Carolina Kluft proved once again she is the No.1 all-round female athlete in the world with a gold medal winning performance in the 2005 World Championship heptathlon in Helsinki to add to her Olympic gold medal in Athens in 2004 and World Championship gold in Paris in 2003. Her success in Helsinki made her the first woman to defend a heptathlon world title.
Now, at 23, she looks set to dominate the heptathlon for many years. Her speed is her biggest strength, giving her big points in the sprints, long jump and high jump. A bundle of competitive energy, she never lets up for a second, encouraging herself before each jump, sprint and throw and punching the air at the result.
In Helsinki, a foot injury hampered Kluft who jumped 12 cm below her season best in the high jump, however, she struck back in the shot putt with a personal best, and also produced a personal best in the crucial 800 metres to beat France’s Eunice Barber and clinch the gold medal.
At Athens in 2004, aged 21, she had become only the third heptathlete to score more than 7,000 points and the first native-born Swedish woman to win an Olympic title.