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UK Women's Multi Event - state of play

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  • UK Women's Multi Event - state of play

    I wanted to gather some thoughts from the weekend around the thriving nature of women's multi events in the UK.

    The event does look in a healthy state, with a succession of ladies challening for world medals and looking to the future this does seem to have inspired youngsters. I have always argued, particularly for young female athletes, that a good grounding in multi events in their early development is a real investment, until they discover an event they excel at or particualry enjoy, if ever.

    Niamh Emerson does look like the next talent on the conveyor, though I do hope her pulling out of the second day of the British champs is not due to serious injury. I had seen Holly Mills on the early lists for the champs but it will be interesting to see if she continues to experiment with multi events, there is a slot for Olympic selection begging to be filled.

    I look at Morgan Lake, and do wonder what could have been. Since specialising in High Jump i just do not get a sense she is enjoying competing - it might just be her demeanour but the event, with the young Ukranians, is demanding a 2m leap, and frankly I think that is beyond Ms. Lake. Having given up the training for multi events it has taken away something from a young lady who jumped 1.95 as an 18 year old, as I have said before, is ir too late to give Hep one more serious try? Perhaps.

    Abilgail Pawlett was a pleasant surprise. I usually know the names of the 'next' one to watch, but having enjoyed a race where a number of U20a went under 14s, (Lucy Jane Mathews looks very talented) I learnt that she is a multi eventer. I look forward to her journey.

    But the champs had a real surprise or two for my multi event musing ...


    The name Shaunna Thompson came up competing in the shot and it was confirmed by a fellow forum poster that this was indeed the same athlete who had emerged nearly a decade earlier as a promising sprinter ... Now I have a vague recollection of Geoff Capes running a 100m in the TV show Superstars (could be making that up) but I’d like to know this lady’s story!

    It was while I was watching the shot (Morgan Lake could learn a little from Mckinna about having a game face) that I also saw Serena Vincent compete for the first time... Turns out she has done some sprints, and Javelin, the question is can she jump, as going by the little I saw, the young lady is a very impressive unit (in more ways than one)!

    Any thoughts?


    Last edited by carterhatch; 07-09-20, 14:56.

  • #2
    I think, based on her outdoor competition this year (100m, 400m, 800m, Shot, Javelin) Holly Mills is definitely a multieventer now. She's improved a lot over 800m this year and also thrown 12.99m with the Shot, which is respectably for a first year U23 heptathlete. Her sum of best events now sits at a fairly respectable 6180, and that's with an abysmal 32.95m javelin.

    Indeed, when looking at who could make it to Tokyo behind KJT, Emerson is the obvious one with a 200m PB this year and decent Shot and Javelin, she looks like she could hit 6300+ next year off the back of her European Silver Pentathlon. Stainton broke 6000 points in 2019 and looks close to maxed out, but could sneak 6100 which should be enough.

    Below them, Pawlett and Jodie Smith look the next best lot - Smith Sum of Best is 5836 and Pawlett now 5632 so Tokyo will be too soon. Both have decent jumps and hurdles but need more speed and to develop some strength. Pawlett is a Junior until 2022, mind, so has a long time!

    Comment


    • #3
      Holly Mills is very much a novice thrower. Power of 10 shows no shot performances for her between pentathlons she did in 2013 at 13 and 2018, so 12.99 is quite a good result. She had no javelin performances before 2019. In my experience, it is quite rare for female athletes to show an immediate aptitude for javelin outside of those who are or become specialists. Denise Lewis being one who was something of an exception.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by trickstat View Post
        Holly Mills is very much a novice thrower. Power of 10 shows no shot performances for her between pentathlons she did in 2013 at 13 and 2018, so 12.99 is quite a good result. She had no javelin performances before 2019. In my experience, it is quite rare for female athletes to show an immediate aptitude for javelin outside of those who are or become specialists. Denise Lewis being one who was something of an exception.
        The Irish european U-20 hepathlon silver medalist from last year, Kate O'Connor is an amazing javelin thrower already... in fact she broke the *senior* Irish record for javelin while winning that silver medal with a 52m heave in that competition!

        Comment


        • trickstat
          trickstat commented
          Editing a comment
          She's another more recent exception having thrown the 500g spear 35m at 13.

      • #5
        Emerson and Holly Mills have an excellent chance to join KJT on the team next year, although it would be understandable if Holly Mills just needs an extra year to become a more all round heptathlete. Interesting that she has ran quite a lot over 400m and 800m this season.

        By the way I wouldn't rule out Morgan Lake competing in the multi events post Olympics. I listened to her on the FABULOUS Backstraight Boys podcast (go take a listen if you haven't already!) and she sounded quite up for mixing it up with more events in the future. Perhaps that's some more indoor pentathlons or giving the triple jump a closer look. But I think she's got the right approach, it should all be about enjoying the sport and if the high jump is not giving her the same sense of joy as the multi events did, then why not mix it up a bit and see where it goes.

        I would love to see more multi-event competitions held in the UK. Outside of the England Athletics multi event champs held in Bedford each summer, how many other comps are there which gather the top young multi eventers together. And that's not to even mention a competition where some top overseas competitors come over for... If this summer has shown something it is that athletes can put together some great performances in domestic competitions and surely the need to go to some small obscure meet in outer Europe should not always be the priority...

        Comment


        • carterhatch
          carterhatch commented
          Editing a comment
          I did follow up your podcast, cheers, and I do value the input of the Backstraight Boys, but I didn't hear the bit you mentioned (possibly wrong podcast, probably my attention span). However, I did hear Ms. Sawyers mentiion developing a future career in broadcasting - of which I have no doubt she will succeed.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Runner88 View Post
        the need to go to some small obscure meet in outer Europe should not always be the priority...
        Agree entirely with this point even before Covid ...

        Comment


        • #7
          There used to be a competition in Hexham. I think that's fallen by the wayside. It did attract international competitors, not the A listers but the timing meant it was often used as a last gasp qualifying opportunity.

          I note that there hasn't been any Multi Events competition in the UK since restrictions were eased, not even an age group competition.

          With European Athletics ditching the European Cup Combined Events cup perhaps there is a gap in the calendar for some international event between a few of the top countries.

          Comment


        • #8
          A small international combined events match would be a welcome addition to the calendar. Surely wouldn't take a huge amount of resources to put together. With the legacy of our combined events success it's a mystery why we aren't leading the way in developing innovative combined events competitions.

          Elite heptathletes and decathletes might not want to do full events but smaller one day series of 3-4 events could work. Mid 2000s we got to see a bit of this when Kelly Sotherton was at her peak. Shame we didn't get to see the KJT vs Thiam matchup at Brussels.

          Comment


          • carterhatch
            carterhatch commented
            Editing a comment
            Call me crazy ... but has there ever been a throws-a-thon ? What I mean is individuals compete in each of the throws ... 4 disciplines, say 3 throws in each, based on points, would be fun.

          • MBChristie
            MBChristie commented
            Editing a comment
            carterhatch - I've been seeing a few of these four throws multi-events on Tilastopaja - all in Sweden. They call it "Castorama".

          • carterhatch
            carterhatch commented
            Editing a comment
            The pool of knowledge on this forum is remarkable! I will have to follow up and hope a 'Castorama' finds its way to these shores - legally of course, appropriately socially distanced and fully inclusive. Cheers!
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