News

Kanter hopes ferry to Finland will lead to European title 23 April 2012, www.european-athletics.org label_share

Estonia's 2008 Olympic discus champion Gerd Kanter has confirmed that he will take the short trip across the Gulf of Finland and bid for his first continental title at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki this summer.

"There are now 10 weeks to go before my first big competition, for the first time ever my main pit stop before the Olympics will be in Helsinki, at the European Champi-onships," Kanter told local Estonian media on Thursday.

Despite his many accolades, including winning in Beijing four years ago and taking the gold medal at the 2007 World Championships, Kanter has yet to triumph at the European Athletics Championships.

He got the silver medal at the 2006 event in Göteborg and then finished a frustrating fourth in Barcelona two years ago.

The 2012 European Athletics Championships will be staged in the Finnish capital from 27 June – 1 July.

Unlike in recent years, when he has competed very early in the season and even a special indoor meetings, Kanter has yet to throw in 2012 as he hopes to reach to reach his peak in Helsinki and then sustain it through to the Olympic Games in Lon-don a month later.

"This time I've tried to keep the hunger for the competitions and will start the season later," added Kanter.

Kanter returned to Estonia a few days ago after spending recent weeks at a training camp in Spain. His first competition of the year will be at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Doha on 11 May.

"If you look back at my two previous Olympic experience, they were very different. In 2004, that was my first Olympics, I was really much less experienced. I was physically a good athlete but mentally much less so," he reflected, remembering that he did not progress beyond the qualifying rounds in Athens.

"In 2008, after winning at the World Championships the previous year, which at that point was my career highlight, I believed in myself much more; so in London I must keep focussed, keep thinking and avoid any mistakes. If I do that then I believe that it is possible for me to make a good result," he added.