Knjiga gostov - sporočila za Merlene

Merlene's future plans 

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her future plans

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Merlene while preparing in Ljubljana - June 2001Merlene is still not seriously considering ending herSkrbne priprave na trening over 20 years long sports career yet, and her latest statements could mean she's planning to compete at her Olympic Games next Year in Athens, Greece.

She'll turn 44 next year and there is no sprinter her age in the world - neither male nor female - competing at this level.

If she does participate in Athens 2004, she will represent her new homeland, Slovenia. That is for sure - if nothing else.

It was nearly 17 years ago when Merlene's first thoughts of ending her career came over her mind, but luckily for her (and for her fans alike), she changed her mind - later on many new challenges arose and it seems there are many more yet to come. She is highly motivated despite her age and there is no such effort she wouldn't want to face with.

"I really don't know how much longer will I compete - there is no specific date on my mind, the only thing I know for certain is that after Olympic Games in Athens I will no longer be there as a sprinter", she said recently.

The warraty for success - Srdjan Djordjević and Merlene while practicing"It all depends mostly on my health conditions, i.e will there be any injuries or not. At the moment I'm not thinking of ending my career. I've been through many ups and downs and I had always been strong enough to come back.

Of course there are many good memories on my numerous victories and I prefer recalling them than those not so nice. I still have my favourite memory - I'll always remember my first Olympic race in Moscow 1980 and my first bronze medal at 200 m. I was very relaxed and comfort and that medal came mostly as a result of it".

Merlene still awaits every day's practice with eager and new challenges are coming forth - and as she said in a recent interview, this could well last for a while.

To the very frequent question: is she still thinking of winning a golden Olympic medal - the only one that is still missing in her collection - she answers: "I'm realistic and I'm not thinking of such a possibility, it would be stupid! I'm concerned of my health mostly and I find many other motives to run and for me the most important fact is I can still run. And I can still run fast!"

The way she practiced for Sydney 2000 - June 2000 in Ljubljana"Don't worry! This is the easiest of all sports. All you have to do, is run, nothing else", she used to say so many times, explaining the fact she is still one of the fastest female sprinters that many much younger competitors can only look in her back  - despite her "high age" for a sprinter. And she adds:

"No kidding! For me the most important goal is to stay healthy and this is also my greatest challenge nowadays. Injuries can destroy a sportsman, but if you are willing to strive you can overcome this as well. The age is no problem - I can still be very fast and the stopwatch confirms it on a daily basis. I can still be even faster and if there will be no more injuries, many competitors will find it hard to overrun me!"

In July 2002 Merlene struggled from a serious knee injury - a small part of her meniscus broke apart and that caused her to pause for some 5 weeks. She told us then: "The injury itself had not been as serious as we at first concluded, but it wasn't a minor one! Operation was needed and it was done very well by dr. Rrastko Stok - I would like to sincerely thank him again. Being persistent as I am, I promise you to be back to track soonest possible - I expect it to happen by the end of August or early September".

This was the injury that prevented Merlene to compete for Slovenia at the Munich European Championship 2002.

Before her training - June 2001

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