The hurdler Jíchová has not achieved progressing to the semi-finals of the World Championships, she wants the limit for the Olympics

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By progressing to the semi-finals of the World Championships, the obstacle Jiacutechov has not met, he wants the limit for the Olympics

World Athletics Championships in Budapest, 400m hurdles – heat – women, August 21, 2023. American hurdler Shamier Little (left) and Nikoleta Jíchová from the Czech Republic.

Budapest – The hurdler Nikoleta Jíchová advanced to the semi-finals in her debut at the World Championships, but from her point of view, she is not done yet. After today's start, she repeated to Czech journalists that she wants to take the Olympic limit from Budapest. She was a quarter of a second behind him today with a performance of 55.10.

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The 22-year-old hope of Czech athletics perceives that it is different at the global championship than at last year's European Championship in Munich. “It's a lot more pressure, but I try not to put it on myself. I got a lot of messages saying they were going to follow me and cheer me on. I knew a lot of people were following me, but I thought to myself, this is exactly what I want to do that I am where I am, doing what I like. So I thought it was a dream,” confided Jíchová.

She only started in the fifth heat, but she did not follow what performance would be enough for her to advance. “I didn't want to stress about it at all. I just looked at the ground and said the things I needed to say,” she said. She did not want to be more specific about how she motivates herself. “It's a secret,” she said with a smile.

After all, time didn't have to concern her. After the last hurdle, she moved ahead of Nura Ennadíová to fourth place, ensuring direct progress to the semi-finals. Jíchová believed in the Moroccan woman. “I knew she had a much better person (54.37), but I always overtook her before. And I thought to myself that I have to deal with her here. I didn't know that I would get her to start next to me under the runway, so I'm very happy with how it turned out, and I'm happy with the scalp,” she said to the African runner, whom she beat in the 400-meter hurdles, among others, at this year's Josef Odložil Memorial.

She was hoping for more scalps. “I believed that I might cut some more there, which I dreamed of cutting. So, for example, in the semi-finals…” she declared. She had to fight harder to advance to the top 24 than at last year's EC. “It's just the World Cup, there are no razors here, you have to run full,” she noted. And he doesn't consider his Budapest mission finished yet. “I want to run a privateer, attack the Olympic limit and leave with the fact that I did my best. Today I did my best, but it didn't go as well as I wanted. I'm not satisfied yet and I think that's a good thing,” she said.

The semi-finals await her on Tuesday at 20:34. Among other things, she will compete against the Dutch star Femke Bolová, whose fall at the end of Saturday's mixed relay helped the Czech Republic to an unexpected bronze. Today, the Dutch woman was sovereign in the run-up. “I didn't follow her. But I don't think it's a surprise to anyone,” said Jíchová.