The defectors dismiss the claims of cool intervals as fluff.

    At the core of Finnish athletics, during this and last season, there have been claims that defectors Senni Salminen and Kristiina Mäkelän the spaces are cool.

    – Senni, do you hate me, Mäkelä shouts to Salmi at the press conference of the Finnish team in Eugene.

    – So much so that we have such a distance, Salminen answers.

    At the time of the exclamation, she is twenty meters away from her racing sister.

    – It’s completely silly that our relationship would be bad. It’s speculation, with which they try to provoke us against each other, Mäkelä informs.

    Salminen walks closer to Mäkelä.

    – If we could start fighting, then we will have topics to talk about, Mäkelä throws.

    Salminen says that talks about cool intervals are expected.

    – When there are two tough athletes on the same team in a sport, something like this happens, he commented.

    How would you describe your relationship?

    – Outside of competitions and training trips, we sometimes communicate. Whenever we see each other, we have fun in each other’s company, Salminen answers.

    – We compete and are on good terms, but we haven’t had time to get to know each other, Mäkelä announces.

    Sports analysis comes from the pharmacy shelf.

    – Kristiina is a really tough competitor. He has been able to perform well in value competitions in a tough place. And he has good connections, Salminen analyzes Mäkelä.

    Mäkelä has data on the athletic differences between the two.

    – Making Senn is based on explosive power output, he begins.

    – When you look at jump lengths at the Paavo Nurmi Games, for example, Senni might have a 0.5 meter longer first jump and I might have a 0.5 meter longer last jump. It tells me that my speed will be maintained until the end of the performance. Senni puts in more effort, so the pace maybe stops more, but the jumps are longer in terms of effort force characteristics, he continues.

    Medals in mind

    Kristiina Mäkelä (left) and Senni Salminen will compete in the triple jump World Championship qualification on Saturday from 20:30 Finnish time. PASI LEISMA

    Mäkelä is eighth on this season’s world results list with his record of 14.47. Salminen’s best quote of 14.32 is the 13th longest slice of the season.

    Both athletes state that their goal is to win a medal in Eugene.

    – What else could you aim for here other than a medal? There is a very small chance that you will succeed two days a year. The medal is the crown jewel for all of this, so it doesn’t matter if it comes here or at the European Championships in Munich, Mäkelä thinks.

    Salminen talked about the medal even before the start of the season, but in the USA his head is empty of such thoughts.

    – I haven’t thought about it at all. Focused on me enjoying myself. At the end of last season, the enjoyment was a bit lacking.

    Finally, the cliché: internal competition is usually good.

    – When you jump in Finland, you know that there is always an opponent. I always want to be the best. Here in Eugene, everyone is on the same page, Salminen feels.

    – Competitive sports include competition. It’s much more meaningful to lose in a domestic race if you’re having a bit of a bad day. Competition always moves the parties forward, Mäkelä states.

    Kristiina Mäkelä’s best and record result of the season is 14.47. PASI LEISMA

    Senni Salminen’s best result of the season is 14.32 and the record is 14.63. PASI LEISMA