Croatian jumper Blanka Vlasic eyeing Olympic victory
Source: CCTV.com | 08-21-2008 08:11Special Report: 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Croatia's high jumper Blanka Vlasic is one of her country's most celebrated athletes. She's hoping to leap to her first Olympic victory in the women's high jump event on Saturday.
|Croatia's high jumper Blanka Vlasic is one |
of her country's most celebrated athletes.
Vlasic is the first Croatian to be named Europe's Female Athlete of the Year.
She notched 33 consecutive victories before the Beijing Games.
And she has jumped three centimeters higher than anyone else in her event this season.
The 24-year-old is the favorite in the Olympic women's high jump, but she says she will need to be at her best to win.
Blanka Vlasic said, "So I am just taking step at a time, first qualification then hopefully finals and just try to work on my technique and go one jump at a time and then see what happens."
Vlasic has reason to be cautious as she finished 11th at the Athens Olympics, after a very strong start in the 2004 season.
She made a comeback in 2006 and 2007, capturing silver at world indoors Games in Moscow and registering 18 wins in 19 outdoor competitions.
Despite her huge success, Vlasic says she's anything but complacent.
Blanka Vlasic said, "So I am, yeah, I am very careful and I don't think nobody can beat me. I think there are lots of girls who can if I let them, so I need to stay focused on what's the most important and then do my job."
Known for striking poses when she clears the bar, Vlasic is set to be one of the most eye-catching athletes in the final week of the Beijing Olympics.