Desperate times call for desperate measures and for Yekaterina Poistogova who returned to winning ways in Braunschweig at the weekend, the desperate measure was a change of coach.
It has to be said, it seems to have worked a treat after what has gone on these past 12 months. Now she can look forward with confidence to the European Athletics Championships because, apart from Braunschweig, that is her main target for this year.
Following a disappointing fifth place at her home world championships in Moscow in 2013, matters got even worse at the Russian indoor championships last February when she failed to qualify for the final.
Her time? A pedestrian 2:05.09 and with her bronze medal from London a distant memory, the time came to call a halt to her relationship with coach Matvei Telyatnikova.
“To begin with his training did not suit me. Against this background I started to have misunderstandings with him. I think the confidence had gone out of our relationship. The first thing you need is to believe in your coach. I did not set out to finish third, fourth or fifth in races. I wanted to win.”
Poistogova said that Telyatnikova claimed after the Moscow world championships that she lacked stamina and put her on a diet of long runs in the winter which, she explains, led to her poor showing indoors during the winter.
And so the split came and Poistogova joined the group of Olympic champion, Mariya Savinova, coached by Vladimir Semenovich.
So what is the difference between the two coaches: “Vladimir Semenovich explains everything in much more detail, when to start your sprint finish, how to accelerate to get away from your rivals.
“Vladimir Semenovich concentrates much more on the psychology of running. After all, when everyone has the same ability the one who wins will be the one who is mentally strong and keeps a cool head.”
Judging from her results since making the switch, Poistogova has made a smart choice. During the winter, she did not win a single race, but since she joined up with Semenovich she has not lost a single race.
In her first race at the Russian team championships at the end of May she ran away with the 800m winning by more than one and a half seconds in a season’s best 1:58.55.
She won again in the Moscow Challenge in another sub-two minute clocking before going on to win full points for Russia at the European Athletics Team Championships.
The point now is how she approaches the rest of the season. The main choice she has made is to prioritise European events.
“We decided to play it safe and not get ahead of ourselves. The main goals are the European Team Championships and then the European Championships. Then maybe we will think about a couple of Diamond League outings.”So far, so good. Stage one –winning in Braunschweig - is out of the way. She now has time to progress until Zurich.