The Finnish track and field summer has started particularly fast, despite the exceptional training season.
Kristian Pulli broke the new record for the long jump in Finland (827), Krista Tervo snatched new SE readings in the hammer (71.93) and in the quick fences the female trio Annimari Korte, Nooralotta Neziri and Reetta Hurske pressed for less than 13 seconds.
Last Saturday, the Espoo Theme Championships saw a less noticeable, but unusually tough result, also in the women's three-jump place.
Imatra Athletes' Senni Salminen, 24, jumped to a new record of 14.04.
- I would not have thought that the first race of the season would go that far. The record was set in the third jump of the race and after that maybe the charge went a little off. There was still a lot of room for improvement, Salminen said.
Salminen jumped the first 14-meter of his career last Saturday in Leppävaara, Espoo.
Photo: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva
With her record jump, Salminen became the fourth Finnish woman of all time to cross the coveted 14-meter limit. Previous are Kristiina Mäkelä, Natalia Bäck and Heli Koivula-Kruger, who holds the Finnish record of 14.39.
Salminen, who lives in Helsinki, has goals similar to the Finnish record.
- The opening race was so good that you dare to expect tougher results. The main goal is for the level to stabilize to the right of 14 meters.
- 14.04 is the result that would have qualified for the Paris European Championships (the competitions were canceled due to the corona). I want to be involved in all the value competitions of the coming years. The Olympic limit is 14.32 and there is a full chance of breaking it, Salminen is confident.
The Olympics postponed due to the corona pandemic will be held in Tokyo in July-August 2021. There is time to violate the Olympic line until the end of June next year.
In the winter, Salminen competed in the Nordic indoor match. Salminen won that race with his indoor track record, 13.83.
Photo: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva
Salminen says that he started athletics at the age of 8 while living in Simpele, South Karelia. Long jump and triple jump became established species at the age of 14–15 years.
Salminen's twin brother, Kalle, indeed seems to have received the same genes. Kalle Salminen is a long jump jumper representing Joensuu Juniper, with a record of 7.78.
In 2015, Salminen jumped fifth in the European Youth Championships in Eskilstuna, Sweden, falling short of the medal by only ten cents.
The following period, however, began with difficulties that slowed development significantly.
- In January 2016, the right ankle was cut. In the summer I had time to jump two races and then cut my left leg. The ligaments in the ankles were loose, so they had to be tightened, Salminen says.
The 2017 season still went downhill after ankle surgeries.
In the winter of 2018, Salminen set out to seek new powers to jump on the coaching side.
Since then, Salmi has been coached by former pole jumper Matti Mononen.
- The previous coaching relationship (with Svetlana Inkinen) ended. On behalf of the Athletes of Imatra, Matti first came to help the strength. We were so gloomy that I then asked him to be the actual coach, Salminen reveals.
Mononen, 36, who jumped at her best at 570 and finished fourth at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, was a colorful person in her sports career, with a lot to tell about her predictions.
- I'm grateful that Matti himself still a lot of work out. There is no need to do all the workouts alone when Matti is doing it, Salminen praises.
Matti Mononen was known as a colorful athlete. Picture from the Kaleva Games in Tampere 2008.
Photo: Matti Björkman / Lehtikuva
In Mononen's sports career, one of the specialties was "attitude training". Mononen could run around the track with a stick or grab a wooden stick with him.
Read more: Like Rocky in a dead end - with these five “attitude trainings” the rock-hard physics of seamstress Matti Mononen was built
Attitude training has also followed Mono for a coaching career. Now you can enjoy them, or suffer from them, the three-jumper Salminen.
- Actually, the 60-meter step squat challenge before Christmas has become a tradition. Last time I did 50 pounds with 60 feet of pipe squats. It is not so sporty, but a good workout for the mind, Salminen describes.
- But a twinkle in the corner of his eye, Salminen adds.
In any case, Mononen and the Sports Association's long jump and the three-jump sport coach Suren Ghazaryan have gotten Salminen's development curve to a new level.
The interest rate restrictions do not seem to have disrupted Salminen's spring training, as did other Finnish athletes.
- The intention was to travel to Portugal first for two weeks and later for a month, so after all, Korona's time had a significant effect on the program.
During the corona restrictions, Salminen practiced mainly at the Helsinki Sports Mill under Ghazaryan's supervising eye.
Before the coronavirus, Salminen had time to win his first adult series championship gold, the Finnish indoor championship with a result of 13.80. However, Kristiina Mäkelä, who jumped at 14.20 at her best during the winter season, was not in the Finnish Championships.
Based on the recent development curve, Finland may have two representatives in the women's triad in the upcoming Summer Olympics.