Valarie Allman’s Olympic title defence will come down to that extra “one-to-three percent,” the discus gold medallist said on Monday as she prepares for the Paris Games hungrier than ever.
The American took top spot on the podium in Tokyo but missed the World Championships title in Eugene and Budapest, with third and second-place finishes in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
“The biggest thing for me that I want to change going into this one is coming in with the mindset of really going for it,” 28-year-old Allmann told Reuters.
“I am proud of my performance (in Eugene and Budapest), but I fell short of that top spot on the podium. And I know that if that’s the goal, that you have to have a fearlessness of really pushing yourself.
“So for me, it’s all about trying to figure out how I can go for that one-to-three percent that tries to set me apart from the competition.”
Allman was seemingly cruising to the world title in August when her team mate Laulauga Tausaga obliterated her personal best on her fifth throw to scoop up the crown.
Allman, who will compete in Eugene next year for Olympic qualifying, said she was honoured to be with her compatriot on the podium amid an American hot streak in the women’s field events over the last two years.
But the doggedly determined, six-foot Allman said that second place also gave her more motivation.
“I may be the defending Olympic champion, but I’m not the defending world champion,” she said. “Budapest was a big challenge. But I think in my heart I believe it’s going to prepare me to take on new and maybe even bigger goals.”
Allman, an Asics-sponsored athlete, would have a much different Olympic experience in Paris compared to Tokyo, with a party atmosphere expected after the COVID-affected 2020 Games, which were held a year later due to the pandemic.
It is a welcome change for fans and athletes that will require her razor-sharp mental discipline to be in full effect.
“Balancing how do I stick to the plan that we’re setting out and not let those distractions take away from what we’re trying to achieve is going to be a challenge,” said Allman.
“I think when you get onto the competition floor, if that’s something that I’m able to do, it’s going to be electric.”
- RCB vs UPW Live Score, WPL 2024: Royal Challengers Bangalore faces UP Warriorz in campaign opener; eyes on Mandhana, Healy
- Odisha FC vs Mohun Bagan LIVE Score, OFC 0-0 MBSG, ISL 2023-24: Mauricio strikes the crossbar, Cummings comes in for Sadiku
- Ranji Trophy 2024 Quarterfinal: Musheer Khan hits maiden double century, puts Mumbai in command against Baroda
- IND vs ENG, 4th Test: Mhambrey surprised with variable bounce as India left tottering after second day
- Ranji Trophy 2023-24 Quarterfinals: Musheer’s double century puts Mumbai in strong position in Day 2