Pole vault European champion Wilma Murto made headlines at the age of 17, when he jumped the 20-year-old world record and the Finnish record of 471. Murro’s career has by no means progressed without setbacks, but one person has been behind him for 15 years already: a coach Jarno Koivunen.
– Jarno has been an influential figure in my life for a very long time. If you couldn’t bear to look at his face, you wouldn’t be able to do sports either, Murto said when he visited the Sports Studio on Sunday.
Koivunen sent Murro a surprise greeting and thanks from Kupitta’s sports hall in the middle of the studio broadcast, and the coach’s words made Murro sensitive from time to time.
– For me, the biggest thank you from this year goes back to the beginning of January, when I had a foot accident, Koivunen said and referred to when Murro broke a bone in his foot after a bad landing and the indoor season ended there.
– That determination, determination and trust at that point was the best that an athlete can offer a coach. The most visible thank you goes to the show in Munich, which, at least for me and why not for many others, was the most exciting sports moment of the year.
Koivunen said that he was waiting for Murto to get back to training on Monday, because the duo’s basic routine is rough training and spending time in the hall. However, he thanked his protégé that training is not too real.
– It’s great that a large part of it includes jokes, pranks and light laughter. I think that’s why you’re a good athlete role model. This can be done seriously, fully, but not really. Almost every training has something funny and clown masks are distributed at the end of the week, Koivunen thanked.
Murto shared his own thanks to his coach for being skilled at creating an atmosphere. Even if there are hardships and adversities in training or in life, the two always have something to laugh about. In Murro’s opinion, Koivunen is also extremely skilled as a coach.
– He is systematic and always able to justify why things are done. There is no need to wonder why, because there is always a reason, Murto said.
Koivunen is known for the fact that he is hard to bet with his coaches. For example, Seventeen years ago, he made a bet Minna Nikkanen and with Murro that if either jumps 485, he will participate in the jumpers’ water run practice.
In Murro’s opinion, Koivunen shouldn’t bet, because he always loses. Koivunen also lost the water race race when Murto exceeded 485 at the European Championships in Munich and secured the European championship with this result.
– I have so many coffee bets not paid and then there’s still the water run for the first time. I can promise that much, that if the record comes, I can shave myself bald, he joked.
Appearance comments always feel bad
Murto, 24, has been in the headlines a lot for his sporting merits, but in the past year also for things outside of sports. Murto has spoken in favor of respectful discussion and has taken a strong stand on, for example, how an athlete’s appearance can be commented on.
Murto has received a lot of unpleasant feedback, but his appearance has also been criticized in the media. Murro thinks it’s quite strange that appearance is seen as a variable of the athletic level. He reminds us that appearance is not a variable in itself in sports.
– When there have been comments related to the weight, if someone had said that it doesn’t look fast, then it would be valid. But when we talk about the word appearance, that word has no effect on sports.
When Murto has been successful, he has received good feedback, praising that now he looks like an athlete. It has also seemed almost as bad for Murro, because the commentator only pays attention to how he looks, and not, for example, to his athletic qualities or results.
– Nobody loses anything by just letting it be.
Raising the basic level is more important than a single result
Work for the upcoming season has already started with Wilma Murro and Jarno Koivuse quite a few days ago, because the indoor season in the pole vault is quite important. At that time, it is good to drive in new things, such as new fenders.
– I intend to drive in longer fins, and it is easier in the hall than outside, when there is no wind and gusts. I haven’t been able to try them out yet, but little by little I’m getting in such a condition that I can run at full speed in training, Murto said.
The EC Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March is Murro’s clear goal for this winter, but he doesn’t go there with a record in mind. In Murro’s opinion, it is more important to aim to raise the basic level during the season than to achieve a single peak result.
The highlight of last summer, the championship jump at the European Championships in Munich, has been one that Murto has drawn strength from several times during this training season. He admitted that watching the final has been heartwarming every time.
– Sometimes during the training sessions in November, I’ve wondered if it was really me who went there to riot. A few November-December mornings have been lived in that (championship) video, he laughed.