I started with track and field when I was about 9 years old. By that time I was playing tennis, but went with my sister to track and field because my dad did a little bit of track and field when he was younger and he wanted to show us what it was like.
In Netherlands it’s quite normal when you start track and field when you’re young, you just do 2, or maybe 3 training sessions a week at your club with a group of your own age. You start to learn all the events a little bit.
When I was 16, I chose for combined events specialism. I started to train in a smaller group together with other combined event athletes, about 4-5 times a week.
After high school, when I was at the age of 19, I decided to ask Vince de Lange (still my coach) to train more. Because when I went to world junior championships I discovered there was so much space for improvement. All the other guys were much bigger and stronger. I liked the atmosphere of decathlon and wanted to try to make the Dutch team to other championships!
In 2009, when I was 22, I scored my first 6000+ heptathlon and 8000+ decathlon, won in Tallinn the Reval Hotels Cup indoor and the European Championships <23 outdoor. Ever since I am a regular member of the Dutch team in international competitions.
The only championship I missed so far is the World Championships indoor. This year in Sopot I am one of the participants!
After a great winter I had some problems in the last weeks. In the end of January I went to the hospital for a small surgery on an abscess on my buttock. It was pushing to a nerve and radiated to my left leg, it was really painful and I felt sick. So because I had complete narcosis at surgery, one week of antibiotics and because the wound had to stay open, I couldn’t train for a week. I did my first jog, 14 days before Nationals where I had to qualify for Worlds… one week later I tested my self in a competition in Gent, Belgium. 60m, long jump and shot put. Great to be at the track again, but results weren’t great. Missed a lot of speed and reactivity… one more week to go to Nationals…
I had good hope to make a lot of progression in one week, so I would be good enough to fight for 6100 points.
It even went better than I could possibly imagine. At my home track in Apeldoorn I scored 6242 points (WL) and only lost “some” points in 60m, 60mh and 1000m compared to Gothenburg last year where I became European indoor champion with 6372 points.
I need the next 3 weeks to focus on speed and power, but this score gave me so much confidence. I am really looking forward to compete in the beginning of March.
Eelco Sintnicolaas / The Netherlands