Last night the jury decided to let all athletes start in the EOC Middle A-final on monday. It means that I will get a second chance to get a good result in the A-final, despite a poor performance in the qualification, where I finished 18th, 10 secs too slow.
The preparations to EOC has been going really well, and even though I have been doubtful of my shape during the winter, it has been feeling good lately. Also a physical test last week showed that I am maybe in my best shape ever compared to earlier tests. I had to take it easy some days before going to Portugal, because of some pain in my calf, just to be on the safe side.
But in the qualification on thursday my body was just not functioning. I managed to keep it together technically without any bigger mistakes, but I was just feeling tired from the beginning, and I was struggling all the way. I have had similar feeling in qualification races before, so I thought my race would be good enough to qualify for the A-final, but in the end it was 10 seconds too slow.
It was a big dissapointment and a total failure not to qualify, and I had a tough time after the race. My mind tried to find logical explanations to my poor physical perfomance, but nothing useful came up, which made it even more frustrating.
I decided with the coaches after the race, that I should run the sprint instead, which was also a good substitution because I'm also focusing on sprint at WOC in Italy. Yesterday I went to Palmela to look at the area for the sprint-final and also did the sprint model-event.
Besides preparing for the sprint I have also followed the hole middledistance-protest-complaining-issue, with a possible outcome of letting all participants run the A-final, because of a misplaced control (which did not affect me). I decided if I got the chance to run the Middle A-final I wouldn't hesitate to skip the sprint and focus all my energy on the Middle (and Relay), which has been the plan all the time.
So when I heard the final decision this morning, instead of running Sprint Qual, I'm now sitting here following the live results.
I can only hope that my shape will be better on monday, but I'm pretty optimistic about it, and propably I just needed a tough race to get my body started again. It has been feeling much better yesterday and I can feel that the motivation is high.
It's not often that you get a second chance, but this time I was lucky, and I will do all I can to perform at my best on monday.
...and hopefully no more mistakes from the organizers!