Tatjana Pinto: Sprinted to success

Tatjana Pinto: Sprinted to success

It is already history now: the European Athletics Championships in Berlin 2018. But we will remember it for a long time to come. The atmosphere in the Olympic stadium was fantastic. The European Mile on Breitscheidplatz in City West was a real highlight. The audience was great. The athletes were raring to go. Even the weather couldn’t have been better. The last day of the competition made for a wonderful finale – with our brand ambassador Tatjana Pinto picking up another medal. She won bronze in the German 4×100-metre women’s relay – together with Lisa-Marie Kwayie, Gina Lückenkemper and Rebekka Haase. This makes Tatjana Pinto one of the most successful German track and field athletes ever.

Pictures: City-Press
Pictures: City-Press
Pictures: City-Press
Pictures: City-Press
Pictures: City-Press

Pinto and her fast track to becoming a successful sprinter

At first, there was nothing to suggest a stellar career as a sprinter. Tatjana Pinto only started athletics for the first time at the age of 14, after having tried ballet, swimming and volleyball. But then her passion ignited; short-distance sprinting became her favourite discipline. It wasn’t long before she found success, while still a junior athlete. Tatjana Pinto won her first silver medal in 2010 in the 4×100-metre relay. One year later, she sprinted her way to bronze in the 100-metres event and claimed gold in the relay – a result she was able to repeat at the European Championships in Helsinki in 2012. On the sprint track, she became German Champion in 2014 and 2016, and in 2016 and 2018 for the 200 m and 60 m indoor events. In Dortmund, she needed only 7.06 seconds for the short distance – the fastest time since Katrin Krabbe in 1991, making Tatjana Pinto the third fastest German indoor sprinter in history! Despite missing out on podium finishes, her two Olympic participations earned her international recognition: in London in 2012, she took fifth place in the women’s relay and fourth in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Tatjana Pinto during an interview at the Olympiastadion Berlin. © Sandra Schuck
Olympic Stadium Berlin during the European Athletics Championships 2018 © Sandra Schuck

Optimal training – a Tartan track with SmarTracks

But success must be earned, as they say. In other words, this means hard training. Tatjana Pinto is currently coached by Thomas Prange, the 1996 German Junior Champion in the 100-metre sprint and later a successful pilot in the 4-man bobsleigh. An integral part of her training programme is our SmarTracks system, which is not only suitable for synthetic turf but also for running tracks and, in addition to performance diagnostics, also enables precise time measurement. Running time, speed, step length, step frequency and step height are recorded. SmarTracks is therefore not only suitable for classic running disciplines like short, medium and long-distance runs, hurdles and relay races, but also with long jump or pole vault. The system helps to record essential parameters and to improve them through targeted training. It is likewise suitable for team sports like football, rugby or hockey. Here, SmarTracks enables the automated execution of agility tests, such as measuring sprinting ability and dynamics when changing direction. However, it also allows measurement of ability to jump and much more.


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SmarTracks – Sprinter Tatjana Pinto appreciates the direct feedback

Tatjana Pinto is impressed by SmarTracks during her training – particularly because it is an invisible system that does not influence or disrupt her training on the Tartan track. SmarTracks consists of the interaction of just three components. These include: (1) SmarTracks timing gates invisibly integrated into the synthetic track. (2) A hip belt with a wearable sensor weighing just 12 grammes, which does not restrict the athlete’s freedom of movement – it can be easily worn as a belt or clip on the body. (3) And the SmarTracks diagnostics software from our partner Humotion. All important parameters are recorded using the timing gates combined with the SmarTracks sensor and displayed and evaluated clearly using the SmarTracks diagnostics software on a laptop. Tatjana Pinto confirms this explicitly in a sports interview: SmarTracks allows her to simply go through her training programme and immediately get reliable feedback on her performance.

The optimum track surface – relatively hard and colourful

It goes without saying, of course, that the condition and quality of the athletics track also play a decisive role. Speaking of track surfaces – which does Tatjana Pinto prefer? Clearly one that is relatively hard and has as little give as possible, such as our Rekortan PUR and Tartan GOLD tracks . The fact that these have been increasingly coloured for some years now makes no difference to Pinto – purely from a sporting point of view. “Nevertheless, it’s a nice change to see other colours like blue instead of the usual red.” And it is exactly this colour that adorns the synthetic track at the Berlin Olympic Stadium, where Tatjana Pinto sprinted to third place with the relay team.

European Athletics Championships: the audience as an important component of success

Naturally, the atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium and in Berlin generally also contributed to this success at the European Athletics Championships – it inspired every athlete. But Tatjana Pinto has always been aware of the importance of the audience for her performance: “A great atmosphere spurs me on, and drives me to run faster and get the best from myself.” This was definitely the case in Berlin: “We wanted a medal; we ran as if our lives depended on it,” added Tatjana Pinto, overjoyed on her recent success. But this is no time to rest on her laurels – the likeable athlete still has a lot of plans: “My greatest dream is to run 100 metres in under 11 seconds and be in the final of the Olympic Games!” The next Olympics will take place in Tokyo in 2020. And it’s only less than two years away.

Tatjana Pinto and the future

However, athletics is not everything in Tatjana Pinto’s life: in her birthplace of Münster, she completed her high school diploma in social and health care and is now studying social work. But she just can’t pull herself away from sport – besides sprint, she would certainly be tempted by downhill mountain biking. And she also can’t stop dreaming, fortunately! During a sports interview, she answered the question in which stadium she would particularly like to run: “I would like to run in the Olympic stadium in Athens, the place where it all began.”

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