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Joyner-Kersee believes Kluft could change her mind about Beijing

21 March 2008
www.world-track.org

Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carolina Kluft Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carolina Kluft
Retired American multi-athlete and heptathlon world record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee, believes Sweden’s double Olympic champion Carolina Kluft could still go back on her decision not compete in this summer’s Beijing Games.

"I truly enjoy watching her," said Joyner-Kersee, who set the heptathlon world record of 7,291 points in 1988. "She is a very fierce competitor and very determined.

"Mentally she reminds me of myself. I also like her attitude and her energy toward each event.

"I don’t know what her training is right now, [but] Carolina still has a lot of time before the Olympics.

"If she is training as a multi-eventer and just focusing on the jumps, then at any time she could show up as a heptathlete competitor at the Olympic Games.

"I would like to see her go for it. She is definitely one of the best of her generation."

Kluft announced on Thursday that she was not motivated enough to compete in the event at the moment and would not be defending Olympic title in Beijing. The Swede said she would rather focus on the contesting the long and triple jumps.

Meanwhile, Joyner-Kersee, who watched the champion athlete become the second best performer in the event when she scored 7,032 points at last year’s Osaka World Championships, is optimistic that if she pursue she could better the world mark.

"In watching Carolina, I felt she had the ability [to break it] but everything must be right," she said.

"In her case, she is a very good high jumper, but they have never been able to put the high jump and long jump together [at a high level]."

Joyner-Kersee added: "I would put her second to me," the American said. "The key is consistency. If you are in tough competition, seven metres will come if you are consistently jumping 6.80 or 6.90," she added.



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"Mentally she reminds me of myself. I also like her attitude and her energy toward each event.
"I don’t know what her training is right now, [but] Carolina still has a lot of time before the Olympics.
"If she is training as a multi-eventer and just focusing on the jumps, then at any time she could show up as a heptathlete competitor at the Olympic Games.
"I would like to see her go for it. She is definitely one of the best of her generation."" target="digg"> Digg



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