Caironi looks towards world record on home soil

Changes to her training and lifestyle have led to a great start to the season for the Italian world and Paralympic champion, which she hopes to continue at the Grosseto Grand Prix. 06 Jun 2015
Martina Caironi, winces,

Martina Caironi

ⒸLuc Percival

“Every time I don’t want to say I’ve arrived – it’s just a step forward, each time I want to go more forward – faster and to push my limits.”

World and Paralympic champion Martina Caironi will take centre stage at next week’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy (12-14 June) determined to continue her world record-breaking form on home soil.

The Italian smashed her own world records in the 100m and 200m T42 at the Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland last weekend - just two weeks after equalling the world record in the long jump T42 with a leap of 4.60m in Barcelona, Spain.

Now Caironi is eager to do her country proud once more when she lines up on the track at the Carlo Zecchini Olympic Stadium – the same place where she broke both the 100m and 200m T42 world records back in 2013.

“I want people to be proud of me in my home country, as much as they are when I am competing abroad,” explained Caironi.

“I would like to do one world record – I don’t know in which event - I will see how my preparations are going at that time.”

Caironi, who holds the world, Paralympic and European titles in the 100m T42, knocked 0.03 seconds off her previous world record which she set in Rome, Italy, two years ago when she crossed the line in Nottwil in 15.15 seconds.

Then, 24 hours later, she took 0.32 seconds off her 200m time to set a new world record of 32.32.

With three world records in less than three weeks, it is clear that her impressive form is no flash in the pan: in fact, Caironi has worked hard to shape a lifestyle that enables her to succeed both on and off the track. Earlier this year the Alzano Lombardo-born sprinter relocated to Bologna, and she has also been working with a new coach – as well as continuing with her university studies.

The 25-year-old is in no doubt that the changes to her lifestyle and training regime – as well as the benefits of being injury-free - have paid dividends.

“I have to recognise that the long jump began to be better for me after Lyon,” admitted Caironi, who still managed to secure the global long jump title in 2013 with a leap of 4.25m.

“I have spent much more time on it since then. Before Lyon I trained maybe once per month, because I had pain in my back and ankle, but after Lyon I began to train more. This year I’ve been doing minimum once a week, which for me is a big change.

“Those world records were confirmation for me that this year I have trained more than in past years. I decided to set a new world record while I am still as young as I am, because if I try to do it in five years maybe it wouldn’t be the same thing.

“It is also confirmation that my new life works – I moved house and it was like an experiment, but it means I can balance my interests and training together successfully, so I am very happy about this.”

Indeed Caironi’s record-breaking weekend did not come as a complete surprise:

“I noticed in the indoor competitions that I was better than the past year. I also decided not to go to some events, like official nights and ceremonies, but to concentrate, so it was all planned in my mind.

“I know now that I can feel really relaxed - I can try the long jump without stressing, and have my time to do strong training also, so it looks like it works.”

With those achievements under her belt, Caironi is keen to make the most of competing in front of a home crowd – at the same venue that will host next year’s IPC Athletics European Championships.

“The track and the field are very good in Grosseto. It is very important because every year we hold the Italian Championships there, and since 2013 (when the event became part the IPC Grand Prix series) lots of people from around the world have also been coming.

“It is very important for the local people too, to understand more about Paralympic sport. This will open lots of minds – not just in Grosseto.”

Still, Caironi is adopting a cautious approach to her ambition of being the best athlete she can be.

“Every time I don’t want to say I’ve arrived – it’s just a step forward, each time I want to go more forward – faster and to push my limits.”

Caironi will be one of 475 athletes from 38 countries lining up in Grosseto for the eighth in the series of nine Grand Prix taking place around the world this year, culminating with the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in London, Great Britain in July.