Sunday, February 15. Vince de Lange, coach of Eelco Sintnicolaas, told the Dutch NOS-reporter Léon Haan his pupil will need 150 points extra in order to win a medal in Rio 2016.
So Eelco (who is not at all satisfied with his recent 4th and 5th places) should advance from 8506 to - let’s make its easy - 8650 point.
How did De Lange and Sintnicolaas came to their analysis?
I suppose by looking at the highest totals of recent International Championships, and by serious guessing which totals Eelco’s nearest concurrents could achieve in the near future.
Let’s have a look at those championships and their medal winners.
Olympic Games Beijing 2008
1. Clay 8791
2. Krauchanka 8551
3. Suarez 8527
World Championship Berlin 2009
1. Hardee 8790
2. Suarez 8640
3. Pogorelov 8528
European Championship Barcelona 2010
1. Barras 8453
2. Sintnicolaas 8436
3. Krauchanka 8370
World Championship Daegu 2011
1. Hardee 8607
2. Eaton 8505
3. Suarez 8501
Olympic Games London 2012
1. Eaton 8869
2. Hardee 8671
3. Suarez 8523
World Championship Moskva 2013
1. Eaton 8809
2. Schrader 8670
3. Warner 8512
European Championship Zurich 2014
1. Krauchanka 8616
2. Mayer 8521
3. Shkurenyov 8498
In most recent championships Sintnicolaas classified in eleventh, fifth and fourth place. Totals: 8034, 8391 en 8478 points.
By the way, in London Sintnicolaas did not do very well in every event. His mediocre score was not just the result of his incredibly bad effort in the discus-throw (32.26 is the lowest scoring performance in all 8000 pts-decathlons ever).
Looking at the recent championships it does not seem very unreasonable expecting a bronze medal by scoring 8650 points.
Eaton is hors catégorie, and beating Hardee isn’t that easy too. But is that all there is?
Clay, Pogorelov and Barras have retired. Suarez did not compete in 2014, so we don’t count him in too.
But Schrader has already shown his capacity (8670). And I wonder why the considerable progression of Warner, Shkurenyov and Mayer (only 23) suddenly should come to an end.
Moreover, let’s have a look at Krauchanka. The Belarussian (29) is a very special case. In Zürich he scored his second best ever total. Just one (1) point less from the pr he established in Götzis seven years earlier.
It is very interesting (see italics) looking at the way Krauchanka made these scores.
10.86, 7.90, 13.89, 2.15, 47.46, 14.05, 39.63, 5.00, 64.35, 4.29.10
11.31, 7.63, 15.19, 2.22, 50.53, 14.20, 47.46, 5.10, 68.11, 4.39.39
Conclusion: Krauchanka has turned into another kind of decathlete.
Weak throwing is replaced by good throwing.
Pretty good speed has turned into very mediocre speed.
But alltogether there is no difference in scoring points.
I ask myself: why should he not compete even better than this?
So here we already have five serious opponents for Sintnicolaas in Rio 2016. *
Now back to Sintnicolaas.
How to collect those 150 points?
More strength, more power for Eelco is needed, as Vince de Lange indicated. As a result he should especially improve in the shot and the discus.
2012: 8506 pt.
10.77, 7.27, 14.20, 2.00, 48.02, 14.10, 42.81, 5.36, 63.59,
2014: 8478 pt.
10.90, 7.65, 14.28, 2.01, 48.44, 14.12, 42.56, 5.40, 59.37,
Very consistent; except the long jump and the javelin.
Best events from these two decathlons together don’t give a lot of extra points. Score would be: 8626.
So, take his national record of 8506 points – how should Sintnicolaas have to perform in the shot and the discus in order to achieve the required 150 points extra?
Shot now: 14.20 Discus now: 42.81.
Progress to 15.00 and 45.00 meters would be fantastic.
But it gives just a 94 points more.
One meter discus extra: 20 points.
Another meter discus extra.
Still 10 points to go!
In the shot.
Result: Eelco has to throw 47.00 meter and to put the shot 15.16 meter.
This is just one of numerous combinations of course. But one thing is clear: less discus means a bigger shot.
In hardly one and a half season Sintnicolaas needs to make a Krauchanka-like change – without losing his speed.
Looks like a pretty difficult thing to me.
* And don’t forget American youngster Gunnar Nixon (22).
Last year in Götzis I asked him (pr 8312 points, in 2013) about his immediate future: ‘8500 points maybe?’
‘No!’ he said, ‘8800!’
Maybe too confident, but ....