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  • Women to compete in decathlon?

    I guess this is the last hurdle yet to fall for "gender equity" in track and field. I think the women now compete in every event that the men compete in, except for decathlon. Anybody see women competing in decathlon in the near future?

  • #2
    Yes!

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    • #3
      Yes!

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      • #4
        Women have been competing in decathlons for years. In WA the high school girls started in 2001.

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        • #5
          OK...

          Women to compete in decathlon at the Olympics and WCs?

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          • #6
            Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

            Originally posted by BillVol
            I guess this is the last hurdle yet to fall for "gender equity" in track and field. I think the women now compete in every event that the men compete in, except for decathlon. Anybody see women competing in decathlon in the near future?
            100m hurdles?
            50km race walk?

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            • #7
              Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

              Originally posted by BillVol
              I guess this is the last hurdle yet to fall for "gender equity" in track and field. I think the women now compete in every event that the men compete in, except for decathlon. Anybody see women competing in decathlon in the near future?
              I asked Zarnowski this a few weeks ago and he said the change from hep to deca for women has been shelved.

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              • #8
                Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

                Originally posted by bambam
                I asked Zarnowski this a few weeks ago and he said the change from hep to deca for women has been shelved.
                That is sad news indeed. Why? I think it would add a lot of pizzazz* to T&F.

                * no sooner had I written that word then I KNEW I had to know its etmology - this is what I found: "The OED’s first published reference is from Harper’s Bazaar in 1937, the year Vreeland arrived at the magazine as a columnist. Here's the citation: “Pizazz, to quote the editor of the Harvard Lampoon, is an indefinable dynamic quality, the je ne sais quoi of function; as for instance, adding Scotch puts pizazz in a drink.” "

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                • #9
                  I don't want to wax too strongly in an area where I don't have a lot of knowledge, but it has been my understanding that the biggest barrier to the switch has been powerful European coaches. Their main concern (again, as I understand it) is the learning curve w/ the vault.

                  But there may be more to it than that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gh
                    Their main concern (again, as I understand it) is the learning curve w/ the vault.
                    If that is true, isn't it the same learning curve for everyone? A good coach would welcome the change, as it would represent in increase in the need for technical proficiency, which is where coaches make the biggest difference.

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                    • #11
                      This represents a sexist attitude. There is not a shred of honor in any of the reasons given for no women's decathlon. Once the women's vault was ratified, the decathlon should have followed directly. It didn't. People don't think women can handle the grueling 10 events. Personally, I think it's one of the more embarrassing truths of our sport.

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                      • #12
                        I wonder if has more to do with making the current heptathletes irrelevant? Most think that they could transition to the dec but that may not be the case.

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                        • #13
                          The decathlon really should be introduced soon, it's ridiculous. The iAAF really needs to set a plan, introducing it at the junior level, or as an unofficial event as they did with the TJ , or maybe hold an invitational meet outside champs for a couple of years. They have to do something.

                          They should also take the opportunity to re do the scoring tables when they do. The heptathlon scoring unfairly favours the sprinter/Jumpers, with the shot and JT being the lowest points scoring events.

                          There have been various papers published looking at a fairer points scoring system which displays uniform characteristics over all events. If done this way it interestingly has athletes like Turchinskaya, Shouaa, Braun and Jane Frederick further up the performance list than they are now - in two of three alternative models published by a Dutch University research paper, Turchinskaya has the higesht score of all time.

                          Considering the decathlon has 3 sprint events, 3 jumps events, 3 throws and 1 endurance, they need to ensure the throws are fairly weighted.
                          Women like Skujyte and Schwarzkopf who are way over 50m in the JT really do suffer in the points scoring.

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                          • #14
                            This seems perfectly understandable to me. A coach should be concerned about their athlete, first-and-foremost, not any satisfaction teaching a new event gives them.

                            If you had an athlete who was in the top 20 in the world, would you want to risk that ranking, and the possibility of moving up, by introducing an event that is very complex to learn? Never mind the athletes at the very top. And, to learn it properly you'd have to focus on it at the detriment of the others. Just because these athletes are fantastic talents doesn't mean success at the PV is guaranteed, look at Sotherton in the javelin. If I coached a world class heptathlete I'd vote against it...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by marknhj
                              This seems perfectly understandable to me. A coach should be concerned about their athlete, first-and-foremost, not any satisfaction teaching a new event gives them.

                              If you had an athlete who was in the top 20 in the world, would you want to risk that ranking, and the possibility of moving up, by introducing an event that is very complex to learn? Never mind the athletes at the very top. And, to learn it properly you'd have to focus on it at the detriment of the others. Just because these athletes are fantastic talents doesn't mean success at the PV is guaranteed, look at Sotherton in the javelin. If I coached a world class heptathlete I'd vote against it...
                              It is perfectly understandable and, at the same time, a reason why they should not listen to them - they have a vested interest in the status quo that need not be shared by the sport at large. Of course, the suggestion that it be brought in on a timetable, possibly with the juniors first. However, I see the decathlon having its biggest barrier at the junior level, as it takes time to learn the standard seven events and the new events and so the juniors will not be very good at it throughout their junior career. For evidence of this, of course, you can look at how HS students have fared in the Olympic Decathlon.... :wink:

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