hemlock wrote:I can easily see her getting 5100.
I'd love to think so but can't at the moment. I’m beginning to fear that at this rarefied level of extreme achievement, Jess is revealing a lack of something that makes the difference between extraordinary achievement and a nice medal.
Let me say to start with that I’d like to watch nothing better than a win for her in every competition this year and I sincerely hope she rectifies whatever needs to be changed in order to triumph at the OG. And of course we should all recognise that her achievements so far have been terrific, thrilling and worthwhile as well as beyond the scope of all but a few competitors. With those caveats to set the tone I’d like to make a point about that final few percentage points of performance that in close championships can make the difference between first and rest because only from a harsh look at reality can the possibility of correcting any problem, even and especially small ones, be capitalised upon.
Jess has failed at Daegu and Istanbul to convert a strong lead into a gold medal. It might seem to a superficial inspection that the two cases are different and unique but I’d be interested to hear from anyone else on here whether they agree with me that a common thread might be developing. Even if a plot of two data points does not make a strong line on the graph, why wait until the third point reveals the trend before accepting the issue is real and doing something preventive?
What’s the thread? Let’s see. In Daegu it was her javelin achievement; could this be characterised as a physically or technically predictable performance? I would argue it couldn’t for the reason that her physical and technical preparations for that competition (as for so many over her career) produced five lifetime PB’s that put her into a winning position before that discipline. Is her javelin expectation lower than she wishes? Yes. Is it one of the weaker disciplines for her? Yes. But did her performance stick out as uncharacteristic in terms of her other relative and personal performances? Absolutely. But we can say that the reasons for it could not reasonably be presumed to have been physical as she demonstrated over and over again her physical capability. And while she may not have been as confident of her javelin going into the competition, that in no way explains how far her javelin throws were below even her expected norms. We must look for other explanations.
This weekend in Istanbul the wrecking performance was her Long Jump. No link there in any way to javelin is there? Throw versus jump; speed/spring requirement versus strength/flex requirement. And once again we can discount physical or technical factors as likely explanations as she once again demonstrated this weekend a fantastic level of training and preparation prowess that translated into PB’s and championship highs. Nothing wrong there in my opinion. So what is the thread?
I would argue it is an issue of mental strength. Nothing physical or technical, she should continue doing what she is now as it is hugely effective. I’d argue that the two isolated and uncharacteristically low discipline performances at Daegu and Istanbul came at the same point in the competition and that is their connection, the thread that joins them. The javelin at Daegu and the Long Jump in Istanbul were the disciplines going into which Jess had a strong lead and which she and everyone else would have said if asked that a par performance in each would have put her in an all-but-unassailable position. They proved to be the high-points of both competitions for her.
Her runs in each competition after these events were extremely strong and I’d argue that she would have reproduced the passion and intensity she exhibited in them to retain her lead and deliver the gold as she did to attempt to wrest control back towards herself after what actually happened. No one can dispute her heart as evidenced by the extraordinary exertion of those runs. But I think it is true to say that the javelin in Daegu and the Lung Jump in Istanbul were the points in those competitions that represented the last chance for her competitors to catch her. Or from her perspective (which is much more apposite) the points at which she could effectively closeout the medal. And she failed both times.
Now if we think that physical and technical factors can reasonably be ruled-out as explanations for the stumbles, what is left, however unpalatable, must be considered. Does she lack a killer instinct?
I repeat; I have nothing but respect for her, her team and her achievements to date and wish nothing but success for her. And I hope I’m wrong or that I’m right and she puts this last two percent of weaponry into place in time for London.