In February, the native of Bern dared to speculate on the Swiss championship. A very important event for them, as happened at the World Indoor Championships.
“Big medals don’t come in the box,” Mugenga Kampunge said on Sunday evening in “Panorama Sports.” The smallest specimen in their large group. The biggest prize ever won by a Bernese citizen. And when it comes to Swiss sports history, it’s historical at that. It’s been nearly 30 years since Switzerland last won the gold medal at the World Indoor Championships.
I suppose there will be less than 7 seconds – by someone.
“There is a very high intensity in athletics. The competition is huge, especially in the sprint. You need a track and a pair of shoes, and then everyone can “lock off”. That’s why I’m more proud,” Kambundji said of her golden reversal, in which she ran 6.96 seconds. Faster than any other athlete of this century.
This coup does not come out of nowhere. It’s even the (temporary) culmination of the 29-year-old’s career so far, as he said in February at the Swiss Championship: “I suppose there will be less time than 7 seconds – by someone.” Kambundji had previously claimed her seventh championship title at 7.05s.
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Kambundji has seen a steady rise. Her breakthrough came in 2016 at the European Championships in Amsterdam, when she won a bronze medal in the 100m race – her first medal in a major international event. Two years earlier, the Bernese had become the focus of a wide audience on the occasion of the European Championships, which were held in Zurich. The 22-year-old is still deprived of a medal. She finished fourth in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 meters.
I’m so glad I was able to show – to everyone too – that it’s possible.
This wasn’t the only time in Kambundji’s career he was unlucky. At the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, for example, she took fourth place three times. The following year, the Swiss retaliated in disappointing title fights in Germany. In Doha she won the bronze medal in the 200 metres, her first medal at the World Championships (in the open air).
Always next to Kambundji? Coach Adrian Rothenbuehler. Kambundji has been working with the former Swiss decathlon player since 2012. A successful team that has now crowned their collaboration with the Gold Cup. The impact of their success is also important for a Bernese citizen. “In athletics, people have always thought, we are in little Switzerland, that this is not possible. I am very happy that I was able to show – to everyone too – that it is possible.”
With his golden lead in Belgrade, Kambundji made an absolute highlight early in the season. At the same time she made an advertisement for her competitors. Because the season has just begun. The World Championships will be held in Eugene (USA) in July and the European Championships in Munich in August.
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