I started athletics at the age of 8. The first few years were characterized in particular by the UBS Kids Cup, a small all-around competition by “swiss athletics” consisting of sprinting, long jump and throwing the ball. I was very successful and was able to take part in the Swiss Championships in the Letzigrund in Zurich a few times. On TV Arlesheim, coach Dieter Völlmin gave me a good foundation on which to build my career.
Still, things didn't always go smoothly afterwards. During puberty, many of my colleagues developed much faster than I did - they were more than a head taller and also much stronger, so that I hardly had a chance of winning in the decisive competitions. After the simple successes in the early years, this was a very difficult time for me. In addition, for a long time I didn't know which discipline to specialize in. For a long time I swayed back and forth between the long jump and the middle distance.
For the first time
The opportunity to train in the regional center of excellence in Northwestern Switzerland under the former national coach Fritz Schmocker from autumn 2017 gave me new impulses and a huge boost in motivation. I therefore decided to specialize in the medium and long-distance disciplines in the future.
Since I was able to count on good jumping ability and good coordination skills in addition to good endurance from my former long jump training, I decided, in consultation with my trainer Fritz Schmocker, to try the steeple discipline for the 2018 season. My first race after a few weeks of training for this discipline was also the Swiss Junior Championship in Delémont. So I did not go to the competition with too high expectations and saw this first race more as training. Also because of this carefreeness I was able to call off a strong performance and in 2018 I became Swiss champion over 2,000m steeple in the juniors for the first time. This was also an important first milestone in my career.
The missed opportunity
In the 2019 season, I mainly focused on qualifying for the European Junior Championship over 3,000m steeple in Borås, Sweden. Due to my graduation from the Steinerschule, however, the entire season and competition planning for 2019 was very difficult, so I had to reduce my training schedule at times or skip competitions. At the Swiss Championships in the pouring rain of Thun, a good 3rd place over 3,000m steeple. However, I wanted to reach the limit for Borås required by the association, especially on the occasion of a well-attended international meeting in Regensburg (D). The race went perfectly, so that 200m before the finish I was sure that I would achieve the required target time of 9:15 am. But at the last moat, 150m before the finish line, I fell. I got up again and fought my way to the goal with bruised knees. However, I missed the required limit by 2 seconds. This was a very difficult but also a good experience for me, as it made it clear to me that you should never be too early, keep your concentration up to the last meter and keep fighting to the last meter.
For the first time in the Swiss national dress
Nevertheless, there was still a very conciliatory conclusion for me in 2019. Thanks to two strong qualifying races in Regensdorf and Darmstadt (D), I was able to qualify for the Cross-European Championships in Lisbon. To represent Switzerland in the national dress at an international competition for the first time made me extremely proud and it was a unique experience for me, even though I had to give up the race after about half of the competition due to a stress fracture on my left lower leg.
Swiss champion among the active for the first time
After the rather difficult year 2020, with the beginning of the corona pandemic, the stress fracture from the European cross-country championship and my high school diploma in Salzburg, I put everything on the map for the 2021 season. This already paid off at one of the first competitions of the year, as I was able to feel the limit for the U23 European Championships in Tallinn in my first 3,000m steeple race in Karlsruhe. I was therefore able to travel to the Steeple Swiss Championships relatively relaxed and fully concentrate on placing in the race. In a thrilling final sprint I was finally able to prevail wafer-thin against Michi Curti and became Swiss champion among the active for the first time.
First line-up for the national team
Thanks to my good start to the season and my first Swiss title among the active players, I was asked for the first time to travel to the European team championships in Cluj-Napoca with the senior national team to represent the Swiss national team over 3,000m flat. Measuring myself against the top European runners for the first time was an impressive experience for me.
First international success
In 2021 I traveled as 31st of the 37 qualified athletes to the steeple U23 European Championships in Tallinn in Estonia with the aim of reaching the final run. In the run-up I improved my personal best by around 15 seconds to 08: 44.19 and qualified as the second fastest of all athletes for the final. In the final I was able to confirm this time with 08: 46.62 and got an excellent 8. To be the eighth fastest u23 steeple runner in Europe made me proud and happy.