At the young age of 20, Darya has a truly impressive collection of awards to her credit. The young Russian athlete’s most recent achievement is winning the long jump title at the 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships. With this win, she seems all set to cement her position as a long jumper to keep a close watch on for the London Olympics.

Klishina is definitely one of the star performers for the Russian and European athletics teams. This young athlete had proven her mettle even earlier by winning the gold at the 2007 World Youth Championship as well as the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships. These wins and her continuing top form make her the undisputed crowd favorite for the World Championships to be held in South Korea at the end of August. Of course, her performance here will give the spectators a glimpse of what to expect from this promising athlete at the most important sports event of 2012, the London Olympics.

As for Darya, she is keen on ensuring that she gives her very best at every event that leads up to the Olympics. It is a well known fact that Darya keeps herself reaching for bigger and better goals all the time. In fact, her final distance of 6.80 meters at the European Athletics Indoor Championships was described in her own words as ‘not impressive’. This leap got her the gold medal at this event, which only goes to show how far the young athlete is willing to push herself for success in her chosen career. However, Darya concedes that the win itself was an important achievement for her as it was her first win as an adult in a major championship.

Darya’s long journey has definitely not been roses all the way. She was plagued with some psychological problems during the Russian championships last year. The young athlete attributes her poor performance at the World Indoor Championships in Doha to these problems. This is also why she failed to qualify for the European Athletics Championship in Barcelona, she admits.

But Darya is clearly back in the ring with her eyes firmly fixed on the gold medal now. In her own words, victories are as quickly forgotten by her as defeats. This surprisingly ‘cool’ attitude about defeats is perhaps the reason for her being able to put these setbacks well behind her as she gears up for the Olympics. The enviably perfect coach- athlete communication that Darya clearly enjoys with Olga Shemigon, her own never say die attitude and her passion to win- these are the factors that will be her greatest assets as she prepares to make the winning leap at the Olympics next year.

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