The difficult road from depression to 3rd place in the world
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The difficult road from depression to 3rd place in the world

The 24-year-old Greek jumper Emmanuel Karalis, who managed to clear 5.85, climbed to the third step of the podium at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow, achieving his best performance of the year in the pole vault, which earned him the bronze medal.

Although he didn’t start the competition well, Karalis was impressive, actually managing to break his personal best twice this year and with a successful first attempt jump of 5.85m, he managed to place the blue and white team in third place.

This was the Greek athlete’s second appearance at the World Indoor Championships after Birmingham in 2018, when he was only 19 years old, where he then finished 5th.
The bronze medal he won was Greece’s second medal in this year’s event and 15th overall in a World Indoor Championships, after Miltos Tendoglou’s gold in the high jump on Saturday afternoon.

The 24-year-old won his first world championship medal and was triumphant, dedicating it to his mother who he said was the only one who believed in him.

“I really haven’t realised it yet, I came here as a runner-up, she didn’t have many aspirations, I wanted a season record, but when I wear the national team jersey I do well. Congratulations to the whole team, I have no words, I didn’t believe in myself either, coming here only my mother believed and I dedicate the medal to her. When I am happy and enjoy the race, I can perform at a high level. “I ‘stood’ on myself the truth is at the beginning, I took the hard pole to pass 5.65m,” he said, excitedly, speaking to state television soon afterwards.

“Today I had technical difficulties with my struggles and consistency, we were able to get up mentally. When I am happy and enjoy the race we can do a lot of things,” he added, giving great importance to psychology. He, himself, had in the recent past revealed his own battle with panic attacks and depression after a serious injury he had.

“After an injury I had during the indoor track and field season, a series of events managed to completely dampen my morale. For the first time this year I had a full blown panic attack which consequently caused me to sink into anxiety and depression for quite some time. I pushed myself hard to reverse this situation, but it made things worse and unfortunately ‘bad’ Manolo dominated,” he wrote on his personal Facebook account and continued:

“I forced myself to continue the season and try to be positive and enjoy every match like I do, but I always felt lost and unmotivated. I’m tired and feel completely exhausted. I’m finishing my season here. I need some rest and need to focus on my mental health for a while. I need to take a break to get my smile back.”
Thankfully, his smile was on display Sunday in Glasgow. And as he said of his next plans:

“To sit down and relax with my family, to sit down and rest because I have a lot of races in the open until the European and Olympic Games.”