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  • Gymnast doing a decathlon?

    Next to decathletes, I often hear that gymnasts are the best athletes in the world. I was wondering if any gymnasts have ever tried the decathlon?

    If not, how do you think the best gymnast would score with some training. Remember, gymnasts are very small...along the lines of a Jeff Bennett, the smallest world class decathlete ever.

    Bennett was 5'8 152
    Personal Bests: 100 – 10.4 (1970); 400 – 46.25 (1972); 1500 – 4:08.9 (1972); 110H – 14.6 (1970); 400H – 51.3 (1968); HJ – 1.91 (6-3¼) (1969); PV – 5.06 (16-7½) (1972); LJ – 7.71 (25-3½) (1970); Dec - 8006 (1973).

    Here are height and weight of some recent great gymnasts:
    Paul Hamm 5'6 140 2004 Olympic Champ all-around
    Yang Wei 5'2 112 2008 Olympic Champ all-around
    K?hei Uchimura 5'3 119 2010 World Champion all-around & 2009 Olympic silver all-around
    Benoit Caranobe 5'5 132 2008 Olympic bronze all-around
    Philipp Boy 5'8 150 2010 World silver all-around
    Jonathan Horton 5'1 126 2010 World bronze all-around

  • #2
    Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

    The 5'8" guy might be ok, I am not sure the smaller athletes would do well with either the throws or the PV. Hurdles would also be a real challenge for somone who is 5'4 or 5'1".

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    • #3
      Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

      I sometimes think gymnasts would be good at the long jump.

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      • #4
        Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

        Most gymnasts suck at running, both form and endurance-wise. Elite gymnasts are incredible athletes, but it's mostly strength and flexibility. Most gymnastics coaches know nothing about running mechanics, you don't need to be _that_ fast to generate enough speed down the vaulting runway.

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        • #5
          Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

          Kind of off topic, but I've always wondered: why do gymnasts run with their arms down at their sides? It has always looked really funny to me.

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          • #6
            Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

            Originally posted by acquiredtaste7
            Kind of off topic, but I've always wondered: why do gymnasts run with their arms down at their sides? It has always looked really funny to me.
            I've always assumed it's an aesthetic thing; when they're getting marked on the overall jump/vault; that maybe the judges look at the run too?

            Back to the topic question; I think gymnasts are way too small to do the HJ, 110h, and be significant in the throws where height & arm length is an advtantage. I see them with good LJ/PV...and that's about it. I even think 100m is too long for them

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            • #7
              Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

              Originally posted by IanS_Liv
              I sometimes think gymnasts would be good at the long jump.
              Pole Vault.

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              • #8
                Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                Originally posted by NotSoOrdinary
                Originally posted by IanS_Liv
                I sometimes think gymnasts would be good at the long jump.
                Pole Vault.
                Rarely. A low take off angle is a bitch to overcome.

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                • #9
                  Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                  Originally posted by acquiredtaste7
                  Kind of off topic, but I've always wondered: why do gymnasts run with their arms down at their sides? It has always looked really funny to me.
                  Because gymnastics coaches don't know how to run or how to coach running.

                  Gymnasts are not judged on their form while running down the vault runway, only the vault itself.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                    [quote=Cooter Brown]
                    Originally posted by NotSoOrdinary
                    Originally posted by "IanS_Liv":2puyxuid
                    I sometimes think gymnasts would be good at the long jump.
                    Pole Vault.
                    Rarely. A low take off angle is a bitch to overcome.[/quote:2puyxuid]

                    An elite male gymnast would probably be a decent vaulter relative to most male decathletes, but not an amazing one.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                      I am convinced that most gymnasts capable of doing a good handspring double front on vault could be 18' vaulters given a year or two of training. Surely a few of the best would end up scaring 19'.

                      Re: decathlon...the throws would most gymnasts in for sure. A funnier sight would be Dan O'Brien attempting to complete a floor routine or Roman Seberle on the pommell horse.

                      Also, an all-around gymnast can do 6 events in a day easily, so they are a bit tougher than the average decathlete.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                        Originally posted by polevaultpower
                        Because gymnastics coaches don't know how to run or how to coach running.

                        Gymnasts are not judged on their form while running down the vault runway, only the vault itself.
                        That's silly. A natural running action involves bent arms. You don't need to be a running coach to know that. It's a contrived running action they use. It may not count towards their points, but in their sport it's obviously deemed apropriate so I would guess it either has an aesthetic element, or they somehow think it gives them greater control when they reach the vault.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                          Style points aside, I don't recall ever meeting/training with any gymnasts who had a lick of running ability. And I don't see them with the leg strength to be good throwers either.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                            Originally posted by polevaultpower
                            Originally posted by acquiredtaste7
                            Kind of off topic, but I've always wondered: why do gymnasts run with their arms down at their sides? It has always looked really funny to me.
                            Because gymnastics coaches don't know how to run or how to coach running.

                            Gymnasts are not judged on their form while running down the vault runway, only the vault itself.
                            This is probably not true in 'effect', form all the way seems to matter. Also, running in the vault is different than running in the LJ because the vaulter faces a big obstacle that they have to hit in a very different manner than jumpers and the tricky stuff is in the air, not on the runway (in LJ, most of the event is done once you are launched off the board, especially for Reese :? )

                            Interestingly, the run on the floor is the opposite of that for the Vault in that you have to get your speed up immediately to execute tumbling passes.

                            As for taking gymnasts for the deca, don't just take the top medalist, look at the bigger ones that are still world-class athletes, especially those that are specialists that do not lead to physical constraints such as being small for low moment of inertia.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Gymnast doing a decathlon?

                              Originally posted by Gabriella
                              Originally posted by polevaultpower
                              Because gymnastics coaches don't know how to run or how to coach running.

                              Gymnasts are not judged on their form while running down the vault runway, only the vault itself.
                              That's silly. A natural running action involves bent arms. You don't need to be a running coach to know that. It's a contrived running action they use. It may not count towards their points, but in their sport it's obviously deemed apropriate so I would guess it either has an aesthetic element, or they somehow think it gives them greater control when they reach the vault.
                              It isn't about the aesthetics. By using their arms like runners, many vaulters would gain too much power as they sprint. Power is key to their sprint, but too much of it may result in the gymnast becoming cognizant of the fact that they have gained too much speed, which may result in them slowing down to about half-speed and stutter-stepping before take-off.

                              The key to a fast run in their world involves a low, fast hurdle with a very quick arm circle --- something they are mastering with their current running technique.
                              Fire Impossible.

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