Nafi Thiam is of course one of the highlights at the 42nd edition of the Memorial Van Damme tomorrow/Friday in the King baudouin stadium in Brussels. The season for the newly crowned European champion son is actually gone but yet she wanted absolutely to be in Brussels. She makes her debut in the high jump.
“The Memorial is always fun,” said Nafit Thiam excited at the press conference Thursday. “Like every year my season after the championships are actually passing, but I always like to go here because it is such a great meeting. And for my fans who always support, for a whole year.”
“It is always special, as for actually people. Perhaps we will be in Belgium never a major championship organizing but thankfully we have this Memorial.”
“Two meters? I don’t think so”
Thiam will take office in the high jump, but tempers expectations: “As I said before, my season is actually over, but I continued, of course, be active by jogging or in the gym. So I don’t really specifically trained for this task but I feel good. Or I expect about two metres to jump? I don’t think so, but you never know.”
However, the expectations are high with the fans, that comes with her new status as world champion, Olympic champion and now European champion.
“You can be that titles don’t really compare, but that European title was yet again different. The situation is never the same and now there was even more pressure. That first day was not good, but – as I always say after a good start – I knew that there was still a second day came to put everything right. It is and remains a son, there are still plenty of disciplines that can change everything. But I’m supertrots because it was a tough competition, especially in the head.”
“I’m still not satisfied”
Thiam emphasized that they on the Memorial wants to enjoy, something as champion is getting more difficult by the high expectations.
“The attention after such a championship is, of course, easier, than you can enjoy. But for the european CHAMPIONSHIPS I felt a lot of pressure, that was not so nice. Sport is always fun, but when so much is expected sometimes focus too much on the outcome or what the outside world expected. While you should focus on yourself, not on what others expect of you.”
“Everything goes so fast, but I am especially proud of and not yet met. Medals or titles are never my goal has been: I just want to always be better and see where I can end. No, for me it is my career after those titles, so not finished yet.”