Natalya Dobrynska of Ukraine improves massively to win the Olympic heptathlon title (© Getty Images)
Olympic Heptathlon champion Natalia Dobrynska of Ukraine has been forced to withdraw from the European Indoor Championships due to illness but still hopes for success in Torino for her elder sister Viktoriya.
“Unfortunately this indoor season everything was going the wrong way. Maybe that’s because I started my season preparations only in January, that is really late for me. Or probably my body has not yet recovered from the tough Olympic season…
“Anyway, training was going all right, but when it was time to compete it seemed some bad luck was following me! On February1 I came to Moscow to compete in the Russian winter but just before the start caught some virus. I still did the long jump in Moscow, but of course the result was not that good… I recovered, started competing again, but about three weeks later, before the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham, I caught another virus.
“It felt something like flu, for several days I had to stay in bed with high temperature, forget about trainings. Again, I still competed in Birmingham but right there in Great Britain I made a hard decision to end my indoor season and miss the European Indoors.
“I think I was in really good shape, and you know, when you are peaking your shape, the immune system gets weaker, and you are much more vulnerable to various viruses. It was really a hard decision to withdraw from the European Indoors. Until the very last moment I was hoping to compete there, but now I can’t see any other way out other than to miss it.
“Yes, I am feeling much better, but again, there is no sense to make my body work hard when it is still not ready for that. Being completely worn out in winter is obviously not something that I want. I believe sometimes it is wiser to miss one competition to be ready for the most important start of the season – the World Championships in Berlin.
“Now I am going to relax and fully recover from the illnesses. I am thinking to go somewhere to the mountains – either Evpatoria in Ukraine, or may be somewhere abroad. This will much depend on the economic situation, as unfortunately we are still in the middle of the economic turndown.
“You know, there is still some hope that my family will be represented in Torino! My sister Viktoriya became Ukrainian Indoor champion this season. Vika is also doing heptathlon, but because of the circumstances we are training separately and with different coaches.
“I missed the national trials this winter, and I am very happy that Vika won it. The situation with the European Indoors is still shaky, because Vika’s result is not heading the European top lists. She still has not got any invitation, but you know, I think – if there is a slightest hope to get it, you should hope for this!
“It would be like a dream if my sister could compete in Torino instead of me. I keep my fingers crossed for her.
“On March 8 Ukraine as well as Russia and some other countries is celebrating the International Women’s Day – a traditional holiday when women get flowers or some presents from men.
“It is my character to find something positive in everything that happens around me. This time I think: ok, unfortunately I will have to miss the European Indoors, but it means I will have a chance to spend International Women’s day at home, with my dear family. For me this day is associated of course with flowers.
“One of the nice memories of my childhood is when my father on March 8 every year presented a heap of mimosas to my mother. As for me, personally I always appreciate the fact of the present itself, and do not pay much attention what flowers they are. But if to think it over, may be my favourite are wild flowers.
“Now I want to use the chance and congratulate all our female readers with the coming holiday!”