlete took advantage of this opportunity a month ago in Eugene to set a Swiss record of 6,464 points. And now Annik Kälin has cut herself in new areas – from the 6500-point mark she enters the world level. Of course, the medal from Munich means more to Switzerland than the number of points. “It’s the first medal I get in the elite,” she says, and explains how important it was to take part in the World Cup in Eugene a month ago: “You have to learn about the processes, and that helps.”

However, she was not able to simulate the situation in Munich in Eugene. Before the 800 metres, tension reigned. She describes her condition while waiting: “I almost didn’t know what to do for half a day until it finally started.” Because when she arrived in Munich, the athlete was not expecting a medal.

Long jump as a platform

Only the 6.73m long jumper on the second day of competition put him in that position. But the best value over 800 meters was needed to get the medal. “It was easier than expected,” she commented on a 4-second increase over the two laps.