03, 2020
4 min

Malaika Mihambo had been competing and succeeding in school and youth long jump events from an early age. After taking part in and winning the U20 and U23 European Championships, she transitioned seamlessly into the adult arena. But, at the age of 20, she started to experience minor injuries that interfered with her sporting aspirations. “She’d struggled with her diet for some time,” observes her coach, Ralf Weber, “so I suggested working with a nutritionist to try different forms of supplementation and protein preparations.” The hoped-for success was not, however, forthcoming. At the beginning of 2016, Malaika suffered from problems with the patellar tendons in both knees. Yet, after months of conservative therapy and cross training, Malaika qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. There, with a personal best jump of 6.95 m, she landed in fourth place.

Unfortunately, not long after this incredible achievement, Malaika suffered a foot injury while climbing the stairs at her home. “Potentially, this could have ended her career,” notes Weber, “but that wasn’t an option for a sportswoman like Malaika. So, after more conservative therapy, the injury healed and she was able to get back to her Olympic performance level.” She became European Champion in 2018. After this win, Malaika and her coach knew that she had both the talent and the willpower to take part and succeed at the 2019 World Championship.

“We knew, though, that Malaika would have to boost her performance levels, dig into her reserves and focus on building strength to enhance her speed,” comments Weber: “And, although her muscles soon began to improve, her connective tissue structures, such as her tendons, didn’t adapt to the workload and tended to strain quickly, forcing her to tone down both the intensity and effort of her training.”

Weber knew that this could coast her the championship title, so he spoke to other trainers, one of whom recommended supplementation with GELITA’s TENDOFORTE®. Reading more about its positive effects, Malaika began supplementing with specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP®s) at the recommended daily dose of 10 g. As GELITA’s collagen peptides are natural, easy to digest proteins with no allergenic potential, she found it to be easy to take and, when combined with a mineral/vitamin powder, it also tasted very good. After supplementing for several weeks, her tendon and muscular problems were reduced significantly.

Coach Weber notes: “It appeared to me that the capacity for recovery and resilience in her training had improved. As a result, she was able to significantly increase her strength and the intensity of her training. Our preparation for the 2019 World Championships was mostly trouble-free, which resulted in her establishing a very solid athletic base.”

“Malaika not only tolerated the intense strain of the numerous competitions during that season very well, she even managed to further improve her endurance,” says Ralf: “Altogether, these effects made it possible for Malaika to achieve a level of performance in 2019 like never before.” This, in combination with her phenomenal mental strength, resulted in her reaching a significant goal in the most important competition of the year. She won the long jump world championship title with a personal best of 7.30 meters!

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