How does one become a long hurdle racer? Exactly, as a high jumper and football player. At least that’s how it was for me. In 2009, I participated in the Thurgau Middle School Championships and cleared a height of 2.01 meters in the high jump without much serious training. This was not a bad result and good enough to be approached by Werner Dietrich, the coach who had already discovered Werner Günthor – the threefold shot-put world champion. And so I came rather by chance from football to athletics. I quickly realised that combining an individual sport with my medical school was easier than with a team sport, because you are less dependent on the schedules of team mates.
I found my favourite discipline after the first races of over 200 m, 400 m and 110 m hurdles. And naturally I also started in high jumping. But already in the second competition, I decided to participate in the 400 m hurdles. Already in my second race with a time of 52.52 seconds, I barely missed qualifying for the U-23 limit. Though at the next race of the Swiss National Championships of 2009 in the Stadion Letzigrund, I became the Swiss national champion runner-up. As the fastest Swiss U-23 runner in the 400 m sprint, I was eligible to participate and represent Switzerland for the first time, just one week later, at the International U-23 competition held in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
And it has rapidly developed further: After five years, four Swiss Athletics Championship titles (in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), and participation at the Summer Olympics in London, I celebrated as the 2014 European Champion in my own country. The highlight in my young career, thus far. 2015 was the fifth Swiss Athletics Champion title and the ninth rank at the Wold Championships in Beijing – barely missed the final.
New challenge in 2016: I was the hunted at the European Championships in Amsterdam, i had to defend my European Championship title. I was happy to celebrate the bronze medal, which confirmed my performance. In 2017 we will be concentrating on the World Championships in London. I convinced with strong races during the season ahead of London but i also experienced other times. Not at all, i reached the Wold Championships final, 8th place. The highlight of the Switzerland season and at the same time my last race in 2017: Diamond League Weltklasse Zürich. Where i parted my personal best time of 48.45.
In 2018, the European Championships were held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Due to an injury I could not participate in these atmospheric championships. After the title 2014 in Zurich and the bronze medal 2016 in Amsterdam I was not allowed to fight for the podium places. Now my focus is on the World Championships in 2019. At the end of September, it will be all about challenging my international competitors in Doha.