Airi Mikkela is ready to start a new Olympic traject to Tokyo (Photo: Mark Phelan)
Airi Mikkela’s road to Tokyo: Everything feels in balance.
Date: 8/7/2018 5:23 PM
Published by : Mireille van Daal

The European Championships of 2016 must have been the most nerve wrecking tournament for Airi Mikkela (Finland). It was the last qualification tournament for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Mikkela and her compatriot Nanna Vainio were so close in ranking, that this tournament actually would determine who of them would go to Rio.

Fate was not on Mikkela’s side and the Finnish ladies singles spot was granted to Vainio. Flashforward to now, Mikkela is ready to start a new Olympic traject to Tokyo 2020. But this decision was not made without major changes in her life the past two years.

- I have a tough year behind me where I experienced some problems with my body and health, as well as some financial problems.

- I also made some huge changes in my life, such as starting the university and moving back to my home country Finland after five years in Denmark.

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These changes seems to have affected Mikkela for the better. But she knows like no one else that the qualification process requires further steps.

- In order to qualify for the Olympics I first of all need to play more tournaments to get higher in the world ranking.

- I've been working hard and focusing on the training and development so now it's time to hit the road again and play lots of tournaments!

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All in

The path for the time period till Tokyo is clear for Mikkela, it is now a matter of execution. There is definitely no lack of excitement on Mikkela’s side to get this done!

- I'm really looking forward to the next two years! At the moment I feel like everything is in a good balance again.

- I feel strong and healthy again, I have a great environment to practice and live in, and I'm ready to go all in for Tokyo!

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