Carolina Kluft, Sweden's best medal hope?Photo:Jonas Ekströmmer/Scanpix

Team Sweden in Daegu with little optimism

4:59 min

The 2011 World Athletics Championships begin in Daegu, South Korea this weekend with Sweden sending just over a dozen athletes to compete. After major disappointment at the last World Championships in Berlin and the Beijing Olympics, does Sweden have a realistic chance of bringing home a medal of any colour ?

Gold medal sprint hurdling hope Susanna Kallur's spectacular fall at the Beijing Olympics 2008 summed up Team Sweden's performance as a whole. The World Athletic Championships in Berlin a year later were to be even worse with Sweden failing to win a medal of any colour.

Quite a contrast to the golden years of the 2004 Athens Olympics and Worlds in Paris , which had countries such as the UK asking for the secret behind Swedish success.

Radio Sweden spoke to former Swedish pole vaulter Miro Zalar who is in Daegu working for Swedish Radio, and asked him why there's been such a spectacular fall from the dizzy heights of earlier;

"All the athletes with big talent came together at the same time but I think the main explantion is injury, everyone has been injured, because they are old and there is a new generation coming through but it will take time."

The Swedish team and captain Stefan Olsson has not set any medal targets preferring to talk about reaching as many event finals as possible with an eye on next year's Olympics in London.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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