EC decathlon begins
Unique Simon Ehammer reveals his relationship with the ten lovers
Feelings and numbers: The Swiss track and field super-talent describes what he likes and dislikes about his duties. We show in a graphic where Ehammer stands in relation to the best all-around athletes and the specialists.
An all-around athlete must be able to do ten disciplines. But the tasks in which you excel in sports are not always the ones you love the most. Simon Ehammer gives us an insight into the relationship with his sport.
To do this, we look at in graphic form where the Swiss hopes in athletics stand against the best decathletes, the best specialists from their own country and the world record. The differences are amazing in several respects.
“It is not my absolute favorite discipline. I like doing them mainly because I’m fast. And it is extremely important as an introduction to decathlon. Here you can get a lot of points and a good feeling for the further course of the competition. In this case, it’s an assurance: The shape fits, we can begin! I never train specifically for 100m. We have launch and acceleration training. The rest comes from the weekly hurdle training and long jump, where acceleration also plays a decisive role.”
Long jump is Ehammer’s flagship discipline: he holds the Swiss record and the world record in the decathlon.
“On the one hand, I’m really looking forward to the long jump, because I know that after two disciplines I can be at the top and create a cushion on a few athletes who will help me towards the end. On the other hand, after Götzis, everyone now has an expectation that the Ehammer must jump at least 8.20 m. However, I myself know what is realistic.
Don’t expect me to jump that far every time. My consistency is currently between 8.10m and 8.20m – and if I catch one it will be 8.30m. But I am very, very confident that I will make a jump in Munich where will go very far again. In addition, I have set myself the goal of showing a distance that would also be enough for the specialists for the EC podium.»
The distance to the shot put specialists is generally large: no decathlon has ever scored more than 950 points.
“We have again focused on clean and throw, and I have an intensive training block behind me. I feel very well. I had achieved very good consistency during my top-class sports RS and managed 15 meters indoors. But then I had to do without ball training for longer time due to my injury last year because the rotating motion hurt too much.
It is a discipline where you can relax a little. The mission is three times very short and intense. And it’s a lot of fun for me – it’s also my best throwing discipline. If you manage to hit a good shot, it’s an incredibly nice feeling. You don’t even need to have higher strength values as a basis, but just hit it technically perfectly in the ring. And the ball flies almost a meter further.
The difference between a successful attempt and an unsatisfactory one is probably nowhere more noticeable than in the shot put. If you don’t hit him, you’ll almost rip your arm off and your fingers will hurt. If you hit one, the ball will be light as a feather. It is realistic for me to approach 15 meters in Munich.”
“The high jump is the most intense discipline on the first day of the competition. It takes a long time and, if you’re unlucky, the attempts pile up – in the worst case, you have to use three attempts at five heights. It requires strength. In the long jump and in the shot put, there are defined three passes. In the high jump, anything can happen, from a brilliant run to a complete failure. Two sneaky attempts at the starting height are also extremely unpleasant mentally – as are any places where you are close to zero. At that moment, it almost tears your heart apart.It’s a feeling you don’t want to experience.
As a starting point, you start at a height where you don’t have to let anything burn with a focused jump. The most important thing for me in high jump is to be very focused and consistent at the moment of the jump. I know to relax during competitions so I don’t get tense. But at the moment of the jump, I have to go very actively to the task to avoid unnecessary failed attempts. Idleness must not lead to passivity.”
“I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the last discipline on the first day. Basically, I like doing it because I’m pretty good at it. My personal best of 47.27 seconds is fast for an all-around fighter. But I also know that I can run the 400 m even faster. I will definitely set a 47 time again in Munich. But it is a discipline where the emotional state is very volatile. From the feeling of letting go now to the feeling of body ache, I’m just tired and this round seems endless.
Lots of different emotions at once, but they end abruptly as soon as I kneel at the starting post. After that I’m in a tunnel. And the run feels longer to the spectators than to the athletes themselves Develop full speed in the first 200 meters, then focus on the short strides in the corner and accelerate into the home straight to maintain the speed as long as possible. You only feel the long day, the fatigue and the sore body again after a little delay, when you reach the finish line.”
110 m hurdles
After the long jump, the 110 m hurdles is Ehammer’s strongest discipline.
“One of my parade disciplines. It’s always good for an athlete to start the day with a strong discipline – at least for me. A Niklas Kaul, 2019 world champion from Germany, can manage to lose points there. He knows his time is has not yet arrived. For me, on the other hand, it’s a fantastic feeling when, after a strong first day, I can start again with something that I do well and I’m really looking forward to. It’s good to get points over the competition again.”
The Cursed Seventh Discipline: Nowhere is Ehammer’s score lower than in the discus throw.
“It is my weakest discipline. But we are busy at work. Nowhere do I have to concentrate as much as with discos, because the whole process is not yet perfectly automated. There, Simon Ehammer is definitely the quietest and most reserved. In all the fast-paced disciplines, there is a certain consistency, you can call out what you have already achieved, and it therefore works with a certain ease.
However, you always have to remember where I come from when it comes to disco and where I stand at the moment. There are already worlds in between. If I can get the two key points right when throwing a discus, I can throw over 40 meters. The primary goal is to get some consistency and loosen up. But that only comes with a lot of practice and it gets better every year.”
“When I think about the pole vault, I get excited because I’m doing really well this year. It has always been one of my absolute favorite disciplines. It’s great when you jump to heights that not everyone can do easily anymore. An amazing feeling. We coped well with last year’s blockade. Training is going extremely well at the moment and I’m really enjoying pole vaulting. I also want to be involved in the top third in Munich and maybe set a personal best again.”
“A cool discipline that I really enjoy doing. If you asked my coach René Wyler how I used to throw, he would say it was a miracle that I managed 50 meters with it. Now it is 56 meters, and I have the feeling that in Munich it can go to 58 meters or even more. We put a lot of focus on throwing, we got input from the javelin coach for technical corrections. The goal is to be able to throw far with my power from my legs.
It just takes time for it to be reflected in the results. Consistency and routine are necessary to be able to reach a certain technical level in competition with a high degree of probability. I have improved constantly this season. There is nothing to prevent it from continuing at the EC. That is why I am starting this discipline with great joy.
At 60 meters I would be a pretty good decathlon javelin thrower. The fact that it is already my ninth discipline might even suit me, because there is already a certain inertia in my body. Because every time I want to throw with 110 percent power, the attempt doesn’t go far, and if I throw with 90 percent, I succeed.’
1500 m is a discipline that steps out of line: in no other discipline is the decathlon’s score so low.
“We don’t train that often for middle-distance races, because the amount of training already creates a certain endurance. We imitate the discipline with series of 8 x 100 meters with a 30 second break in between. It’s more about proper breathing and being strict with yourself than distance.
Up until the competition in May in Ratingen, I had not completed a 1500 for a year and a half. Therefore, I felt quite uncertain before the race. I know how it works, but I haven’t experienced it in a long time. I really didn’t like running before. I have now put that aside.
No decathlete looks forward to the 1500m race. We are not made for that distance because it is completely different from the rest of the decathlon. It will also take some time for my runs to feel consistently good. In many cases, I no longer had to reach a certain time to secure my place. Then it becomes really difficult to torment yourself. It is also a question of whether it is worth the risk. But if I have to, I can do it too!”