After Pliezhausen before WM and EM – SWR Sport

Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo started the season outdoors in Pliezhausen, Swabia, relaxed, light-footed and successful. In a year in which two high profile events await with the World Cup and the European Championship.

When Malaika Mihambo had long since taken off her nails after the start of the outdoor season and was signing autographs surrounded by fans, her coach Uli Knapp stood a little out of sight. “I’m going home very happy,” Palatinate revealed in an interview with SWR Sport. In the year of athletics with the World Championships in Eugene (USA) in July and the subsequent European Championships in Munich in August, athletics fans will be pleased to hear about it!


Olympic champion, world champion, German “Athlete of the Year” three times in a row. This is Malaika Mihambo’s long jump. She was trained for several years by Ole Knapp of Hütschenhausen in the Kaiserslautern region.

Mihambo coach Oli Knapp: ‘It makes me very confident’

“I am completely satisfied,” said Knapp, who has just returned from an intense twelve-day training camp in Turkey with Mihambo. “You would normally expect it to be a little low, but it’s actually been at its best in the last couple of years!”

Incidentally, Mihambo in Pliezhausen improved the 11-year-old’s 80-meter court record by Marion Wagner (USC Mainz) by eight hundredths of a second to 9.35 seconds. Its ease of operation is impressed. Also the National Trainer, because slack was also part of the training: “It makes me very confident because we’ve worked a lot on the elements I’ve shown now: in knee flexing, arm thrusting and slouching, but also in terms of the enemy’s own power,” Knapp recounts and reaffirms his satisfaction: I did everything with flying colors!”

Malaika Mihambo: “Stop the pressure!”

The ease of running is also reflected in the conversation afterward. The Olympic champion talks to SWR Sport in a relaxed manner about the eventful season. I started as world and European champions: “There’s really no pressure because I’ve already won everything.” But that doesn’t stop the 28-year-old from often formulating clear goals: “I also see this as an opportunity to defend the title. I’m looking forward to it.” Fun, ambition and passion are still there for sure.

Focus on the long jump – no sprint trials

Pliezhausen’s twisty stretches (80 and 150 metres) were good to start with. Let’s see that the speed is back: “I’ve missed it a bit in the last year and a half. I’m glad it’s up again now!”. But not to start parallel in the sprint, Mihambo explains.

It’s that other easy Malaika Mihambo exudes. In addition to sporting successes, this was also the result of working with Ole Knapp. The man from the Palatinate is once again on the road with this year’s Olympic champion. As a national coach and mentor and also as a friend. “I am glad to have such a sensitive person by my side in Ole,” Mihambo summed up in a SWR interview.

Hard training in Turkey instead of traveling through India

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Allgäu and then training camp in Belek, Turkey: This is how Mihambo laid the foundations to prepare. Belek camp was her first in five years. A few years ago, she was out in India with a backpack and running shoes for the season. Since Olli Knapp traveled to Turkey as national coach with the German Athletics Federation (DLV) at the end of April, Mihambo took off. “It’s not so much about the trips I like, but it’s nice to be in the sun,” she says. “But boot camp is like working, in a new office!” Twelve days with 17 units. Hard work must pay off.

“All that comes now is a comeback, I’m just trying to do my best,” Mihambo says and smiles forcefully at Uli Knapp. Almost certainly Bleishausen wasn’t the last contestant after which he came home “so happy”!

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