Track and field and its Six Olympic Estonian Questions

Gerd Kanter

PHOTO: Tairo Lutter

The Rio athletics in mind, Postimees tosses up the main points to eye regarding Estonia. 

1. Will Kanter again save Estonian athletics?

With European bronze in pocket this summer, Gerd Kanter still has had a bumpy season and the Olympic medal throw is nowhere to be seen. As if. Seeing that this has been the case with many a season before.  

Broadly, discus throwers come in two categories. The first do great in small events and ideal conditions yet flop at title tournaments.

The other, mostly the experienced ones,  rise to the occasion when the tensions are high and the atmosphere intense. Noticing: it is the same guys who keep harvesting the medals.

With 11 «title medals» under his belt, Mr Kanter places in group two.

2. Will Rasmus Mägi make it to finals?

The hurdles runner did wonderfully leading up to Beijing world champs last year and ranked in European elite, yet made no breakthrough once there. This year, at European championships, finals proved out of reach.

In Rio, finals would be a super feat. Running at Estonian record level yet limited to semi-finals – not too bad either.  

3. Will Maicel Uibo restore faith in Estonian decathlon?

After Erki Nool took gold in Sydney Olympics, we have been average at title tournaments though always having good decathlon doers.

For many a year, the rise of Maicel Uibo currently studying and training in the USA has been expected. His personal record 8,356 set last year is not totally wild, but we hear he is at his best at the moment and could aim at 8,500 in Rio. As things stand, he’d place well.  

We are hoping for a place among top six and personal record. And with that we will be satisfied.     

4. Will javelins fly far enough?  

Not bad for Estonia, this season: Tanel Laanmäe at 85.04, Magnus Kirt at 84.47 and Risto Mätas fourth at European Champs.

In Rio, all three ought to aim at placing among 12 best. Even if one makes it, praise them.   

5. Are the triplets worth the attention?

Thus far, the triplet sisters Leila, Lily and Liina Luik are top famous Estonians in Rio. The international question seems to be if it will be a triple win? We do know it is far from that...

Good for them to have made it to the Games, together. Hopefully, they will run at personal best.     

6. Will Ksenija Balta find her jump?

Remarkably, she is there after all her injuries! Both she and her coach-husband Andrei Nazarov, there ought to be this looong jump in her, deep somewhere.

At the European Championships, Amsterdam, she was fourth while jumping just as far as the bronze winner. Her second best was shorter. Afterwards, we learned she was not well regarding health.

When the jump occurs, she will be in the finals. Once in the finals, why not do another Jump?