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Carolina Klüft


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Carolina Klüft


Place of Birth: Boras, Sweden

Date of Birth: 2 February 1983

Event: Heptathlon


Carolina Klüft is a Swedish athlete competing in heptathlon, long jump and pentathlon. She is the current Olympic, World (twice) and European (twice) heptathlon champion and is regarded as one of the best female athletes in the world. Klüft grew up in Växjö, where her father, mother and three sisters still live. She currently lives in Karlskrona together with her boyfriend Patrik Kristiansson, who is a pole vaulter. When she's not training or competing she is a student at the University of Växjö, studying Peace and Development. She has visited areas of Sri Lanka hit by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami to make a film for Swedish TV and also sponsors children in Africa.

Klüft is renowned for her friendly nature and exuberance when competing. This makes her very popular amongst fans and fellow athletes. She is particularly friendly with British rival Kelly Sotherton, and the two can often be seen chatting during competitions. Klüft regularly leads the other heptathletes on a lap of honour after a major competition.

She is part of Reebok's "I am what I am" advertising campaign along with several other sports stars. She has been the focus of poster photography for Reebok, taken by celebrity photographer Jason Bell.

She has currently, as of February 3, 2007, been ranked the number one female pentathlete / heptathlete in the world unbroken since September 16, 2002, making it more than four years as number one on the list. She has also been unbeaten in heptathlon and pentathlon over this period, winning nine consecutive gold medals in major championships.


Klüft is one of very few athletes to at some time hold all five available international titles, Olympic, World Outdoor, Regional (Europe in her case) Outdoor, World Indoor and Regional Indoor. And at the age of 22 she was the youngest athlete ever to hold all five.

Klüft captured her first major championship title at the 2002 European Athletics Championships in Munich with a score of 6,542 points, improving her own world junior record in the process.

Klüft won the heptathlon at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris with a score of 7,001 points, ahead of Eunice Barber, who had 6,755 points. Klüft thus became the third woman ever to break the 7,000 point barrier in the heptathlon. She set six personal bests in the seven disciplines but at one stage was on the brink of elimination from the competition after overstepping on the first two of her three long jump attempts.

Klüft also won the heptathlon at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with a score of 6,952 points. She took the lead after the high jump and extended her lead after every event from then on. With Eunice Barber absent through injury, Klüft won by an Olympic record margin of 517 points, ahead of Austra Skujyte. She also entered the long jump, qualifying for the final but finishing 11th.

The day before the 2005 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, Klüft injured her foot. The injury affected her performance, particularly in the high jump. Klüft fell well behind Eunice Barber but made a comeback with a shot put of 15.02 m and took the lead after the 200 m. She then stretched her lead with a long jump effort of 6.87 m, which Barber argued should have been judged a foul, and held on to her advantage through the javelin and 800 m events. Klüft totaled 6,887 points, finishing ahead of Barber who took the silver medal with 6,824 points.

Klüft retained her European Championships title on home soil in the 2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden with a score of 6,740 points, despite having been hampered by injuries throughout her preparation. She performed well below her best but still won comfortably following the withdrawal of her rival Barber after the high jump. She cried on the podium after recieving the gold medal. Kluft went on to compete in the individual long jump but again struggled for form, finishing 6th.

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