After a week-long training camp, I returned to Switzerland for a season-opening competition on Sunday in Basel. While in Italy, I wanted to take advantage of a week away from work and a week with a coach, so I trained without any of my normal breaks. That left me a bit exhausted by the time I arrived home to Zurich Saturday night after a nine hour car and train ride. But I still wanted to compete Sunday for two reasons: (1) I wanted to see if some of the technical gains I have made would hold up under the pressure of competition; and (2) the Swiss championships will be held in Basel this year and I wanted to get a feel for the facility. The cage took a few adjustments to get used to since it is constructed very narrowly. Even with the doors wide open, it is possible to hit the cage with your wire on a throw that lands in the middle of the sector. After a few attempts I was able to figure it out. I was also happy with my technique which was the best it has been in a meet for several years. Unfortunately, my legs were just drained of power and my result was a less-than-stellar 62.37m. But I won, and am quite satisfied with how the last week has gone.
Throughout the meet, I kept thinking about my post from last week about some simple steps that meets can take to make the hammer throw more attractive to fans and athletes. I don’t like competing in the typical Swiss meets because they too often ignore what is best for both the fans and athletes. Chiefly, they seems not to know the concept of flights. Whether there are 3 or 30 athletes, they all compete together in one group. Sunday’s competition had 23 athletes throwing together, including junior, open, and masters throwers. Nearly 2.5 hours passed between my first warm up throw and my final attempt of the competition. With already tired legs, the snail’s pace of the competition did little to help me.
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