The Austrian Athletic Federation has announced a team of seven athletes to compete at the European Indoor Championships in Torino (6-8 March, 2009). The squad is a rich mix of young talent and experienced competitors. The most promising names are Clemens Zeller (400m) and Ryan Moseley (60m).
Clemens Zeller, 24, improved his personal best in the 400m to 46.27 seconds this winter and was even leading the World Indoor List for a couple of days. He has shown consistent form with four races in 46.74 or faster. At his first European Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2007 he achieved a surprising sixth place. Zeller will be aiming to improve his mark. A student of sports and mathematics, he is a runner who rises to the occasion, so he might well be in with a surprise in Torino.
Ryan Moseley clocked 6.63 seconds for a personal best in the 60m this season and has run several times inside 6.70. Born in Barbados and married to an Austrian, he was granted citizenship in April 2008. The European Indoors will be his first appearance at an international championship, though he competed at the European Cup in 2008 for Austria. Moseley, 26, has worked as a construction engineer in London. He is a full time athlete only since October 2008 and clearly feels the benefit of it. Moseley hopes to break 6.60 and has his eyes set for a place in the final.
Roland Schwarzl, 28, bronze medallist at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid 2005, hopes to make a good a performance in the Heptathlon again. Since 2005 his sporting ambitions has been hampered by illness and injury. Tenth at the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens, Schwarzl is now right on track to reach his best again. In Torino he wants to improve his season best of 5,746 points.
The only female athlete in the team, Bettina Müller-Weissina, made just three outings this season but produced fast 60m times of 7.26, 7.27 and 7.28 seconds. A semi-finalist at the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2007 she might do even better this time. The 35-year old has competed at the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens and at the World Indoor Championships 2003, 2004 and 2008.
Martin Pröll, 27, former European U23-champion in the steeplechase, ran a season best of 7:57.11 in the 3000m in Valencia. A father of two children, he finished 8th at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid 2005. He was injured in 2007 and struggled to find the right shape in 2008. Step by step, it seems, he has worked his way back. In Torino, Pröll has a shot for the final again. Martin Steinbauer, 27, who clocked 7:58.31 over 3000m in Stockholm, will have to do his very best to follow the footsteps of his compatriot. Young 800m runner Andreas Rapatz, 22, set an indoor best of 1:48.57 this winter. He hopes to find the right race tactics to build on the experience he made in Birmingham 2007. There he finished 16th place in the heats at his first international championship at senior level.
60m: Ryan Moseley (SB 6.63)
400m: Clemens Zeller (46.27)
800m: Andreas Rapatz (1:48.57)
3000m: Martin Pröll (7:57.11)
3000m: Martin Steinbauer (7:58.31)
Heptathlon: Roland Schwarzl (5,746 p.)
60m: Bettina Müller-Weissina (7.26)