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Maryna Arzamasova planned to perfection

Maryna Arzamasova

As Belarusian Maryna Arzamasova reflects on her amazing season, one look at her gold medal from Zurich will tell her how she planned it to perfection.

In the lead up to the European Athletics Championships, Arzamasova’s record at the 800m was impressive enough.

She had bronze medals from the last championships in Helsinki in 2012, the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg last year and then the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot in March. But as good as it was she wanted more – with a determination to bypass silver and win gold.

With a brilliant run of 1:58.15, a European lead which looks like it will end up being the fastest of the year as the summer comes to a close, Arzamasova did just that at the Letzigrund Stadium as she beat Great Britain’s defending champion Lynsey Sharp by 0.65.

Now Arzamasova, 26, has revealed how she achieved it: by changing her training and preparation.

Arzamasova, speaking to the national media in her home country, said: “Last year we paid a lot of attention to altitude training but this season we decided to improve my speed and to strengthen my power using more weightlifting exercises.

“As a result I was able to improve my PB by more than one second and win the European champs.”

A successful formula which she can take into the years ahead with the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 moving closer.

Her best time of 2013 came in the heats at the World Championships in Moscow with 1:59.60 but then she failed to progress to the final.

Now her winning mark in Zurich has taken her to fourth in the world after this new preparation for an event which is so much about the combination of power and strength.

Only last week, Britain’s Dame Kelly Holmes was celebrating the 10th anniversary of winning the 800m and 1500m double at the Olympic Games in Athens.

She was arguably one of the greatest exponents of the strength that can be so crucial in the 800m, needing to find that extra bit in the final 150m to land gold.

Arzamasova had that in Zurich. And as a winter of hard training awaits, she can build on a programme that has turned bronze into gold.

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