Spanish middle distance runner Dolores Checha told Diario Marca on Tuesday that she had always known that her moment to perform at a high level would arrive sooner or later.
"If you have a special ability then sooner or later you are going to exploit it," explained Checa.
Checa has had an excellent 2008 in which she has registered the third best Spanish times in history in 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. That has given her a huge confidence boost ahead of the Olympic Games.
"Mentally I feel that I am very strong. I feel as if nothing at all can frighten me," she said, before admitting that just two years ago things had been very different.
"I was training, but not giving it everything, I was not enjoying it at all, there were times when my legs would hardly respond," said Checa, who had her boyfriend and a change of coach to thank for the turnaround in her form.
"My boyfriend told me I needed a change of scene. He encouraged me to come to Madrid and try with (coach) Antonio Serrano. I plucked up the courage, rented a flat and took a risk," she explained.
The move worked out well, because at the end of 2006 she won the Spanish 3,000 meters championship. This year has seen her make massive strides in 1,500 meters, setting a personal best of 4.02.77 last Sunday in Athens.
"I went there with a lot of confidence and with the happiness of knowing that my sister had managed the qualifying time in 10,000 meters the previous night," said Checa, whose big decision now is whether she competes in 1,500m or 5,000m in Beijing.
(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2008)