Decathlon 2000 › News › Women Decathlon? Interview with Tony Minichiello, coach of Jessica Ennis
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Women Decathlon? Interview with Tony Minichiello, coach of Jessica Ennis (4)

Götzis the 27th of may. A very nice and approachable man is sitting next to me in the Mösle stadion. After maybe more than a half an hour of giving answers to several journalists, I wait for my turn to trouble him with a few questions. Tony is the couch of the best known heptathlete in the world at this moment. So I suppose, because of his expertise, his ideas about multi events certainly are not to be underestimated. “If he’s still having some time for me?” “Of course.”A patient and very kind man is listening to my questions.

Tony how do you think about decathlon for women?

Good question. Well, I don’t really think it’s something they should ad or change in the sport! Why should it? Are men going to try an outdoors women heptathlon?

Sometimes men do react from a male-chauvinistic standpoint (even decathletes) that it is not something for women because of esthetic reasons! Their point is that women may not turn to men or become to muscled – men looking women!?

To me that’s certainly not the reason why I’m not a fan. Furthermore I don’t believe that’s the case. There has been an evolution in the shape of decathletes I think. To my idée there have been some heavy muscled decathletes in the 80’s but they have become leaner. This would probably be the case for women to. No need to turn to body builders!

Seven is enough?

Difficult to say … maybe an octathlon would be better with each day four events. On the other hand – we are a step closer again to the decathlon.

What event would that be?

The 100 meters?

So you have the feeling there are other reasons – not to change heptathlon to decathlon?

If women athletes want to try it – no problem – but I wouldn’t like to see the heptathlon replaced by the decathlon! I think that the order in which it appears for women is much more stressful for women athletes than it should. The order in which it appears for men has a reason, but changing the three middle events from the first day to the second and vice versa is much more demanding for women!

No changes at all in women athletics?

Maybe not for women decathlon. Think about the fact that something beautiful gets lost. There have been some very good pentathletes before the 80’s! It’s sad that many are forgotten and It would be a pity if heptathlon becomes history. If things have to be renewed? Maybe there must be done some thinking about for example the hurdles height for women. Certainly in the 400 meters!

Comments (4)

Barkasz Roland wrote on June 30, 2011
well...the woman movement started(by the CIA) because they wanted 'equality'(wich resulted in destroying/ braking up the notion of family, pushed hatred toward man and vice versa)... so do the decathlon ladies if you want to be ''equal''.... no?
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Daniel Urien wrote on July 01, 2011
The determination of each coach is based on the skills of its athletes he is coaching. I suspect the coach of Austra Skujyte to be a great support to the introduction of the women decathlon !

In my case, as multi event's fan, I think the heptathlon (3 races, 2 throws, 2 jumps) is as balanced as the decathlon (4,3,3), and respects the ladies skills.
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Nathali wrote on July 14, 2011
Here I found a new article regarding this theme (unfortunately only in German):
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Phil Vassallo wrote on July 20, 2011
Nice interview, Chris.
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