Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko kept alive her hopes of winning back-to-back medals at the World Championships after she qualified for the final of the women’s triple jump competition on Saturday morning.
Representing Israel’s best hopes of winning a medal at the Championships, the 27-year-old finished the qualifying heat at the Olympic Stadium in eighth place and told Jewish News how happy and relieved she was at reaching the final.
She said: “I’m very happy to have qualified for the final, but I’m [also just] happy to be here in London competing at the World Championships. It’s a great venue to compete in, a great stadium and the supporters inside make a great atmosphere.”
Needing to either jump the qualifying standard of 14.20 – or finish with one of the 12 longest distances from the 26 participants to reach Monday’s final, she fouled her first attempt, before recording 14.17 in her second attempt – which also equalled her best jump of the year.
Talking about fouling on her first attempt, she said: “I didn’t like it, I’d have preferred to have qualified with my first attempt, but it didn’t affect me that much. Sometimes, you can foul in your first two attempts and then have to do well in the third one, so it didn’t affect me that much.”
While her third attempt was 13.72, her second attempt ensured she finished Pool B in sixth place, but more importantly, eighth overall.
Reaching the final was all the more gratifying given the stop-start year she’s had to endure. “I’ve had a very hard year with injuries”, she said, “this is only my second competition this year so I still don’t fell 100 percent.
A silver medal winner at the last World Championships in Beijing in 2015, looking ahead to Monday’s final, she said: “I don’t know in terms of whether I can win a medal, but today proved to me that I can jump and hopefully that will make me more relaxed and give me more confidence. Qualifying for the final has given me more confidence that I can perform well in the final and I want to hopefully show what I can do.
“I enjoy representing Israel, love all the support I receive from the people, so hopefully.”
And as to what she’ll do between now and Monday’s final, she said: “I will do some more practice and maybe visit some places in London – as well as do some shopping!”