Stars of the Hustopečské Skákání Agrotec 2023
We interviewed five competitors who will present themselves to the audience on Saturday in Hustopeče. You can find out how they are looking forward to the competition, how their preparation went, but also what they like to eat or their favourite season.
Country: New Zealand (NZL)
World ranking: 8.
Personal Best: 231 cm
The greatest achievements: 3rd Indoor WC 2022
How did you hear about the meeting Hustopečské Skákání? As a big athletics fan myself, I have followed the meet online for a number of years. When I decided to come over to do an indoor season, Hustopečské Skákání was one of the first meets I wanted to try and get to.
It is not common for the athletes from your country to compete indoors. What experiences do you have with indoor competitions and how excited are you for the atmosphere in Hustopeče? My only indoor meet up to this point is World Indoors 2022. I loved how the crowd is so much closer to the action and gets much more involved than in an outdoor meet. I cannot wait to put on a show and get the crowd involved.
Last year you won 3rd place at the World Indoor Championship in Belgrade. Do you consider it the peak of your high jump career so far? Winning indoor bronze is the equal top highlight for me, along with winning commonwealth games, so indoor competitions hold a special place in my heart.
What result do you hope to achieve in Hustopeče? Coming off a big break from competition, I am fit and healthy, but still not sure what heights will come. I hope to jump at least 2.30 and maybe even higher.
What is your aim for this season? This season I want to jump 2.35 and get a top 5 placing at the world championships in Budapest.
Country: Australia (AUS)
World ranking: 2.
Personal Best: 202 cm
The greatest achievements: 1st WC 2022, 1st Indoor WC 2022, 5th OG 2021
You will jump in Hustopeče for the first time, how are you looking forward to this meeting? Have you heard about it or are you going to a complete unknown? I'm really looking forward to the race in Hustopeče, I've always watched from the other side of the world what an incredible competition and atmosphere there is. So I'm excited to be part of the action this year!
The surface in Hustopeče is very elastic, similar to the one in Banská Bystrica, where you won last year. Do you think it will suit you? The surface in Banská was great, so when I found out that Hustopeče was similar, I was even more excited to jump here. I like flexible surfaces, so it should be fun.
The meeting's record is 200 cm. Do you have an ambition to break it? I'd like to break the meet record and I'd like to do my best. It's my first competition of 2023, my first indoor competition this year, so I intend to have a great time. Enjoy the atmosphere and see what I can do.
Your big rival is Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukraine. You will probably compete with her for the position of the world number one. How are you looking forward to this so-called duel? I have great respect for the incredible athlete and person that Yaroslava is. Every chance I get to stand next to her and all my opponents, I take that chance and I appreciate it. It's amazing when someone pushes you forward. There are so many great female high jumpers in the world that push me to perform at my best. But I'm always ready for their challenges.
Supposing your main goal for this year is gold medal from WC in Budapest. Is it true? How did you prepare for this season? My goal is definitely to defend my world championship title. I'm looking forward to the year ahead of me. I feel fit, strong and enjoying the whole process. I've had a good pre-season. I still feel I have a lot of room to improve as an athlete. So I'm excited to test my limits.
What do you like to eat? And what is your favourite food before the competition, if it's not a secret? There is no secret here. I have several allergies, for example to gluten, so that's why I choose a vegan diet. I like to have pasta before a competition.
What was your favourite subject at school? Given the choice of profession, it will come as no surprise that my favourite subject was Physical Education! Although my equally favourite subject at school was art. I'm quite a creative person and enjoy things like drawing, knitting and similar relaxing stuff.
Country: Ukraine (UKR)
World ranking: 3.
Personal Best: 200 cm
The greatest achievements: 2nd EC 2022, 9th OG 2021
Hustopečské Skákání is your regular stop in the indoor season. You could say that you are one of the record holders in the number of starts here. I really like your competitions and the atmosphere. And I am looking forward to your invitation to this sports holiday with great pleasure.
Last year you broke the two-metre bar for the first time and became a member of the prestigious two-metre club. Is there still room for improvement? The coach set the task of working on technique and enjoying the atmosphere of the competition. I really hope that I will be able to install it.
Do you have a special diet that you prefer when preparing for races? I adore our Ukrainian cuisine. Especially when my mom cooks 🙂.
Your country is in a state of war. Yet you still live most of the year in Ukraine and prepare for competitions here. It's been almost a whole year. That must be extremely difficult. Last year was extremely difficult, but even now the war is not over, but is only intensifying. Almost every day we have air raids in Kyiv and once a week we are attacked by a large number of missiles. Up to 100 missiles at a time. They fly anywhere. A couple of times it flew to my area, where I live. It is very scary, it is impossible to get used to it. But all people try to live their usual lives between these air anxieties. And so am I. I go to practice in the arena, train and hope that we will win soon and we will not have to be afraid. Morally and psychologically very difficult. But I believe it makes us even stronger.
Country: Montenegro (MNE)
World ranking: 9.
Personal Best: 197 cm
The greatest achievements: 2nd EC 2022, 9th OG 2021
You come to Hustopeče regularly, year after year. Why is that? I like jumping in Hustopeče, people are amazing and I really enjoy being there !
How are you looking forward to this year's competition and what result would satisfy you? I am looking forward to jump and feel the atmosphere, hopefully the result will also be good 🙏💪 we will see.
What is your goal for this season? My goal is to continue where I stopped last season, to jump my PB hopefully 🤗
Last year you trained with local young athletes the day before the competition in Hustopeče. Do you remember that? They cheered for you a lot afterwards during the competition. Are you going to do the same training this year? Of course I remember, we had a lot of fun with them, I hope I will do it again this year and that we will have a great time.
The so-called extra class for women is considered to be 2 meters. Do you think you can do it someday? I believe I can do it one day, really praying for that moment to come and next to my name to be written 2m ♥️
Country: Australia (AUS)
World ranking: 22.
Personal Best: 236 cm
The greatest achievements: 5th OG 2021, 6th WC 2019
You will jump in Hustopeče for the first time, how are you looking forward to this meeting? Have you heard about it or are you going to a complete unknown? This will be my first time competing in an indoor competition so I am very excited for that. I have watched previous Hustopeče meetings online and I know there have been some great results so I can't wait to compete.
The surface in Hustopeče is very elastic. Do you think it will suit you? I'm not sure to be completely honest. I have never competed on something like this so I am very interested to feel it and to see how bouncy it is.
Australian high jumpers have been very successful in recent years. Why do you think is that? Jumping events have always been strong in Australia with a long history of successful jumpers. I think recently there has been a great group of talented athletes who have been supported and coached quite well, producing great results and inspiring each other.
Supposing your main goal for this season is the final at the World Championships in Budapest? How did you prepare for this season? This season will be a long season as World championships is later than usual and it will be a very different year as it is my first time on an indoor tour. I spent a few months at the end of last year training and preparing for my first competition here in Hustopeče.
What do you like to do when you don't train and have free time? Do you like other sports? I have a young son who turned 1 at the end of last year, so I love spending time with him and my wife. I also love to watch NFL and Golf.
What is better winter time or summer time for you? I think I prefer the summer time, but I do love a campfire during the winter.