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Gigantic cornerstone: heptathlete Anna-Lena Obermaier in the "all-around Mecca"


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Autograph on the sweetheart: Anna-Lena Obermaier's own signature was of course not to be missed on the collector's shirt of partner Sven Holländer. © Private

In Arona, Ratingen and Talence, heptathlete Anna-Lena Obermaier took her first steps on the big World Cup stage last year. However, the stage boards in the "all-around Mecca" of Götzis have now felt even more important for the 26-year-old squad athlete from Poing.

Poing – "The second day always hurts the most." Of course, Anna-Lena Obermaier has been able to anticipate how her body reacts to extraordinary competition exertions for quite some time. After all, the 26-year-old all-around athlete from LG Telis Finanz Regensburg has been involved in competitive sports for most of her life. In order to soothe her muscle-ligament apparatus as well as the painful joints on this critical second regeneration day and to care for them within the scope of what is possible, the Poinger does not lie down on the couch at home. "A little bit of cycling, yoga, just some exercise in everyday life, that's the best way to help."

In a telephone conversation, it is easy to hear that two days after her most recent career highlight, the national squad athlete still has to process and classify some impressions, especially mentally, that rained down on Anna-Lena Obermaier at one of the absolute top events in the annual calendar of the international all-around elite. For the 48th time, the world's best decathletes and heptathletes gathered in Götzis (Vorarlberg) for the first assessment of their position on the way to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (19 to 27 August).

Although Obermaier was the first successor in the national squad at the last World Indoor Championships and one of the top four German heptathletes in 2022, this World Championships in Hungary will probably come a year too early for her development, says the Poinger. "My goal for the season is to score as many points as possible in the World Ranking for next year. This year I'm focusing again on the German Championships."

I don't have to be in top form now, but only in September, at the German Championships.

Heptathlete Anna-Lena Obermaier from Poing.

At the beginning of the preparation for the outdoor season, it was "a bit surprising" that Obermaier was allowed to make her personal debut on the flagship of the World Athletics Combined Events Tour with her first competition. Of the twelve Tour events this year, only Götzis and Talence (France) are classified as "GL" events, the highest category.

The media interest and spectator volume around the "all-around Mecca" in the Möslestadion was correspondingly high, with around 14,500 visitors during the competition weekend. "It was simply gigantic to compete in the first competition of the year in front of such a backdrop! Götzis is simply the meeting for all-rounders. I've never experienced anything like this in terms of atmosphere." However, she already has the feeling, says the 26-year-old, that "the interest in sports in Austria is generally greater than in Germany", especially when it comes to diversity on television. "Götzis was simply the sporting event of the weekend in Austria."

At some point, she lost count of how many autograph requests she was able to fulfill on the sidelines of her starts, says Anna-Lena Obermaier with a laugh. "It was unusual, but nice." And she herself went on an autograph hunt together with her friend and all-around colleague from LG Sempt, Sven Holländer. For example, superstar Anna Hall, who missed the legendary 7000-point mark by only twelve points as an outstanding winner.

Anna-Lena Obermaier got off to a "great start" in the 100 meter hurdles and almost came close to her personal best (14.07) in 14.01 seconds. "I was really happy about that and I hoped that it would continue like this." However, in the high jump that followed, her foot problems became clearly noticeable, which had already limited her in preparation. "Especially in the high jump and javelin throw, it was difficult for me to block out the pain because it inhibited my stemming foot."

In the end, she was not satisfied with a jumped height of 1.71 m and 43 m with the javelin. For this, the 200 (25.89 sec.) and 800 meters (2:16:30 min.) "Quite well" went. "But I started the 800 meters too fast, I noticed that at the back. But that was a good test of tactics for Ratingen." Because what quickly cheered up Obermaier after 21st place, 5671 total points and her "overall mixed" Götzis debut was the repeated invitation to the next traditional top meeting.


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After a short training camp in Linz, Obermaier will have another traditional event in the second-highest category next weekend (17/18 June) in Ratingen. She is no longer unpleasantly excited or even intimidated at these major events with the world's best. "Last year I was already in Arona, Ratingen and Talence. As a result, I was well prepared for what awaited me in Götzis."

For a good World Cup ranking, Götzis is the "cornerstone" on which you have to "go one better" in Ratingen. However, Anna-Lena Obermaier does not want to impose excessive pressure on herself to achieve results: "I don't have to be in top form at the German Championships now, but only in September."

Attempt against the heptathlon world's best: In the Möslestadion, Obermaier also had to struggle with her injured left stem foot in the javelin throw. © IMAGO/BEAUTIFUL SPORTS/Olaf Rellisch

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2023-06-10

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