April 23, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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All or nothing in Rome: Navy Thiam aims for the European Championships in June to force Olympic qualification

All or nothing in Rome: Navy Thiam aims for the European Championships in June to force Olympic qualification

Better late than never. Nafie Thiam wants to achieve her Olympic qualification at the European Athletics Championships in June – just two months before the Games – her management has announced. She received a wildcard as the defending champion of the European Championships in Rome.

At the Olympics, defending champions are not guaranteed the right to start, which is why Nafi Thiam still has to qualify for Paris. She has not completed a single heptathlon in 2023.

The two-time Olympic champion was expected to try to qualify for the South African Championships in April or the Hypomeeting Championships in Gotzes in May, but she will have to wait until June.

Thiam does not have to qualify for the European Championship, which will be held in Rome from June 7 to 12. As the defending champion, she has a wild card and could become European champion for the third time.

“She is looking forward to competing at the highest level again and trying to qualify for Paris,” her management said.

Score 6450 points and Thiam goes to Paris

That she is participating in the European Championships relatively so soon before the Games comes as a bit of a surprise, also because nothing can go wrong in Rome. The Olympic qualifying period ends at the end of June.

With 6,450 points, the defending champions qualify for Paris 2024. That would normally be a piece of cake for Thiam, who won the World Cup two years ago with 6,947 points.

And if she doesn't reach the Olympic threshold at the European Championships, the ranking could still provide a safety net for the No. 1 in Rio and Tokyo.

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Thiam's management announced that she will continue training in South Africa until the European Championships, and that after Rome she will complete some additional competitions in individual disciplines to prepare herself for Paris.

The IAAF World Indoor Championships in Glasgow later this week are not on Thiam's agenda.

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