Carolina Kluft

Aug 17, 2004 07:31 PM IST

In 2003, she became the youngest to finish in top eight and the 7001 points from her Paris win make her long distance favourite for Athens.

Born: February 02, 1983
Country: Sweden 
Height: 178 cm
Events: Heptathlon & pentathlon

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World Indoor Champion (2003)
European Champion (2003)
World Junior champion (2002)

She is referred to as the ‘golden girl’ indicative of her hair and her medals, which now include the gold medal from the 2003 world championships in Paris.

She was just 20 in 2003, the youngest to finish in the top eight, and the 7001 points from her Paris win immediately made her the long distance favourite for Athens 2004.

Kluft has already won the European title with a score of 6,542, beating Germany's Sabine Braun in Munich 2002 and setting a world 'junior' record in the process.

She was named alongside fellow Swede Christian Olsson as European Athlete of 2003. Kluft will be contesting the individual long jump as well as the multi-discipline event, which will provide a grueling challenge for the youngster.
By the end of 2003, at 19, she was ranked number one in the world ahead of America's Shiela Burrell and Braun.

Given her youth Kluft may well exceed the 7291 points world record, set by Joyner-Kersee at Seoul in 1988. Her strongest event is the high-jump where her personal best, set at Paris, is 1.94m, some 16cm higher than she stands.

Although her engagement to Swedish pole vaulter Patrik Kristiansson is well known, Kluft reveals little else of her private life.

But she certainly has sport in her blood; her mother was one of Sweden's leading long jumpers in the 1970s and her father was a professional footballer who spent much of his career in the Swedish first division.

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