Any pole vaulter worth their salt knows the importance of a good run-up, and Kurtis Marschall believes a strong season of preparation will pay off at the World Athletics Championships.
Marschall is part of a strong Australian squad in Eugene, Oregon, for the world championships which begin on Saturday morning Perth time, and he believes he has banished the blues which thwarted his Olympics campaign.
The WAIS graduate will enter Eugene with a spring in his step after a couple of fine results in Europe, finishing fourth and second at events in Sweden and France respectively.
After a bout of nerves on the runway grounded him in the Olympic final in Tokyo, the world number 16 is oozing confidence ahead of the world championships, which he attributed to spending the past three months in Europe.
“This year it’s completely different, we’re able to travel, everything’s back open, COVID is barely a thing over here anymore, it’s making things so much easier and I’m basically back to my ideal preparation for a major championship,” he said.
“I’m feeling a lot more confident this year, that’s for sure.”
Confidence and trust in technique is a must for any jumper and Marschall said his European summer had paid dividends in that regard.
“Battling it out week in, week out with these guys is what pushes me to jump higher and better and focus a little bit more, even under the high pressure situations of Diamond League and higher level competitions against the best guys in the world,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going into a little bit more relaxed than I was in Tokyo and even even compared to Gold Coast (Commonwealth Games) in 2018.”
Marschall will not start his campaign until next Saturday morning, with the South Australian-turned-sandgroper hoping a strong performance in qualifying will secure him a spot in the final on Monday morning.
West Australian Declan Tingay will compete for one of the first medals up for grabs in Eugene when he contests the 20km walk on Saturday morning 6.10am WST.