The 29-year-old prepared meticulously for the games in Tokyo and is one of the medal contenders.
Lukas Weißhaidinger seems to be ready: “I know how many steps it is from the call room to the ring; I know how the discus feels in this high humidity; I already trained in Austria in the middle of the night to simulate the other time zone; I know the situation with the few spectators in the stadium. “
The 29-year-old from Upper Austria will start the discus qualification on Friday night, with the twelve best throwers in the final on Saturday (1:15 p.m. CEST).
He needed “courage and aggressiveness”, the 1.96 meter tall and 147 kilogram athlete knew before his appearance. With a width of 66 meters you are firmly in the final, behind that the field is filled up to the twelve participants.
The World Cup third in Doha 2019 meticulously planned the Olympic project. Since the probability of rain in Tokyo is high, similar conditions were still practiced in Austria. “We simulated heavy rain with the garden hose,” said Weißhaidinger the day before his first appearance. “I was soaking wet.”
While other athletes acclimatize in Japan for weeks before their competition, Weißhaidinger did not travel to Tokyo until Wednesday. “That was Gregor's plan (trainer Högler; note). We have dealt intensively with the topic of time change, I often got up extra at night. “
He is used to a short-term journey from the athletics meetings. Also: “If I had been here two weeks before the competition, it would have been tough. At home I was able to do a lot more. ”He was able to sleep well on the flight and now has“ very fresh legs ”.
Weisshaidinger did not want to make a prognosis before his appearance in the Olympic Stadium. “I have tunnel vision of myself. I only concentrate on my litters. “
For the time being, his goal was “only” to qualify for the final on Saturday. Just this much: a medal may need a distance of 70 meters. “I trust myself to do this 70 meters.”
The fact that Austria has already won three medals relieves him of the pressure: “There was a real spirit going through the team.”