NA full stadium is quieter than in the seconds before a hundred-meter dash. The athletes have just stepped onto the track one by one, smiled at the camera, raised their chains and start numbers, showed greetings or performed a little dance. The people in the east stand of Budapest’s Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ were just cheering because a discus thrower took the lead in his fourth attempt. The last ticket holders have just taken their seats, and a triple jumper has just landed on the sand at more than 17 meters with rhythmic clapping. Now it’s quiet.
Below, on lane two, is Gina Brückenkemper, the best German sprinter. She has been working towards this race all season, towards the 11, or better 10.90-something seconds that are coming now. The last World Championships in Eugene didn’t go particularly well for Brückenkemper. After false starts and discussions, their semi-finals restarted three times. Brückenkemper finished in 11.08 seconds, which wasn’t enough for the final. But things have changed since then. Brückenkemper is now European champion. And this time she really wants to make it to the final, to be one of the eight best sprinters in the world, that’s what she said all season long: she’s ready for it.
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