High jumper Lassizkene: opinion-strong officer - sport
- Marija Lassizkene is currently the best high jumper in the world and is close to the world record of 2.09 meters.
- The Russian woman has to start under a neutral flag because her association is still closed because of the doping revelations.
- In the social networks she criticizes the officials hard - even though she is an officer of the Russian army.
You have to look very carefully to see it. Last week, when Marija Lassizkene flew over 2.06 meters in Ostrava, leveled her best, three slim inches below the high jump world record, she smiled, so briefly that at the same moment she no longer knew if it had actually happened , "That's just my face in the competition, my character," she says, when you talk to her about it - like a mask that she does not drop even after great deeds because she still wants to jump a little higher. And just because she often looks so serious, "that does not mean that I'm not happy inside," she says. Or tense. Or angry, sometimes very angry.
Recently the mask fell suddenly. Like a family quarrel, when the long-silent cousin hits the table so much that the porcelain dishes are mixed up. "I hope those people who are responsible for this unending stigma will have the courage to finally cede," the 26-year-old wrote on social media. Above all, she meant with those people Dmitry Schlyachtin, the president of the Russian Athletics Federation; she also meant those coaches who would continue to persuade athletes that the whole sports world dope anyway. Since 2015, Lassizkenes Association is banned from international competitions because of a deep-rooted doping sump; In 2016, all Russian athletes missed the Olympic competitions - except for the long jumper Darja Klischina. Lassizkene was at home at the time, she was not watching when Spaniard Ruth Beita won.
Meanwhile, dozens of Russian athletes can start under a neutral flag, if they are tested by independent inspectors. Lassizkene became world champion 2017, European champion 2018 on this political by-pass road. But the World Federation has only recently renewed the ban on their association, also because of reports that suspended coaches in Russia still serve athletes. Since it is more than questionable whether the suspension before the World Cup next September will be aired - and what that means for the 2020 Olympics, for the participation of so-called neutral athletes like Lassizkene.
Her coach once said, "Never look back, if you break the bar, always look ahead."
Last weekend Lassizkene is sitting in a hotel in Tübingen, she should jump there at a meeting that was canceled due to a storm at short notice. She wears black sweatpants and a long black sweater, which only gives you an idea of her slender figure: 1.80 meters, 57 kilos. She smiles shyly, shaking her hand. She does not want to talk about her sharp words any more, she says: "I was ashamed of what happened before, so I said my opinion." Were there reactions from the circles she criticized? She avoids, she just wanted to jump up, she says, the association is now required. What she thinks about loaded coaches or about Stefka Kostadinova's high jump record, which comes from a high doping era - that remains unanswered. She only wants to say one thing: she stands by her opinion, that is her right. And considering how much the open word is valued in Russia, especially of an athlete serving as an army officer, one understands why she fled into restraint after the outburst of rage. Behind the mask.
Lassizkene has never been extroverted, but she has always managed to use that reserve as a strength. When she was nine years old, she noticed Gennady Gabriljan, a physical education teacher in the small town of Prokhladny in the North Caucasus, who was also a coach at the local sports club and at the sports school and guessed what talent he had got. Gabriljan gently rebuilt her, letting Lassizkene start with just a few steps today - a relic of the time when they were training in a narrow hall in Prochladny. Lassizkene jumped as a 15-year-old already 1.83 meters, two years later she won gold at the Youth Olympic Games (1.90). The breakthrough for the adults was achieved in 2014, with their first jump over two meters, European silver medal and the first world title in the following year. The lock 2016 in Rio? Can't change it anyway today, she says. Her coach once told her, "Never look back, if you break the bar, always look ahead." That's why this high, serious look.
What looks snooty, is actually a simplicity that should drive away all that is disturbing. She never looks at others, says Lassizkene, does not care about training plans or world championship standards, she completely trusted her coach. She also does not think about the 45 meetings she won in a row or the 2.10 meters - numbers, she says, seem like a barrier. What motivates them is their results and the fleeting, sweet feeling of skimming a latte, which always wins because it throws down three times in the end.
Marija Lassizkene is on a path of which she still does not know exactly where to take her, sporty as well as political. But she has said and done everything, she thinks, she can not do any more. In the doping Causa even a little movement has come, Union Vice Andrej Silnow resigned hastily last when doping allegations against him became ruchbar. And sporty Lassizkene is anyway the big favorite for the World Cup and the Olympics 2020, if they can start because. Deep inside, she says, of course, she would like to win the Olympic gold medal. Behind the mask.