On her first day at her old job, track and field athlete Alexandra Burghart faced various official duties. And the 28-year-old did so patiently and with a smile, as if she had not waited for anything else for weeks: she passed the Munich Rain 100 meters at the Ludwig Jall Sports Festival in 11.38 seconds. The contestants immediately wanted to pose for souvenir photos with her while she was still on the tartan track.
Doping control and several interviews later awaited, including one in a wheelbarrow in which Burghart looked like an escape artist in a jam jar. She then admitted that she was “so excited” ahead of her first track and field event of the summer, which was more than her record season opener.
This is useful for you and those around you: If, like Burghardt, you had a year in which you won two national titles, over 100 and 200 meters, as well as the best time for a German 100-meter sprinter, at 11.01 seconds. And since last February also this Olympic silver medalist, in bobsleigh with Mariama Gamanca.
Burghardt isn’t the first track and field athlete to pursue a track and field side streak, but many haven’t made it out of their sporting lives for half a year, to sledge – then instantly transform themselves back into a track and field athlete, by any world championships (in July ) and the European Championships (in August). “It’s a risk,” Burgardt said recently in the Munich cold. A risk that would pay off?
Her plans for the summer: two German titles, a new best time, a medal in the European Championships
Even a year ago, interviews and souvenirs with Burghart were very popular. At that time, there were many summers behind her, as the vortex dominated her more and more strongly: she did not heal from minor injuries, just did not want to miss any races and starting places in the relay, and continued to run, sank deep in pain. That only changed when Burghart met in 2019 with Patrick Sayle, the national team coach in Munich, who is now a national coach in Switzerland.
Sayel convinced her to let her body heal completely; Only then did they introduce them to a new and improved technique, such as teaching the baby to walk again. Last year, after breaking the epidemic and messages from Sporthilfe, who Burghardt already thought was retired, she became the German champion for the 100 and 200 meters at Braunschweig, increased her best time by three tenths of a second, and was the best German in the semi-finals of the Summer Games in Tokyo. , in 11.07 seconds. A talent finally blossomed at the age of 28.
Much would have remained true to athletics, after all, Burghart was finally surrounded by the fortitude she had been striving for for so long. Now: warming up at zero degrees, running for six seconds, jumping in a sled, in which the athlete’s body is thrown back and forth at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour? But Burghart already knew Jamanka would retire after the Beijing Olympics.
And when she came out of winter sports as planned in February, she had more than this Olympic medal with her, which her track and field teammates have missed so far. “If for some reason my career ends tomorrow, I can end it with a smile,” Burghart said now. Because it’s really fun now.” Recently I got married, too. “I’m just floating on my clouds,” Burghardt says.
She can still use speed, in this summer of high points
This is how she found her way back to her old sports life. After the Winter Games, she took a two or three week break to give her head some freedom. I lost a few more days, a small infection here, a corona infection there. But she learned of the foundations last summer and that she had been facing “no pressure” for this season. The two-time title winners and 11-second runners travel to the starting positions more easily, as well as in the Diamond League, where Burghart will finish in Rabat, Morocco next weekend.
In training, she didn’t change much either, and that’s often the best change: Burghardt had just completed longer-than-usual courses, which she left out next to her figure skating, she said. She also wants to finally slide below the 23-second mark at the 200 metres. And a little bit of rhythm wouldn’t hurt anyway this summer. Burghart said that at the end of June she wants to defend her two German titles in Berlin, set a new best time sometime this year, and then there is the European Championships in Munich, the next chance to win a medal.
European Championships in the Olympic Stadium, an hour from her home in Burghausen: Burghart thinks this is a little closer to her than the World Cup in the US in mid-July. In 2006, she was still taking souvenir photos with athletes herself at the European Cup at the Olympic Stadium. Now, in August, “there must be 500 people in the stadium who know me well and are screaming for me,” Burghart says. How often, you ask, are you allowed to experience this as an athlete? Beautiful, floating vistas – and some formal errands, too.