Wilma Murto explains the huge disappointment of the EC final: “I’d rather be an Olympic champion” | Sport

Wilma Murto explains the huge disappointment of the EC final

Wilma Murto, who defended the European championship, was surprisingly only eighth in the EC final.

Joel Sippola,

Petra Manner,

Laura Arffman

22:27•Updated 22:45

Defending pole vault European champion turns 26 on Tuesday Wilma Murto received a sad birthday present in the EC final in Rome.

The final ended in a huge disappointment and only in eighth place. 458 remained the height of the Finnish destiny.

The Finnish star, who only jumped in his third competition of the summer, opened cleanly from his opening height of 443, after which he switched to a bigger pole.

However, Murro had big difficulties with this device. The Finn seemed to get over at the last moment, but his body hit the bar and it crashed down.

Difficult preparation

Murro’s starting points for the outdoor track season were challenging, as he recovered from an Achilles tendon problem in the spring. For a while, it even seemed that the multiple medalist of the prestigious competition was not at all looking forward to the European Championships held in Rome at an early stage.

Murto got the necessary answers about his competitive readiness a couple of weeks ago in his season opener at the GP races in Lahti, where he jumped a promising 460 with just 12 steps.

In Saturday’s EC qualifying, Murto competed for the first time at a full 16-step pace and cleared the qualification cleanly. In that, he was only required to exceed 450.

Murto stated to Urheilu that the lack of competition was visible in the final.

– In qualifying, it was much more certain than now in show jumping. When the race ended, I felt like I wasn’t ready yet.

– I claim that the pace is there, but the rhythm is missing. When the level of demand is to fight for medals, it’s just not enough.

Coach Jarno Koivunen saw that his trainer had clear challenges with full race pace.

– The runs were reasonably good. When a bigger stick came, it didn’t work at a faster speed.

– It went well in the warm-up, but he went at a slower pace. There are challenges with greater speed. Next week again, Koivunen stated.

I prefer an Olympic victory

Murto took a new leap in his career at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, when he was fifth. At the time, the 23-year-old talent stated that even difficult competitions are still ahead.

– I was 23 at the time. It is inevitable that there will be setbacks if you play sports in your thirties. It’s funny you remember that, because I was thinking about that thought now that the third tick came. These bad races have to be played.

Murro’s number one goal of the season is the Paris Olympics. An Olympic medal is the only thing missing from his trophy collection.

– The beginning of the year has not gone as I would have originally hoped. If I have to choose, I’d rather be an Olympic champion than a European champion.