Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

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Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby BruceFlorman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:18 pm

The following appeared on AllSport.ru a few hours ahead of yesterday’s Herculis meet in Monaco…
18:01 29.07.2008 - Athletics - Olympic Athletics tournament
Yevgeny Trofimov: Thank God, the experiment is over and Isinbaeva returned to her old jumps, which we developed in Volgograd

Today, July 29th, this evening the Monte Carlo Super Grand Prix of Light Athletics will take place. In it, in particular, will appear the European, World and Olympic Games champion in the women’s pole vault, Yelena Isinbaeva, who set her first outdoor world record under her new personal coach for the past three years Vitaly Petrov on July 11th in Rome at 5.03 m. Her first coach, Yevgeny Trofimov, shared his observations of Yelena Isinbaeva with the Agency of Sport Information "All Sport".

"Thank God, the experiment that lasted for the past two and a half years is completed, although nothing was accomplished," said Yevgeny Trofimov. "Beginning with the current summer season, Isinbaeva and her coach have returned to her old jumps, which we developed during her time in Volgograd. In general, I completely understand Vitaly Afanasevich Petrov's desire to change Lena's vault. She arrived as the Olympic champion and holder of multiple world records, and if they continued to stamp out records with her old jump, everyone would say: what has Petrov to do with it? I don't know what or how Petrov wanted to change, but I don't doubt that he planned to improve, to make progress. But it turned out like the saying: "Better is the enemy of good" [American translation: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" – BF]. The fact remains: Lena lost the most important quality for a pole vaulter - volatility. For some reason her new vault broke through only occasionally, and only in winter - three years in a row weren't wasted, since Isinbaeva set world records indoors at her first starts in Donetsk. But anything further was cut off. To continue the experiment in an Olympic season posed a very high risk of defeat at the Games in Beijing. Given Jenny Stuczynski's progress, Svetlana Feofanova's experience, and Isinbaeva's own consistency at the mere level of 5.60-5.80 m [sic – I'm sure he meant 4.60-4.80 – BF], it didn't appear unrealistic. Her margin of safety disappeared, and her rivals started to realize that based on her maximum results, they could beat her. That is why Petrov and Isinbaeva returned to her old jumps, although of course they have polished up a few things here and there. And right away - a world record! I repeat my opinion, which I've repeatedly expressed: Lena is potentially able to jump around 5.15-5.20 m. And the Volgograd arena record, which belongs to Isinbaeva, already stands at 5.05 m. I even remember the date it was set - May 23rd, 2005, during the championship of my training group."

Yevgeny Trofimov also named Yelena Isinbaeva as the prime favorite for the Olympic pole vault tournament at the Games in Beijing. "Now that Lena has returned to her old vault, she has again become unbeatable by her rivals. These latest tournaments prove it, not just Rome ending with a world record. Until recently it seemed to all that Stuczynski really was pressuring Isinbaeva. But eventually the difference in their results is still at least 10 centimeters while the American is jumping at near her personal best. I'm very happy about this development. After all, I'm the senior Russian national team coach for the women's pole vault, and considering all the extraneous factors, I wouldn't want to smile after the Olympics and try to explain why we don't have a gold medal. Again, I am very pleased that the experiment has ended," smiled Yevgeny Trofimov.


Well… I’ve got a 17 year-old daughter myself, so I’m loath to throw this guy in the river over having a hard time dealing with the changes as Isi aged from 15 to 23. But his statements here seem a bit disingenuous to me.

I’m no great scholar of pole vault technique, but it doesn’t appear to me that she has abandoned the changes that she and Petrov have been working on for the last two and a half years. I think it’s just taken that long for her to completely learn and become comfortable with them. Nevertheless, I suspect that she’ll have to go considerably higher than 5.20 by the end of her career before people in general will fully acknowledge that the technical changes have produced an improvement. And I rather doubt that Trofimov would ever acknowledge it, regardless of how high she eventually jumps.

So do any of you folk with more practical experience than me in such matters want to voice an opinion about any of these matters?

Have Isi & Petrov really reverted to her pre-2006 technique?

How high would she be jumping now if she’d never split with Trofimov (ignoring the fact that their split was over personal issues rather than competitive results)?

How high will she eventually have to jump to be confident that the switch really resulted in an improvement?

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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby BruceFlorman » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:13 am

It appears that Petrov doesn't concur... viewtopic.php?f=31&t=6922&p=113373#p113373

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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby SlickVT » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:08 am

Bruce,

Great post. Thanks for keeping up with this thread so well.

On the topic, I found the interview very interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, there is no real doubt that the Lena of four years ago versus the Lena of the previous two years had significantly different jumps. We here at VT all discussed on many occcasions that in '04-'05 Lena had one of the smoothest, most technically sound jumps EVER (man or woman). That being said, changing coaches will always be a difficult and arduous process, and although she was gripping higher than before, her jump was technically weaker for a bit.

Fast forward to this indoor season where there were glimpses of the 5.15 to 5.20 Lena. She seemed to be handling the higher grip much more successfully. Outdoors the transformation was complete. She is now gripping higher, and yes, her vault does look like her '04-'05 vault. The difficult thing that Petrov did was improve her approach a small bit and put her old jump (which is almost technically sound in every way) on a higher grip... AKA smoking world record now.

So I see both sides... Her jump is her "old" jump, but I am sure that Petrov's goal was having her jump that technically sound with a better approach and therefore higher grip.

Good stuff.
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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby jcoover » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:25 pm

I don't think that anyone can argue that her run looks far better than ever. She is relaxed, powerful, and confident coming down the runway. Also, her pole drop and the tempo of her last 6 strides have been magnificent on the days that she jumped her '08 WRs. I see it the way that SlickVT sees it... virtually the same jump with a higher grip and a faster m/s at TO = smoking world records. Look out.
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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby dj » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:06 pm

good morning

is she jumping on 4.60m poles now instead of the 4.45's?... and i think i remember here using a 4.45 for one of her early WR.. anyone know when she changed and what jumps were made on which poles...

dj

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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby BethelPV » Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:57 pm

I too was wondering if she for sure made the switch to bigger poles.... She is still holding at the very top... so how do people know if she is indeed on longer poles?
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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:40 pm

BethelPV wrote:I too was wondering if she for sure made the switch to bigger poles.... She is still holding at the very top... so how do people know if she is indeed on longer poles?


Add me to the list of people wondering. I remember she tried 4.60 poles not long after she switched to Petrov and was gripping down on them and was not jumping as well. It seems like she's been consistently capping poles since then which makes me think she is still on the 4.45 poles.

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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby dj » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:57 am

good morning

agreed becca... that's why i mentioned the length..

her jumps are "do-able' on a 14-7 pole.. with good efficiency....

dj

ps.. i think when you look at her jumps.. if she lengthens the strides a little on her run.. she has a "flatter" top.. when she "gets the feet down" she is "on and off" the pole more correctly.. over striding, or no penultimate, tends to make the vaulter "flat' on top coming off the pole.. physics...

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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby ArcadiaPV » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:00 am

Her left arm is much different than in 2004-05. Instead of being bent, its pushing up more so than in 2004 giving her a taller take off and less bend out of the pole. Thats at least what I see when I compare the video. I was looking at the 5.04 WR jump versus the 5.01 WR jump. I think she has another 6' potential. I just hope Jenn pushes her for more than a 1 cm world record at the olympics. Bubka didn't have anyone near him, its lonely at the top.

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Re: Trofimov comments on Isinbaeva

Unread postby Soar Like an Eagle » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:34 am

She is on 4.45 poles gripping 14'7". With a 14'7" grip she can jump 17'0" if everything is timed up. That would a 37 inch push off which can be done. In my opinion, if you compare her technique, to Kjiell Isaakson from his 18'2" jump in 1972 they are very similar. DJ and/or anyone has a chance to compare these two jumps I am interested what you think.

dj wrote:good morning

is she jumping on 4.60m poles now instead of the 4.45's?... and i think i remember here using a 4.45 for one of her early WR.. anyone know when she changed and what jumps were made on which poles...

dj


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