Sara Kuivisto has performed twice on the Olympic running track, setting a Finnish record on both occasions.
In Tokyo's 800-meter semi-final, Kuivisto was the first Finnish woman to ever run 800 meters in less than two minutes, at exactly 1.59.41.
Kuivisto's fate was to run in the most fast-paced semi-finals of the race, where his time was enough instead of sixth.
The final place was a dream come true.
Kuivisto was the 11th fastest of all semi-finals.
Although the final place was a dream, Kuivisto actually radiated in Yle's TV interview after his competition.
- I can't be disappointed.
The goal for this season was to run in less than two (minutes), and now it went.
I ran as well as I could.
I gave my all over there.
I knew all day when I was so restless that this couldn’t go bad, Kuivisto said.
Kuivisto generously awarded honor to his coach Ari Suhonen, who has a Finnish record of 1.44.10 in the men's 800 meters.
- The coach is such an accurate man that he thinks for a minute what I am doing.
It’s relaxing for me too, when I don’t have to think for myself if this is good.
I trust Ari 100%, and it shows in doing on the track as well.
The semi-finals went according to the duo's plan.
- This was just the run we hoped for.
That would force me to hang along.
Surprisingly, I had forces at six hundred yards, and a hundred more left in new gear.
- You can't be disappointed, Kuivisto repeated.
Kuivisto's Olympic contract will continue on Monday as he runs in the first 1,500 meters.
- We start that race just like today: let's just run.
This has gone so well that we are just going to enjoy.
There is no stress, Kuivisto said at Yle.
Before Kuivisto, a Finnish woman had run at the Olympics 800 meters only once before - 53 years ago.
Eeva Haimi (now Hongisto) took part in that trip at the Mexican Olympics in 1968. Hongisto is the mother of the 200-meter young European champion Visa Hongisto.