Fredrik Samuelsson, European Indoors, Glasgow 2019

The 1000m in Glasgow provided its fair share of Day 2 drama in the heptathlon. From Jiri Sykora’s reappearance on the start line after his pole vault injury, to Tim Duckworth’s game changing improvement, to Jorge Ureña’s strike for home from 200m out. 

But the other story was Fredrik Samuelsson’s  determined bid for a medal, having never dropped lower than 4th place after each of the previous five events.  Fredrik explained after the 1000 just how hard it is to be chasing for a medal on your own – and how soul-destroying such a close miss can feel in the moment, even after a series of epic jumps and a  lifetime best score.

Fredrik, what we love about watching you is the emotion you put into everything.  We feel that we go through every event with you. And that long jump yesterday was amazing.

The long jump was awesome this weekend, I waited for that one a long time. So that was incredible. The shot put was a really strange moment because I had really bad two first throws. The high jump was awesome, always it feels like I’m jumping 2.05 to 2.08, however I jump, so that’s good.

The second day…I was trying to forget the hurdles as fast as possible, and the pole vault was awesome, I cleared 5 metres for the third time. It was two years ago since the last time, and the pole vault has been up and down this winter, so I was really happy how I performed during the competition. I cleared 4.50, 70, 80, 90, 5 metres all with space in the first attempts, so that was awesome, and a close one at 5.10 also.

And then the final event, 1000m. I’m just…empty, at the moment. It was a hard race, because I was the only one who was chasing, and the guys behind me were trying to keep their position.  

After 400m it was a couple of seconds too slow. For us combined eventers, it’s hard to put up the speed in the middle or the end because you must have the times at the beginning to do well. My shape was capable for 2:41 to 2:44 but when you are too slow at 400m it’s hard to fix it later.

“It was a hard race…because I was

the only one who was chasing”

FREDRIK SAMUELSSON

I remember you saying earlier in the season that you had a really good score but you were disappointed with Day 1 – it sounds like you were much happier with Day 1 this weekend.

Yes, Day 1 was awesome, and the jumping events this weekend were awesome – 7.66, 2.07, and 5m …I’m very happy with that.

And…you know decathlon and heptathlon…it’s so small marginals, because you can do very well in a couple of events and then one bad event and the points go down.

This was a PB by 107 points and 4th place. If someone had told me that before the championship I would be like – I will take it every day.  And these points too.  But I missed a medal, and missed the Swedish record by 17 points.

You were so competitive, though, and that’s what I took from it – you were in there, and it just didn’t come down in your favour today. I know you’re disappointed, but we loved watching you fight – and supporting you all the way.

Yes, at least I have improved my capacity a lot this winter.  I’ve had three good heptathlons. But with the system, it was 10 days ago I knew [I had qualified], and that’s hard and then I did really good here but still. .. I feel like I have many people around me and that’s like the greatest gift. Not only my family, and the Swedes, but everyone. I will be happy in a couple of days.

Photo: James Rhodes

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