Berlin (AP) - long jump world champion Malaika Mihambo will be trained by one of the greatest athletes in sports history - the nine-time Olympic champion and eight-time world champion Carl Lewis. This revealed the 26-year-old from LG Kurpfalz in an interview with «Bild am Sonntag».

Active athlete Mihambo and former world-class athlete Lewis had met online a few weeks ago. In August Mihambo plans to move to Houston, Texas.

«He is the athlete of the century. While tracking the long jump history, I saw that he was also a good sprinter. To make it this far on two sprint routes, the relay, in the long jump, I admire that, »said Mihambo, naming her goals for working with the 58-year-old Lewis. «I want to develop as an athlete and as a person. This is the case in this environment. Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell, who will become my sprint trainer, have been at the top of the world for years. I can learn a lot from them because they went the same way, »she said.

The first talks with Lewis were "very inspiring". «I think I will also be supported in my development as a person. The 16 years in the familiar environment have brought me to where I am now. I'm very grateful for that, but at some point it's time for something new, ”said Germany's“ Athlete of the Year ”. You have the feeling that "now is the right time for such a big step".

She'll live and train in Houston. "I love languages, for example, and can also work on my Spanish there," where about 40 percent of Spanish-speaking people live. "If the corona situation improves, I will probably move to Houston in August, but live in Germany during the season, also to see my family," said Mihambo, who won gold in Doha in 2019.

Mihambo is not the first German world-class athlete to take this pioneering step. Medium-distance ace Konstanze Klosterhalfen, top sprinter Gina Lückenkemper and European obstacle champion Gesa Krause also train in the USA.

"Bild" interview with Malaika Mihambo (payment barrier)

Short portrait of Malaika Mihambo