Multisport European“Mujinga arrives in Munich in full possession of his means”
Mujinga Kambundji starts his European Athletics Championships this Tuesday evening with the semi-finals (8:35 p.m.) and then normally the final (10:25 p.m.) of the 100 m. His coach Florian Clivaz provides the latest news.
Florian Clivaz, a few hours before entering the European Championship, how is your protégé Mujinga Kambundji?
She is fine. We were able to use the available time between Eugene and Munich. We could see that the form was still very present at the meeting in Hungary a week ago and we didn’t have to worry. We decided to schedule little training, focus on the quality side and take advantage of the rest. Mujinga therefore arrives in Munich in full possession of his funds. We look forward to seeing what can come of it.
Has she ever soaked up the Olympic Stadium and its atmosphere?
No, not yet. We arrived on Saturday. Sunday was a rest day. Monday was dedicated to warming up, which allowed him to stretch his legs and go back to the bathroom. At first she only saw the stadium from the outside, but she already knows it because we visited it in 2019 on the sidelines of an event with sponsors.
Mujinga Kambundji needs to find her feet quickly as she has been released from the 100m. Isn’t that a poisoned gift?
We’re actually moderate fans of this system. What Mujinga always loved about championships is that they all start at the same stage of the competition. Here in Munich, the top twelve athletes are favored by being released from the heats. But is that really an advantage over 100m? Mujinga has always seen heats as a great way to get momentum and race with a little more control. The series, in general, allows you to calm down and see that technically everything is fine. They then release the horses in the semifinals. With direct entry to the semifinals, Mujinga will not have this opportunity to enter smoothly. She needs to be at the entry point to not make her life difficult for the finale. So I think these exceptions are a double-edged sword in disciplines like the 100-meter sprint.
Did you work on anything specific to avoid this “trap”?
There is nothing special to do. The margin of error will be lower in the semifinals. In order to qualify for the final, a qualitatively good and clean race has to be successful. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem on Tuesday night. The aim is for the semifinals to form a solid basis for the final.
When she gets there, Mujinga Kambundji will be the favorite, right?
For me, Dina Asher-Smith stands slightly above the rest. Even in front of her audience, Gina Lückenkemper should not be underestimated. For his part, Daryll Neita just ran a 10:91 in the Diamond League in Monaco. So with Mujinga there is a group of four athletes that stand out. But no one is as high up as Usain Bolt was in his day. So I can’t say who will win, but I hope it goes towards Switzerland.
This would be his first continental title. Is that the goal?
Looking at her current level, it’s clear that Mujinga is a strong contender for medals. She has already won two bronze medals against Europeans, in 2016 in the 100m in Amsterdam and the following year in the 60m indoor in Belgrade. The goal for Mujinga is therefore to still have a few continental medals on the list when they leave Munich.
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