Ginka Zagorcheva World Champion, 100 metres hurdles, 1987As part of my preparation for the Marathon of Luxembourg I have met Ginka Zagorcheva and her husband Ivaylo Boychev former Bulgarian high jumper. They were kind enough to accept my request for a short meeting. I wanted to ask them for several tips. Strangely enough the beloved couple happened to live just across my parents house.
We talked about my
(2) what kind of nutrition i should have
(3) the importance of a recovery, as well as
(4) what is my personal motivation to participate in the marathon.
the untold story behind Ginka's win in Rome, 1987
It was the summer of 1987 in Athens, Greece where the European Championship took part. That day the temperature were 42 degrees. Extremely hot, even for Greece. Ginka was preparing for the final run, which could give her a direct qualification for the World Championship in Rome, Italy, but what a surprise. Her couch and teammate have tried to ruined the finals. According to IAAF rules in order to qualify there must be minimum 4 athlete to finish the final run. Usually athlete participate in several different competitions (like 100m sprint, hurdles, etc.) and it's a couch job to have quorum. However, there were only 5 athlete, and if 1 of them makes a fall-start or get injured...game over. But the God had something prepared. When the signal was given, Ginka ran like never before. She finished 1st which let her go directly to Rome and feel more comfortable regardless that in the '80s Germans & Russians used to dominate the hurdles discipline.
A month later, is the final in Rome. Just few days before the big day Pop Joan Pavel II invited about 500 guests from all sport delegations to visit him in Vatican. The Pop greets the crowd in several languages (german, latin, russian, serbian, english, etc.) The Bulgarian delegation seats in the last raw of the meeting hall when something interesting happens. Pop Joan Pavel II starts walking thru the hall and short before leaving it he turns his face towards Ginka Zagorcheva. He approached her asking about her country of origin. Once understood she is bulgarian, Pop Joan Pavel II continues talking in fluent Bulgarian. He wished her "Be Blessed! You are special, because you are blessed!".
For the past 6 months there weren't a single drop of rain in Rome, but in the day of the finals it is like cats and dogs. The ancient roman stadium who witnessed thousands of gladiator games were determined to be the arena for the 100m hurdles women battle. It was a challenge because the floor of the stadium was covered by 15cm of water. To postpone the run was impossible due to the fixed schedule of the Wold Championship (exactly 10 day).
weather is same for everyone
Walking in the 400m dark tunnel on the way to the arena Ginka prays to the God for a better weather. When the metal gate opens she discover a miracle. The weather has turned to sunny. Ginka goes to the start line and prepare for the signal. Very short before it she shuts "forward"...0.128 sec is her reaction. Only she and Ben Johnson have such fast time...it's just on the line to be a fall sart....and what a run...Ginka finished 1st. Only 1 cm more...and she could even make a world record too.
Never give up
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