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Pole vaulter wants to go high - and has Ukraine in mind: "I suffered for a long time"

2022-08-18T08:18:11.463Z

Pole vaulter wants to go high - and has Ukraine in mind: "I suffered for a long time" Created: 08/18/2022, 10:09 am By: Nico-Marius Schmitz "I still have a lot of potential upwards": Oleg Zernikel reaches for a pole vault medal in Munich. © afp Oleg Zernikel on work in the camp, Armand Duplantis and the war in Ukraine Munich – 5.87 meters. At the World Championships in Eugene, pole vaulter Ol



Pole vaulter wants to go high - and has Ukraine in mind: "I suffered for a long time"

Created: 08/18/2022, 10:09 am

By: Nico-Marius Schmitz

"I still have a lot of potential upwards": Oleg Zernikel reaches for a pole vault medal in Munich.

© afp

Oleg Zernikel on work in the camp, Armand Duplantis and the war in Ukraine

Munich – 5.87 meters.

At the World Championships in Eugene, pole vaulter Oleg Zernikel (ASV Landau) made it to fifth place with a personal record height.

The 27-year-old has big plans for the European Championships in Munich – he wants to go even higher.

"I'm blossoming," says Zernikel in an interview with our newspaper and reveals why the war in Ukraine makes him nervous and why he was "caught" between two worlds after the World Cup.

Oleg Zernikel, how did the World Cup and the preparation for Munich go for you?

Oleg Zernikel:

Before the World Cup I wasn't quite up to par mentally.

There were many other things I was more concerned with.

But in the pre-camp I managed to focus on the important things again.

I'm currently in the flow.

I also believe that it will last for a long time.

After the World Cup, I really struggled with jet lag.

You are caught between two worlds.

The body is there, but mentally you are somewhere else.

But I think I'll be in top shape by the time of the European Championships.

What was on your mind?

Oleg Zernikel:

Of course, the war makes you nervous.

As a sports soldier you think twice about it: What is happening right now?

How can this end?

Of course you try to help people as best you can.

I think the Ukrainian long jumper who we took in at our home now feels very comfortable with us too.

We live on a small planet in a big universe - and all problems only exist on this planet.

The focus on the sport was no longer there for me one hundred percent.

Luckily I climbed out of the little low before Eugene.

How did you do that?

Oleg Zernikel:

In phases like this, I just need peace and quiet, my own four walls.

I used to live with my father but have now moved into my own apartment.

This allows me to focus my life even more on sport.

Much has been said about German sports funding - your opinion?

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Oleg Zernikel:

I've invested a lot in the sport, but mostly I only got something back like: Great, great job.

You just needed more recognition, not only verbally but also financially.

Luckily, Sporthilfe Rheinland-Pfalz gave me a lot of support.

Until April 2021, I was still working in the warehouse alongside my sport.

But that is not to be agreed.

You have to be financially secure, sport is not forever.

The university is currently suffering, but things are going very well in terms of sport.

And the university doesn't run away either, but your career does (laughs).

Is this currently the best phase of your career?

Oleg Zernikel:

I suffered for a very long time.

For ten years it was very strenuous pole vaulting for me.

I'm currently thriving and still have a lot of potential for improvement.

It can go even higher.

How do you perceive Duplantis?

Oleg Zernikel:

Duplantis is simply brilliant.

One always thinks that first place in Munich has already been taken.

He constantly jumps such heights.

That is admirable.

But of course you also notice that you can break through these barriers.

He also pulls others with him, more and more people jump 5.90 or 6 meters.

Interview: Nico Marius Schmitz

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2022-08-18

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