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The downfall of Western European T&F

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  • #91
    Another bad sign (although it's kinda good) for West European athletics - Dave Collins, the performance director of UK Athletics, has been dropped after the British team failed to achieve their target of five medals. Now I know why the relay teams dropped the batons and why Dobriskey held off her finishing kick until it was too late and why they used a weird running order in the w4x400m - it's because the athletes didn't want to keep Collins in power! :P

    There's some speculation that Collins' replacement will be Charles van Commenee (Denise Lewis's former coach).

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Jon
      Another bad sign (although it's kinda good) for West European athletics - Dave Collins, the performance director of UK Athletics, has been dropped after the British team failed to achieve their target of five medals. Now I know why the relay teams dropped the batons and why Dobriskey held off her finishing kick until it was too late and why they used a weird running order in the w4x400m - it's because the athletes didn't want to keep Collins in power! :P

      There's some speculation that Collins' replacement will be Charles van Commenee (Denise Lewis's former coach).
      When was that target of five medals set ?

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      • #93
        Originally posted by croflash
        Originally posted by Jon
        Another bad sign (although it's kinda good) for West European athletics - Dave Collins, the performance director of UK Athletics, has been dropped after the British team failed to achieve their target of five medals. Now I know why the relay teams dropped the batons and why Dobriskey held off her finishing kick until it was too late and why they used a weird running order in the w4x400m - it's because the athletes didn't want to keep Collins in power! :P

        There's some speculation that Collins' replacement will be Charles van Commenee (Denise Lewis's former coach).
        When was that target of five medals set ?
        I think it was first made public when the Olympic team was announced, although it had probably been in place for a while before then.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Jon
          Originally posted by croflash
          Originally posted by Jon
          Another bad sign (although it's kinda good) for West European athletics - Dave Collins, the performance director of UK Athletics, has been dropped after the British team failed to achieve their target of five medals. Now I know why the relay teams dropped the batons and why Dobriskey held off her finishing kick until it was too late and why they used a weird running order in the w4x400m - it's because the athletes didn't want to keep Collins in power! :P

          There's some speculation that Collins' replacement will be Charles van Commenee (Denise Lewis's former coach).
          When was that target of five medals set ?
          I think it was first made public when the Olympic team was announced, although it had probably been in place for a while before then.
          It should have been a while before, actually a lot before since the GB team has done well even with "just" four medals, two of those coming as a surprise (Mason and Danvers). The relays have been disappointing, but the overall impression remains positive.

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          • #95
            On the track only , this century, Gemany made 3 top eights in 2000 at Sydney, Schumann, Arndt and Schwarthoff;
            No top eights in 20004 at Athens; one top eight, Bolm, in Helsinki;no top 8 in 2007 in Osaka and no top 8 in Beijing. Can't get to my 2003 figures. German representation at individual level on the track seems to have dried up; they did a bit better in the 1990s.

            Not good for 90 million people with facilities far superior in some respects to us Brits. I believe German athletics have settled for this situation rather like our athletes have settled for utter nothingness in the mens longer distances, steeple, Marathon ;. maybe its inevitable with the march of Africa, and the Carribbean

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            • #96
              It wasnt so long ago (1999) where they medalled in the women's 200m and 400m and womens 4x400m, got 4th in the womens 5k, 6th in the womens marathon. They also got 1-2 in the womens SP, 1st in the womens DT, 4th ad 6th in the heptathlon. There is a downward trend, but we didnt anticipate 3 womens sprint medals in 99, so it can happen again.

              Look at how well Sweden were doing recently, with Kluft, Olsson, Begrquist, Green, Holm, Thornblad, Kallur, Kristiansson, yet they had an awful Beijing too. It can sometimes take a bit of bad luck and all your stars are knocked out. It wasnt that long ago that UK women's sprinting was awful, but now we have world and Olympic medalists and finalists, and genuine relay medal contenders.

              There are peaks and troughs for most nations, very few have remained consistant in the last 20 years other than USA, Russia & Kenya. In the last 10 yrs Jamiaca and Ethiopia have really come on, as has Belarus in the throws, but most nations are 'patchy'.

              I do think Germany needs to shake it's system up, especially it's selection policy which is too strict, and it needs to get away from the focus on the 'good' level German meetings and get it's athletes competing on the circuit more. I think if Germany did what some other countires/training camps are doing, they'd be back up there winning medals in all sorts of disciplines. As it stands, it's strict anti doping policy has also meant a drop in standards, while other countries have little or no testing.

              I'm quite sure Berlin 09 will see more than 1 German medalist.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by croflash
                the GB team has done well even with "just" four medals, two of those coming as a surprise (Mason and Danvers). The relays have been disappointing, but the overall impression remains positive.
                I agree. It's a shame the team's performance is being assessed by the medal table and not the placings table. On the latter, Britain was sixth behind the five T&F superpowers (USA, RUS, KEN, JAM, ETH) and ahead of many other significant nations, such as BLR, UKR, GER, FRA, CUB, CHN, etc. Britain was also the second best of the European nations.

                Also, many of Britain's medals and fourth placings could have easily been better. Idowu was capable of winning gold, but didn't. Dobriskey had it in her to win a medal, but got her tactics wrong. The two sprint relay teams would have been on course for a medal had they not dropped the baton.

                Without getting too hypothetical and shoulda/woulda/coulda, my main point is that four years ago Britain simply didn't have that many athletes who were in contention for medals. Now, however, we have many more potential medallists and the "four medals instead of five" does not paint the full picture.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Jon
                  Without getting too hypothetical and shoulda/woulda/coulda, my main point is that four years ago Britain simply didn't have that many athletes who were in contention for medals. .
                  I agree. And for Germany , they could have medalled in the mens PV, men's DT, women's HJ, women's SP, women's HT, a higher placing in the women's JT, with outside medal chances in the men's SP, women's heptathlon and women's PV...which would have been perfectly reasonable if they had in any of those, just surprising if they had in all.

                  Whether the key is psychology, bad luck, bad training camp preparation/acclimatisation or doping tests, Germany just had a bad games but can and should do better in future.

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Brettboy
                    Originally posted by Jon
                    Without getting too hypothetical and shoulda/woulda/coulda, my main point is that four years ago Britain simply didn't have that many athletes who were in contention for medals. .
                    I agree. And for Germany , they could have medalled in the mens PV, men's DT, women's HJ, women's SP, women's HT, a higher placing in the women's JT, with outside medal chances in the men's SP, women's heptathlon and women's PV...which would have been perfectly reasonable if they had in any of those, just surprising if they had in all.

                    Whether the key is psychology, bad luck, bad training camp preparation/acclimatisation or doping tests, Germany just had a bad games but can and should do better in future.
                    Excuse me but several countries can do the same analysis, for example US could do better in 4*100m relays, PV male, 400m female, SP male. Russia could better in LJ female, in 800m Male. Even my Portugal could do better in LJ female. Failures are normal and countries which have more top athletes more probability have to get failures. I am not so optimist for Western european countries in OG T&F. I think GBR can do better as "home factor" usually has influence on it, but the others ... For example, Germany, I cannot see by now any young outstanding athlete that we can preview her dominance in any event of T&F in next OG cycle. I believe China will "invest" in T&F. T&F is the sport that gives more medals in OG and China had a poor result in Beijing.
                    US is disapointed with their results and it would be not surprise for me taht a more careful preparation and even motivation will be present in London. Russia shows that wants to be nr 1 in sports and T&F will be one of sports they surely will try to get better results .... this means it will be hard to western european countries improve Beijing performance.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Moura
                      Failures are normal and countries which have more top athletes more probability have to get failures. I am not so optimist for Western european countries in OG T&F. I think GBR can do better as "home factor" usually has influence on it, but the others ... For example, Germany, I cannot see by now any young outstanding athlete that we can preview her dominance in any event of T&F in next OG cycle.
                      I don't know about "dominance", but they have a group of good young athletes. They did great at this year's WJC, and of their junior athletes, Raphael Holzdeppe is already world-class at the senior level. Robert Harting is one of the youngest DTers in the world's elite. Raul Spank had a breakthrough at the OG and he's just 20. Ariane Friedrich is a potential medalist in the years to come. Silke Spiegelburg is inching closer to the medal-winning level. There are three young German female SPers who are already throwing over 19 meters and will also be contenders. World champion Betty Heidler is still fairly young. Christina Obergfoll has a few good seasons left in her, and Linda Stahl is getting close to being a medal threat. The top German heptathletes are also fairly young and still improving, with hope of medaling in the next couple of years.

                      I don't see much hope of Germany regaining their T&F superpower status in the short term, but their potential is certainly higher than the OG results would suggest. Their normal expected level right now would probably be somewhere in between what they did in Osaka and in Beijing. But I agree with what Brett said. If a country is expected to win 4 medals, it can have a couple of unexpected bad performances or injury problems and end up with just 1 or 2, or it could have a good showing with a couple of surprises, and get 6 or 7. For a country like the US, expected to win, say, 25 medals, the variability will be smaller in relative terms - it is highly likely the number will end up somewhere between 20 and 30.
                      Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                      • Originally posted by Powell
                        Originally posted by Moura
                        Failures are normal and countries which have more top athletes more probability have to get failures. I am not so optimist for Western european countries in OG T&F. I think GBR can do better as "home factor" usually has influence on it, but the others ... For example, Germany, I cannot see by now any young outstanding athlete that we can preview her dominance in any event of T&F in next OG cycle.
                        I don't know about "dominance", but they have a group of good young athletes. They did great at this year's WJC, and of their junior athletes, Raphael Holzdeppe is already world-class at the senior level. Robert Harting is one of the youngest DTers in the world's elite. Raul Spank had a breakthrough at the OG and he's just 20. Ariane Friedrich is a potential medalist in the years to come. Silke Spiegelburg is inching closer to the medal-winning level. There are three young German female SPers who are already throwing over 19 meters and will also be contenders. World champion Betty Heidler is still fairly young. Christina Obergfoll has a few good seasons left in her, and Linda Stahl is getting close to being a medal threat. The top German heptathletes are also fairly young and still improving, with hope of medaling in the next couple of years.

                        I don't see much hope of Germany regaining their T&F superpower status in the short term, but their potential is certainly higher than the OG results would suggest. Their normal expected level right now would probably be somewhere in between what they did in Osaka and in Beijing. But I agree with what Brett said. If a country is expected to win 4 medals, it can have a couple of unexpected bad performances or injury problems and end up with just 1 or 2, or it could have a good showing with a couple of surprises, and get 6 or 7. For a country like the US, expected to win, say, 25 medals, the variability will be smaller in relative terms - it is highly likely the number will end up somewhere between 20 and 30.
                        True, there are some talented youngsters and the WJC this year have been a step in the right direction, but this has been the case before. However most of the medals came on the field, only two on the track. Tobias Unger is probably still more popular in Germany than Obergföll or any other medal winners because he has been somewhat successful on the track in the past.

                        Ultimately those placing tables are an indicator of depth, but they aren't worth a damn if you don't win medals. The goal isn't to finish fourth, fifth or eighth, you go to the WCH or the Olympics to win a medal. It's ok if you go to a championship and show that you have depth, but that can only be a temporary transition stage, not a permanent status.

                        Of those athletes mentioned, it is possible that they can win a medal in Berlin, but they need to improve to achieve that. Even if they do improve, they still need to come close to the PB or set a new PB which has always been the biggest problem recently. Franka Dietzsch might also return, Bianca Kappler is another medal contender as long as both are healthy. I'm not really optimistic as long as there isn't an official commitment to more success, both from the DLV and DOSB.

                        Comment


                        • What is the future short term of German track competitors, I wonder.

                          Their results were surely one of their worst ever on the track at the OG

                          . Unger and Schlangen were the only guys entered in the German team that I have noticed going through the Beijing results ; the women had only Mockenhaupt in the 10K and Nytra in the semis 100m hurdles, plus Moldner in the Steeple heats and two Marathon runners who were way down.

                          So the track events do not offer much hope for medalling or good positions in the finals next year, with the exception of Schlangen in the 1500m. Maybe there were a few injured track people who never made it to the OG.

                          The field events are, as Powell noted, full of potential and we will see who is motivared by Berlin 2009

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