Leibak looking to leap back into the limelight after 18 months of injuries 11 January 2012, label_share

Estonia's former world and European junior triple jump champion Kaire Leibak is leaping around again for the first time since the summer of 2010.

She has suffered Achilles tendon ruptures twice in the last 18 months and had to endure the subsequent surgeries but last week she jumped for the first time since she relocated to the United States in October to train in Daytona Beach, Florida, with the renowned coach Rana Reider.

She is currently working out alongside athletes like the 2011 World Championships long jump and triple jump gold medallists Dwight Phillips and Christian Taylor.

"The results at the moment are not, of course, anything to shout about but it is definitely worth mentioning. I do not even measure my jumps but I am once again happy that all the bones, joints, tendons are working together," said Leibak.

“I cannot believe how long I've been waiting for this. It was only off a six-step run up but for the first time, that was enough to me,” added the excited Leibak, writing on her blog (which is in Estonian).

“Now, my biggest challenge is mental, putting behind me the 'fear' that there will be problems again. I'm already working on it. I am sure that my body is work well in the summer but I need patience and more patience."

Leibak, now 23, won the triple jump at the 2006 World Junior Championships and she is still third on the European junior all-time list with her winning distance there of 14.43m.

She followed up that success by taking the European junior title in Hengelo, The Netherlands, in 2007 and Leibak continued her upward trajectory by making the 2008 Olympic Games final.

Now, Leibak hopes to put the bad times of the last year-and-a-half behind her and qualify for her second Olympics as well as the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, which would no doubt see a lot of her friends and family make the short trip across Baltic to the Finnish capital.