SPORTFOLIO: Finland may be left without Olympic medals for the first time
Three years ago, the Finnish Olympic Committee set a goal of winning a total of 10 medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2020 Summer Olympics. Tokyo needs to be brought in four. Not much, but the head of the High Achievement Sports Department at the Olympic Committee Mika Lekhtimäki believes that this goal is unattainable.
– When real predictions fluctuate from zero to one, four medals is too many. For this, athletes have to show super-results, says Lekhtimäki.
However, there are athletes in the Finnish team who can surprise you.
Mira Potkonen, boxing
In 2016 in Rio de Janeiro Potkonen was the only Finn to win an Olympic medal – a bronze. The 40-year-old boxer made her way through the qualifications thanks to her high European rankings. Potkonen fights in the 60 kg weight category.
Lizzie Armanto, skateboard
Finnish American Armanto is highly regarded in the world skateboard classification. Unfortunately, preparation for the Olympics was marred by a serious injury – at the competition in San Diego, Armanto broke her leg. The athlete is gradually gaining shape, but it is difficult to say how well she will be ready for the Olympic performances.
Senni Salminen, triple jump
25-year-old Salminen in June at the competition named Paavo Nurmi set a Finland record with a jump of 14.51. The last record was held for 18 years. Further more! A little later, Salminen jumped 14.63 in the competition in Romania, showing the eighth result in the world. If the progression continues, Salminen is capable of breaking into the top three.
Matilda Castren Golf
US-based Castren, 26, rewrote Finnish sports history by winning the prestigious LPGA in California in June. In July, Castren confidently won the stage of the Eurotour to Turku. Castren is ranked 50 in the world ranking.
Arvi Savolainen, wrestling
The 22-year-old classic wrestler competes in the 97 kg weight category. A very promising young athlete, he has proven himself in youth tournaments – in 2019 he became the world champion in the age category under 23 years old. Savolainen earned a place at the Olympics through a sieve of qualifying competitions.