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Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

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  • #31
    Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

    Wilt Chamberlain.

    I think he ran a 49-something 440 as a 16-year-old at Overbrook High School in Philly. He broke 2:00 in the 880 as a 15-year-old.

    Wilt always loved track. I remember standing with him in the endzone one night at the 1981 TACs in Sacramento, watching Craig Virgin win the 5000m. Wilt knew everybody in the field.

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    • #32
      Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

      Wilt Chamberlain.

      I think he ran a 49-something 440 as a 16-year-old at Overbrook High School in Philly. He broke 2:00 in the 880 as a 15-year-old.

      Wilt always loved track. I remember standing with him in the endzone one night at the 1981 TACs in Sacramento, watching Craig Virgin win the 5000m. Wilt knew everybody in the field.

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      • #33
        Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

        >I'm pretty sure that Bubka actually ran faster than that;10.2 if I remember correctly.

        Galina Bukharina who was a Soviet national sprint coach back in the '80s said that all the soviet coaches were really amused at all the urban legends floating around about Bubka.

        She said he ran a 10.4 once with a hurricane at his back.

        Bubka's not even the fastest pole vaulter. He consistently ran around 9.8 m/s and occassionally hit 10.0 m/s on the runway but Huffman, Widen, Botha, and a few others were faster. (according to available data from Peter McGinnis)

        That said, I think he could have scored 8500+.

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        • #34
          Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

          >Michael Lewis:

          I can think of several throwers that could've been 8000pt
          >decathletes had they made the switch or stuck with the decathlon. Janis Lusis
          >WAS world ranked in the decathlon as a young man. Bob Roggy was I believe a
          >14' vaulter in his days as a yute. Brian Oldfield was very quick and known for
          >his short dash races against world class women on the ITA tour. The biggest
          >determining factor, all others being equal, is basic inate quickness of
          >movement. If your nervous system doesn't operate quicker than the average dude
          >( and I sure am average ), then it's going to be very difficult if not
          >impossible to reach the upper echelon. Nine of the ten events DEMAND quickness
          >of movement as their primary determinant in success. The second primary factor
          >that I have observed is basic coordination skills. I've known lots of
          >sprinters that can run like the wind, but they can't spin around without
          >getting a bit dizzy. A person HAS to have spatial awareness in order to be
          >able to learn the field events enough to apply their already inherent speed
          >through the proper vectors. The multi-events are like no other event. I love
          >the multi-events most of all because of what they encompass. A person is
          >tasked to the ultimate in trying to bring about a balance between technique,
          >speed, stamina, and toughness within their own unique circumstances. It IS the
          >crucible of all sports, IMHO, in testing an athlete's abilities and
          >desire.

          Just my 2 cents.

          Kurt

          I remember reading that Roger Kingdom was going to try a decathlon but his inability to provide a decent effort at discus prevented him from going forward. Anyone remember this or is it complete fiction?

          Also, I remember watching a decathlete in the '94 NCAA div. III championship meet who was great in all the speed and jumping events who dominated or did well in (almost) all events, but lost because he couldn't get a decent discus throw to land in the sector. I'm not a big throws fan, but I would have to agree that those events seem like they would be the hardest to learn and the hardest from which to get decent deca points.

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          • #35
            Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

            >>I'm pretty sure that Bubka actually ran faster than that;10.2 if I remember
            >correctly.

            Galina Bukharina who was a Soviet national sprint coach back in
            >the '80s said that all the soviet coaches were really amused at all the urban
            >legends floating around about Bubka.

            She said he ran a 10.4 once with a
            >hurricane at his back.

            Bubka's not even the fastest pole vaulter. He
            >consistently ran around 9.8 m/s and occassionally hit 10.0 m/s on the runway
            >but Huffman, Widen, Botha, and a few others were faster. (according to
            >available data from Peter McGinnis)

            On the runway during a Pole Vault, Bubka was recorded (by Scientific equipment) in 0.978s for a 10m segment.
            That indicates a peak speed of around 10.22m/s or around 22.88mph.

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            • #36
              Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

              "On the runway during a Pole Vault, Bubka was recorded (by Scientific equipment) in 0.978s for a 10m segment.
              That indicates a peak speed of around 10.22m/s or around 22.88mph."

              So we know how fast he can run with a pole, relative to other guys also running with poles.

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              • #37
                Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                I remember reading that Roger Kingdom was going to try a
                >decathlon but his inability to provide a decent effort at discus prevented him
                >from going forward. Anyone remember this or is it complete fiction?

                Complete fiction...on the discus part. Roger Kingdom was a great discus thrower in high school (I think he might even have been a state champion), which is why a lot of people said he shoul've/could've been a great decathlete. He was big (muscular) for a 110mHH'er, which is why he could've excelled in the throws and p.vault, the events that would most likely hold back most pure sprinters.

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                • #38
                  Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                  >"On the runway during a Pole Vault, Bubka was recorded (by Scientific
                  >equipment) in 0.978s for a 10m segment.
                  That indicates a peak speed of around
                  >10.22m/s or around 22.88mph."

                  Granted, I've only seen a few studies of runway speed...

                  But what was interesting, in the studies I saw, is that Bubka rarely cleared a bar running 10.1+...all were misses. Most clearances were 9.7-10.0. The same held true for every other vaulter. No one cleared a bar while running their fastest. I guess at top (or near top) speed, you are a little bit out of control and that caused takeoff problems for all the vaulters.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                    Todd Christiansen has the masters age group world record for 45 year olds in the dec or heptathlon, and with his ruggedness and strenght he could have been a worldclass one in the 70's or early 80's

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                    • #40
                      Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                      Michael Jordan, Ralph Boston and Carl Lewis appear a little light in the underpinning to have been good weight throwers. It's not clear that Jordan was particularly fast. The Lonnie Shelton numbers are telling. The NBA and ABA have featured many strong high jumpers- Bobby Jones and Bob McAdoo were state H.S. championship rivals jumping 6'9". Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson cleared very respectable heights, as did Bill Russell (who of course, was too thin for much weight throwing). Earl Campbell may have had long jump and hurdle flaws from all appearences. Maybe Tony Dorsett would not have.

                      Bijan

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                      • #41
                        Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                        How about the "prime time" Deion?
                        "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                        by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                        • #42
                          Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                          Earl Anothony and Minnesoat Fats would both had made rather poor decatholetes.

                          You can also eliminate William Perry and Rikishi.

                          Definately not in the running are: Yokosuma and Dr. Tony Sandoval

                          Dark Horses: El Supremo, Michael Lewis and Dan Lilot

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                          • #43
                            Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                            Ultrarunner:

                            I like your sense of humor

                            Kurt

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                            • #44
                              Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                              If vertical leap is an indication of fast twitch fibers and explosiveness as I have read, David Thompson would have been a good candidate. At 6'4-6'6", his vertical was listed as 48-49". It was rumored that he was strolling through an NCSU track practice one day to visit a friend. They got him to long jump. He took one attempt at 3/4 speed, in basketball shoes, and went in the low 26's. As with rumors, you never know the validity. You would think a basketball player would be capable of the body control to pick up most events.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Could _______________ have been a great decathlete?

                                "He took one attempt at 3/4 speed, in basketball shoes, and went in the low 26's"

                                Although it is quite possible that David Thompson could have made a good decathalete, the above rumor is not plausible.

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