Slovenian hammer thrower Primoz Kozmus (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Personal bests – Primoz Kozmus

Former world and Olympic hammer champion Primoz Kozmus talks about the best parts of his athletics career.

My best achievement in athletics

My victory at the Beijing Olympic Games, for sure. It was a big day for me. I was dreaming about that day for all of my career and all my life. To see that dream come true was so exciting.

My best friend in athletics

I will say Sandra Perkovic (world and Olympic discus champion). Because I train a lot with her, she is close to me. I spend a lot of the winter time training with her in Croatia because of the conditions in Slovenia. From the men's side, two of my closest friends are Krisztian Pars and Koji Murofushi.

My biggest disappointment

When I was competing at the 1998 World Junior Championships in Annecy I was expected to make the top eight but I recorded three fouls in qualification and I did not make the final. Back then I was not too experienced and under big pressure. I don’t know why it happened, but I had some technical problems and that let me down.

My best piece of advice

That came from the Slovenian discus thrower and my colleague Igor Primc. He told me that of your top five throws of the year, if you manage to throw somewhere in the middle of these five best throws at a major championship that year, then you will have done your job.

My greatest rival 

Krisztian Pars of Hungary (the Olympic and European champion). We have had many great competitions over the years and up until 2010 I was better at the big competitions, but now he is on the top. I hope I will be back. He is really strong and he has the speed I don’t have, so I need to find a way to technically improve. I have enjoyed all my big competitions against him but maybe my favourite was my victory against him at the Berlin World Championships because he was the favourite that day. 

The best athlete I've ever seen

Usain Bolt is something special, but I also really respect Koji Murofushi (Japan’s 2004 Olympic and 2011 world champion). He was not such a strong athlete but he trained with a number of new exercises and training methods. He tries to find something new as part of his training all the time.

My greatest weakness

Back injuries. I've had to manage problems in my lower back throughout my career. It does put fear inside me. I've always tried to avoid surgery in order to find a better solution. 

My greatest venue

The Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. It really is an extra special stadium. Let’s say I really felt the energy there and, of course, it helped I won my Olympic gold medal there.

My biggest regret

In the lead up to the London Olympics I made some mistakes in terms of my preparation. I chose the wrong type of exercises and my body didn’t react well. I knew I wasn't in the best shape in London. If the Games had been one month later, I believe I would have won gold. (Primoz won the silver behind Krisztian Pars in London).

My greatest achievement outside of athletics

My family. I have a wife, Maja and two children – four-year-old daughter Maria-Rosa and one-and-a-half-year-old son, Maks – I am very proud of.

Steve Landells for the IAAF