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    Léa SPRUNGER Swiss athlete

    European Champion in the 400m

    #Interview – Swiss athlete, sprint and combined events specialist, European champion in the 400m. Hurdles and Swiss athlete of the year 2017.

    How did athletics come into your life?

    Already as a little girl, I was doing gymnastics in my village in Gingins, we were doing athletics competitions. Then at 10 years old, I was old enough to join the club in Nyon where my older sister was already. That’s how I started.

    Best European performance of the year in the 400m hurdles, new Swiss record, European champion, how do you feel?

    I am very happy with my current status. Work always pays off in the end. You have to be patient! My performance in Berlin for the European Championships only confirmed the work I’ve done over the last few months. I hope to run even faster over the hurdles and continue my progression.

    The 2018 season has been pretty good for you, do you feel like you can still progress?

    Yes indeed, my time of 50”52 in the 400m flat gave me hope for a faster time in the hurdles, which was the case with 54”33 in the 400m hurdles. I’m very happy with this room for improvement.

    Describe a typical day for an athlete at your level? What are the requirements to stay at the top level?

    A typical day during competition is simple. I get up and make sure I have a good breakfast. The morning is reserved for various organizations but also massage/physio or even sponsors. In the afternoon I train for about two hours. I try to go to bed around 10pm to optimize my sleep. Recovery is indeed an integral part of the preparation.

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    What adjectives could you use to describe your career?

    Atypical, consistent and positive

    What are the values that drive you?

    Perseverance and respect.

    BIOGRAPHY

    • 2007 First international competition, u18 WC and Youth Olympic Festival
    • 2009 Bronze medal at EC u20 in heptathlon 2011 First Swiss record with 4×100 and first participation in an active championship (WCh)
    • 2012 Change of discipline, I switch from heptathlon to 200 m
    • 2012 1st participation in the Olympics
    • 2014 EC in Zurich over 200m, 9th
    • 2015 2nd change of discipline (200m to 400m hurdles)
    • 2016 Swiss record in 200 m
    • 2016 Bronze medal at the European Championships in 400 m hurdles
    • 2016 2nd participation in the Olympics
    • 2017 5th at the WC in 400m hurdles
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