Women to compete in decathlon?


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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Spickard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:08 pm

I'm all for the transition to women's deca, but here's the reason it probably is opposed by coaches and athletes:

When you are a world-class heptathlete, you are probably also world-class in one or two other events, meaning you can get into events on the Euro circuit and make enough money to support your training effort. As has been implied earlier, a decathlete is more likely to perhaps be unbelievable across all ten but nevertheless not good enough in any one to make it on to the circuit and make enough money to train. It's not just that the current heps and their coaches don't want to move up to deca and it's not that people are sexist. It's that they can all see the writing on the wall in terms of funding. It's a practical problem...we're not football, and money doesn't grow on trees. Brian Clay isn't rich, but he gets along. Hopefully Trey is taking advantage of his success. The rest are in it for the love, exclusively, because there's no money in it. They're reliant on their various support systems and national governing bodies to help out, so they continue to live the same quality of life as a college kid.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:27 am

Spickard wrote:I'm all for the transition to women's deca, but here's the reason it probably is opposed by coaches and athletes:

When you are a world-class heptathlete, you are probably also world-class in one or two other events, meaning you can get into events on the Euro circuit and make enough money to support your training effort. As has been implied earlier, a decathlete is more likely to perhaps be unbelievable across all ten but nevertheless not good enough in any one to make it on to the circuit and make enough money to train. It's not just that the current heps and their coaches don't want to move up to deca and it's not that people are sexist. It's that they can all see the writing on the wall in terms of funding. It's a practical problem...we're not football, and money doesn't grow on trees.


this is so true but stil no excuse

the sexism may not be explicit but it is implicit in the same way that women run substantially less distance on XC races for no apparent reason. there may be no desire from the women themselves to run further but to me that is irrelevant. track is just about the only major sport that has equality of the sexes and to me this is one of it's many strengths
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:28 am

gh wrote:ahhh, but the youngsters moving from the octathlon to the decathlon are precisely that: young.

But what we're talking about here is elite people who are, for a few years at least, trying to make their living by being athletes. A change compromises their ability to make a living at what they currently do well, in exchange for hopes that they might be able to do it well down the road. It's not a simple exchange.


And a 20-odd yr old heptathlete is not 'young'? They are in their prime, they have the experience of learning technical events and the years of training behind them. They are the ideal age to tackle the supposed more complicated technical events (though IMO the JT, LJ and hurdles are no less complicated or technical than the PV or DT. The PV just has a 'fear factor' element)

As for this argument about making money on the circuit, again I see this argument as weak. Firstly, heptathletes hardly compete internationally other than at multi event meets or in their own country as it is. I see a move to the decathlon as a 'no change'. Secondly a Jess Ennis or Kelly Sotherton will still be invited and paid to compete at a UK meet, because they are the best multi eventers in the UK, regardless of whether they're long jumping 6.7 or 6.3. Lilli Schwarzkopf will still be invited and paid to compete at German meets whether she's throwing the javelin 53m or 46m, becaue she is one of the best German multieventers. Will moving to the decathlon really dent the money Tatyana Chernova makes currently? Where or when does she compete outside Russia and the multi event meets? Will moving to the decathlon dent the money Karin Ruckstuhl makes currently? Where or when does she compete outside the Netherlands and the multi events meets?

The fact is, heptathletes hardly compete in paying meets at all at the moment, and it will be no different if they move to the decathlon. This idea that they will suddenly lose earning power due to increased time spent on learning these complicated technical events is nonsense. They will still have their stronger events, they will still do the occasional meet in their strongest event, whether they incldue an extra 3 hrs a week learning the bl00dy PV or not!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:10 am

For those who don't like the pole vault in a multi-event competition I suggest that there should be a nine-event competition with the same events except for the pole vault. To make it fair the men shouldn't do the pole vault and reduce their decathlon to a nine-event competition.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:34 am

ralmcg wrote:For those who don't like the pole vault in a multi-event competition I suggest that there should be a nine-event competition with the same events except for the pole vault. To make it fair the men shouldn't do the pole vault and reduce their decathlon to a nine-event competition.



Boo :cry:
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:49 pm

I suspect that in the change from heptathlon to decathlon some female athletes will not like to do the new events, because of not liking the events, not liking to train for the events, etc. But I suspect that some of the heptathletes will relish the opportunity to take on new challenges with the new events and might even be pretty good decathletes. That's my opinion.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:25 pm

As has been said before, the top athletes are generally optimized across the current events. Bringing in other events is likely to aid a subset of other competitors relative to the current set.

To me the strongest argument against changing (mentioned a couple of times above) is the one where these athletes can be competitive in one or two other events and thus get into a number of meets and earn a living, since the multis are done rarely and generally on a different stage except for the few championships.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:27 pm

26mi235 wrote:As has been said before, the top athletes are generally optimized across the current events. Bringing in other events is likely to aid a subset of other competitors relative to the current set.

To me the strongest argument against changing (mentioned a couple of times above) is the one where these athletes can be competitive in one or two other events and thus get into a number of meets and earn a living, since the multis are done rarely and generally on a different stage except for the few championships.


in that case we should change the mens decathlon to a heptathlon so they can make a living or is it ok for male multi eventers to have a tough time finacially

while i understand the objections from current heptathletes for me it's not a practical question but an ethical one and there is no excuse at all for non parity across all events

i am equally in favour of women playing 5 sets in tennis
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Flumpy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:15 pm

gh wrote:I keep hearing there's very strong resistance from European coaches. The vault is the sticking point. (npi)


They'd soon get over the resistance if it was announced that the Deca was being introduced from 2020 onwards. That's long enough away that the current athletes are not forced into at event that they're not ready for but far enough in the future that the new crop have plenty of time to prepare.

Teenage heptathletes now should start learning the PV pronto.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Flumpy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:20 pm

polevaultpower wrote:I think that the best solution is to have both the hep and the dec be championship events. They attract very different types of athletes, and there is strong resistance from the hep crowd to it. Have both for ~10 years then see how people feel about dropping the hep.

Probably one of the major fears that most won't say, is that the dec will generally attract women with a less visually appealing body type.


I agree with the first point but think it should only be for 1 Olympic Cycle. They can't have both event's for a prolonged period.

Your 2nd point is almost certainly correct. I mean do you think the powers that be want Denise, Carro and Jess or Austre Skutje.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Flumpy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:29 pm

DrJay wrote:Transition over several years. Have an octathlon then nontathlon then decathlon. Add the discus and change the 800 to 1500 for two years. Move the 200 to 100 and add the 400 for the next two. Then add the vault.


Such a good idea!!!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby gh » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:31 pm

Flumpy wrote:
polevaultpower wrote:I think that the best solution is to have both the hep and the dec be championship events. They attract very different types of athletes, and there is strong resistance from the hep crowd to it. Have both for ~10 years then see how people feel about dropping the hep.

Probably one of the major fears that most won't say, is that the dec will generally attract women with a less visually appealing body type.


I agree with the first point but think it should only be for 1 Olympic Cycle. They can't have both event's for a prolonged period.

Your 2nd point is almost certainly correct. I mean do you think the powers that be want Denise, Carro and Jess or Austre Skutje.


The second point is ludicrous. It's the athletes themselves and their coaches that are the sticking point, not the media or fans.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Flumpy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:47 pm

gh wrote:
Flumpy wrote:
polevaultpower wrote:I think that the best solution is to have both the hep and the dec be championship events. They attract very different types of athletes, and there is strong resistance from the hep crowd to it. Have both for ~10 years then see how people feel about dropping the hep.

Probably one of the major fears that most won't say, is that the dec will generally attract women with a less visually appealing body type.


I agree with the first point but think it should only be for 1 Olympic Cycle. They can't have both event's for a prolonged period.

Your 2nd point is almost certainly correct. I mean do you think the powers that be want Denise, Carro and Jess or Austre Skutje.


The second point is ludicrous. It's the athletes themselves and their coaches that are the sticking point, not the media or fans.


PVP only said it was a fear not a reason for it not happening. It may be ludicrous but I'm sure it's been considered.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Flumpy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:48 pm

mump boy wrote:
i am equally in favour of women playing 5 sets in tennis


That way all tennis matches could be equally as boring!!!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby bman » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:40 pm

Flumpy wrote:
gh wrote:I keep hearing there's very strong resistance from European coaches. The vault is the sticking point. (npi)


They'd soon get over the resistance if it was announced that the Deca was being introduced from 2020 onwards. That's long enough away that the current athletes are not forced into at event that they're not ready for but far enough in the future that the new crop have plenty of time to prepare.

Teenage heptathletes now should start learning the PV pronto.


Do you really think it would work that smoothly? What planet are you on? We have already gone into the problems with this.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:17 pm

I would like to ask the board these questions. Does the heptathlon test the female athlete's strength, speed, stamina, and perseverance adequately? Does the decathlon test them better? Personally I think the decathlon is the better test since there are more events to test the female athletes and the new events would challenge them in new and different ways especially the pole vault.

Edited to take out a word that means the same thing as stamina because a replier saw it. By the way I got the qualities for a decathlete from a Wikipedia article on the decathlon.
Last edited by ralmcg on Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby bman » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:49 pm

What is the difference between stamina and endurance?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:57 am

I got an e-mail from Mr. Pierre Weiss, General Secretary of the IAAF, about the women's decathalon. In essence it said that because it took five years from around 2000 to have the first records for the seniors (minimum total of 8000 points) and even more years for the juniors (7700 points), worldwide there are a maximum of ten decathlons for women, and there is no national championships for women's decathlon, the IAAF is not going to add women's decathlon to its World Championship program at this time.

Actually he wrote that because of these reasons "Therefore, we consider that we are very far to able to change the current situation" but I interpreted that the IAAF is not pursuing adding women's decathlon to its championship program, at least right now.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby TrackCEO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:22 am

ralmcg wrote: and there is no national championships for women's decathlon


USATF Masters T&F has contested a women's dec at its multievents national championships for several years, resulting in the first 10,000-point decathlon:

http://masterstrack.com/2009/08/445/

Image

K E N
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:58 am

bman wrote:
Flumpy wrote:
gh wrote:I keep hearing there's very strong resistance from European coaches. The vault is the sticking point. (npi)


They'd soon get over the resistance if it was announced that the Deca was being introduced from 2020 onwards. That's long enough away that the current athletes are not forced into at event that they're not ready for but far enough in the future that the new crop have plenty of time to prepare.

Teenage heptathletes now should start learning the PV pronto.


Do you really think it would work that smoothly? What planet are you on? We have already gone into the problems with this.


who cares if it goes smoothly

the iaaf excuse is nonense why should the momentum come from national assoc the governing body should take the lead
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:05 am

If no national championships at the elite level is one reason for the lack of progress in getting the women's decathlon to be at the world championships then writing to your national governing body might be a good thing to do. E-mail Doug Logan, the CEO of USATF at Doug.Logan@usatf.org if you live in the United States of America.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:48 am

Write to Diack, write to Logan..I love this guy! :P Most people are too apathetic to do anything, it's great to see someone doing their bit!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:53 am

First of all thank you Gabriella for your support of writing letters to the USATF and the IAAF about the women's decathlon.

Second, I would like to ask those opposed to a women's decathlon, and especially to female heptathletes, this. Do you really want to send a message to female multi-event participants, both present and future, that they can't pole vault, can't throw a discus, can't run both 100 meters and 400 meters (as opposed to running just 200 meters), and can't run 1500 meters (as opposed to 800 meters)? If not then I suggest e-mailing your national track and field federation and also Mr. Pierre Weiss, the general secretary of the IAAF. HIs e-mail address is pierre@hq.iaaf.org. The more e-mails, and also letters, from athletes and their federations showing an interest in women's decathlon the more likely that it would be recognized as the official combined event for women at the World Championships and perhaps the Olympics.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby bman » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:32 pm

mump boy wrote:who cares if it goes smoothly


My final point I guess is that things are different for all of us sitting back and watching and the athletes who live this.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby lonewolf » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:41 pm

decafan has it right, imo.
There is no optimum time to introduce the women' s decathlon. Athletes will always be coming or going. If change is resisted to prolong the careers of current athletes, future athletes will be interrupted in mid-career when current stars burn out.
Athletes will adapt or not. Some heptathletes will benefit by the change to decathlon. Some won't. Eventually an all-around super star will emerge.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:52 pm

lonewolf wrote:decafan has it right, imo.
There is no optimum time to introduce the women' s decathlon. Athletes will always be coming or going. If change is resisted to prolong the careers of current athletes, future athletes will be interrupted in mid-career when current stars burn out.
Athletes will adapt or not. Some heptathletes will benefit by the change to decathlon. Some won't. Eventually an all-around super star will emerge.


exactly
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:13 am

Indoors the mult-event competitions are the pentathlon (women) and the heptathlon (men). In order for the women to achieve equality of events they need to compete in the 60-meter dash and the pole vault. Also they will increase the distance of the longest race from 800 meters to 1000 meters.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:19 am

ralmcg wrote:Indoors the mult-event competitions are the pentathlon (women) and the heptathlon (men). In order for the women to achieve equality of events they need to compete in the 60-meter dash and the pole vault. Also they will increase the distance of the longest race from 800 meters to 1000 meters.


I think that the 'transition' that some have proposed should start with changing the Pent to the Hept, as it adds only one new event for the multis athletes, and the hardest single step of getting to the decathlon. Several years later the deca can be introduced.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Powell » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:56 am

26mi235 wrote:I think that the 'transition' that some have proposed should start with changing the Pent to the Hept, as it adds only one new event for the multis athletes, and the hardest single step of getting to the decathlon. Several years later the deca can be introduced.


So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby LopenUupunut » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:13 am

Powell wrote:So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
They currently do javelin outdoors, but not in. Obviously, the reasons for that are quite different, but the result is quite similar and we don't see heaps of people complaining.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Powell » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:25 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
Powell wrote:So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
They currently do javelin outdoors, but not in. Obviously, the reasons for that are quite different, but the result is quite similar and we don't see heaps of people complaining.


But the outdoor season is more important, so the athletes don't doubt it's worthwhile to train for JT. But can you really see the multi-eventers learning to vault (and it takes a lot of work) if they are only going to have an opportunity to do this event in competition in winter? It's more likely we would see 95% of elite heptathletes skip the indoor altogether.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:44 am

Powell wrote:
LopenUupunut wrote:
Powell wrote:So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
They currently do javelin outdoors, but not in. Obviously, the reasons for that are quite different, but the result is quite similar and we don't see heaps of people complaining.


But the outdoor season is more important, so the athletes don't doubt it's worthwhile to train for JT. But can you really see the multi-eventers learning to vault (and it takes a lot of work) if they are only going to have an opportunity to do this event in competition in winter? It's more likely we would see 95% of elite heptathletes skip the indoor altogether.


I was just commenting that it would provide a lower-profile, partial step to start a transition. Once the vault is a known skill for a subset of multi athletes, adding two more (100/400/1500 vs 200/800, DT) would not be as big a 'leap'. Also, it would not have too big of an affect on the current crop of top athletes without PV skills and thus might get a bit less resistance from that set of stakeholders.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:54 am

I would like to say this to all those heptathletes that are not crazy about doing the pole vault, either because the heptathlete is afraid of heights or other reasons. For decades male athletes have to perform the pole vault in order to be a multi-event athlete. That means that those who are afraid of heights so much as not to pole vault have to give up being a decathlete. I know that it's a blow to those heptathletes who don't want to pole vault that they can't be decathletes but for the sake of women's advancement in track and field that is one sacrifice that is going to be made. Heptathletes can still participate in more that one event (i.e. the 100 meters and the shot put) if they want to.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:11 pm

As I noted in the hurdle-height comments, I was at the Wisconsin meet tonight and talking with the head coach and others (this lot has a lot of multi experience). I asked the question about the decathlon and they immediately and universally said that it is only a matter of time. In general, I got the sense that they thought the 'time' aspect was not real long.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby gh » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:25 pm

Unforutnately, U.S. collegiate coaches have little/no vote on the matter.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:14 am

gh wrote:Unforutnately, U.S. collegiate coaches have little/no vote on the matter.

Do you think athletic directors would have a vote on including women's decathlon in their program? Or does it require the presidents of the colleges and universities to approve it?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:56 am

I am bumping this topic. I would like others to see this topic.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby pauluk63 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:39 am

I would love women to do the decathlon, I believe women have every bit the same capabilities as men! They do every other event and there seems no reason why they cant do the decathlon!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:44 am

pauluk63 wrote:I would love women to do the decathlon, I believe women have every bit the same capabilities as men! They do every other event and there seems no reason why they cant do the decathlon!

I think a vast majority in T&F agree that the Dec is the correct way to go for many reasons, but there are also some in the sport who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and they have effectively blocked its acceptance.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:32 pm

One problem is the women's side is 'thinner' then that men's side and in an 'event' like the multis it makes it harder to have a competitive field, as there are more holes in the natural make up of women that make it harder for them to cover the range of the decathlon. I am just thinking off of the top of my head, but with higher testosterone levels etc., it is easier for men. Having enough strength to do the Jav/Shot/Discus//Vault while being lean enough for the LJ, Hurdles, 800, HJ(!) etc. is a tall order for women. Look at how women manage the Hept now. Adding the Discus and the Vault makes it hard to have prowess in other events. Note that men HJs look much stronger than women HJs, who do HJ with height and grace. The deca conflicts might lead to a somewhat 'ugly' set of events. Not sure that this is the way to go, even though in general I have been pro decathlon in prior comments.

I make these comments to get discussion on a dimension of the issue I had not thought much about before.
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