National record, Olympic standard, Europe vs USA, World Champs semifinal

What a season! I couldn’t be happier.

I broke the Finnish national record in 100m hurdles, I ran the Olympic standard, I was selected to represent Europe at Europe vs USA Match as the second fastest European this season, I made it to the semifinal at world championships and finished the season with the 3rd best time in Europe this year.

Finnish 100m hurdles national record is something I never imagined I would be capable of doing. But I did it. I ran NR 12.72. It’s taken me weeks to realize that it was really me and now that the season is over I can finally be happy and proud about it. 

At the same time I ran the Olympic standard for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This was my biggest dream and goal for the season. Qualifying to the Doha world championships was the second biggest goal and if everything goes perfectly, making it to the world championships semifinal. 

Running 12.72 changed everything. Doha became only a learning step for Tokyo 2020 and 2020 European championships. The importance of it changed from the excitement of my first world championships to being more about testing and learning how to prepare for next year.

I realized if I can run 12.72 with one year of real training and without funding, I know I’m capable of running faster and more consistent with another year of training. First year of training fully professionally. Another year of training hopefully gives me the strength to actually chase medals and finals. 

All thoughts after the NR moved to Tokyo. That’s why the end of the season was mentally very difficult, but I’m glad I was able to end it with two sub-13 runs and world championships semifinal at my first world championships. 

Europe vs USA selection was also a big thing for me and it was a great experience. You can’t get much bigger honor than representing your continent. Just two weeks earlier I won Finnkampen (Finland vs Sweden Match) for the first time in 12.85. Europe vs USA was Finnkampen on another level. Both amazing experiences!

The season exceeded all my expectations and I can’t wait for next year! The best thing has been the hope and faith I have been able to give others to never give up on their dreams no matter what. It’s never too late and impossible is nothing! 

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