Do you know what the hardest part about doing a blog is?.... finding a name. I spend most of the time trying to come up with something clever enough to be catchy, but yet explain what may be in the blog. I'm going to try something different on this one. Type the blog, then name it after I'm done...maybe that will work. Now that the useless information is out, lets move on.
The European Championships are concluding as we speak...I didn't actually spend much time monitoring what was going on, but the Euro Champs in the javelin is usually the Olympic or World Championship final plus or minus maybe 1-2 guys. So needless to say, the jav was an event that needed to be watched. I was shocked at how well the German throwers did not only in the javelin, but other events as well. It got my coach and I thinking and I decided to look up some stats over the last 2 years. Going back to Worlds last year in Berlin, this is what I found.
Berlin World Champs 2009:
Womens Javelin: Steffi Nerius wins gold with a seasons best.
Mens Discus: Robert Harting wins gold with a new lifetime best (PB).
Mens Shot: Ralf Bartels wins bronze with a new PB
Womens Shot: Nadine Kleinert wins silver with a new PB.
Womens Hammer: Betty Heidler wins silver with a new PB (only got silver because the gold was won with a new world record). Kathrin Klass barely misses the bronze with a seasons best.
Now lets look at the Germans in Barcelona for the European Championships:
Womens Javelin: Linda Stahl wind gold with a new PB. Christina Obergfol wins silver.
Mens javelin: Matthias De Zordo wins silver with a new PB.
Mens Discus: Robert Harting wins silver.
Mens Shot: Ralph Bartels wins silver.
Womens Hammer: Betty Heidler wins gold with a new seasons best.
And a side note: at the 2010 World Juniors in Canada, Till Wolschler wins the javelin with a massive 5m lifetime best.
The success that the German throwers are putting up at major championships is just amazing. Especially when we are dealing with technical events. My coach and I have come to the conclusion, that the current system that the Germans are using allows them to train and taper for major international championships without the stress of having to perform at high levels throughout the season leading up to these major championships. Most of the German athletes, from what I have been told are WELL taken care of by their federations and more importantly, their clubs. Without going into too much detail...It allows the athletes to remain in and around Germany to train and receive proper training (and therapy) from some of the best coaches and physios in the world. All the while, living very comfortable lives and thriving in a country that passionately loves their sport!
I sincerely hope that USATF takes a good long hard look at the German Development system and tries to implement the same ideas, especially in regards to their funding.
Continuing on the German theme...I'm headed back to Germany next week to re-unite with my training partners who are based out of Cologne (and have been so for almost a month now). My coach and I are headed over for a little over 1 month and I think I have meets in Belgium and Slovakia line up before hitting the IAAF Continental Cup in Split, Croatia. Oh yeah, I forgot...I made that team by the way ;) If you would have told me a few months ago that come August 1, I would have the 2nd farthest throw in the North America, South America, Latin America and the Caribbean...I would have told you that you are absolutely insane! That seems to be how they are picking the team this year, which is backwards from all previous years.
The IAAF Continental Cup formally known as the IAAF World Cup in Athletics will be a four continent competition between Africa, the Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe. The Americas team will be composed of athletes from NACAC ( North American, Central America and Caribbean track & field federations) and South America. The Continental Cup title will be awarded to the continent with the highest collective point total of both men and women teams.
The Americas Team is selected by the top 2 marks in the world for our region, which is Guillermo Martinez from Cuba and myself. I am very grateful to be able to make my 4th consecutive US National Team, but it is a little bitter sweet. I was only able to get the 2nd best mark by beating my good friend Sean Furey, who just happens to be this years National Champion. In the previous editions of the IAAF Continental Cup (or World Cup as it used to be named) the National Champion was sent to the World Cup to represent the Americas Team, and I think that's the way it should still be.
The current system allows for too many "phantom" marks in shady meets that aren't always under the best supervision. Its just not the best way to send a team and the safest way, the way that is earned...is to send the National Champion. Sean won National this year with his 2nd best throw ever and followed that performance up with another 2 best throw in his life when he threw 79.91m against me last weekend. I was lucky enough to get back over the 80m mark for the 16th time in my career and went 80.05m to take the Cup Team spot....reluctantly that is.
In other news, the last javelin kid I have been working with threw today at the Junior Olympics but I haven't received any word on how he did yet. I am getting scuba certified next week (to continue with my water theme from last months blog ;)...and then will be headed over to Europe Monday morning at 06:30am.... wait...thats early ;(
Bis zum nächsten Mal ... Deutschland hier komme ich, ich habe dich vermisst!
(heres the 80.05m throw from last week)