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Janne Wanhainen, Swedish Athletics
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European Horizontal jumps and Hurdle Symposium

European Horizontal jumps & Hurdle Symposium 2022
Photo: Deca Text&Bild

Athletics' eyes were on Karlstad this past weekend when the European Athletics Association (EAA) and Swedish Athletics held the European Horizontal jumps and Hurdle Symposium 2022.

Mike Powell lectures during the European Horizontal jumps and Hurdle Symposium 2022.  Photo: Deca Text&Bild

It was a full-nailed three-day event in Eva Lisa Holtz arena in Karlstad when the European Horizontal jumps and Hurdle Symposium 2022 was arranged. Behind the event were Janne Wanhainen and Lisa Rogö from Swedish Athletics Association, Anders Möller from Athletic Performance Center Karlstad and Torbjörn Eriksson from Athletic Performance Center Falun with great support from the home association IF Göta and volunteers.

In a collaboration with DECA Text&Bild, most of the conference has been recorded and will as soon as possible be available to subscribe for and take part in afterwards at Friidrottskanalen. Here you can find pictures from the conference.

Here is a summary of this weekend's lectures:

World names of the lecture program

Stefan Holm welcomed the participants to Karlstad and the new arena before introducing Mike Powell, one of the most famous and respected athletes in history, who put his name on the map when he broke the world record in the legendary long jump final at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991. A world record that still stands today. That makes him one of very few athletes to have held a world record for more than 30 years. Powell gave an inspiring and memorable speech.

After Mike, Professor Kirsty Elliot-Sale, Manchester Metropolitan University, gave an incredibly interesting lecture: "The effects of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on athletic performance – What we know, what we don't know and what we should do now and next".

South African biomechanics

Sofie Skoog made a comeback in athletics, introducing Dr. Helen Bayne, who is a biomechanic with roles in sports coaching, injury rehabilitation, applied sports science, research and education and is currently engaged with the University of Pretoria, Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) and the South African Society of Biomechanics (SASB). She opened Saturday with her first lecture "How do they do it? Movement strategies in sprinting".

After Helen's session, the participants were asked to choose theory and practical sessions based on their area of interest. Either horizontal jumps or hurdles. Those who chose jumping sessions once again got to meet Mike Powell and take part in a very inspiring session where he shared his thoughts and exercises in long jump that have helped him and his athletes to perform at the level they did and do.

Malaika Mihambo's coach and his experience

The Finnish head coach in the 400 m and 400 m hurdles, Petra Stenman, who, among other things, developed the Finnish national team program for the 400m/400m hurdles and training program for coaches at the national team level had a theory session.

After lunch, it was time to meet the German long jump coach and Olympic gold medalist Malaika Mihambos coach Ulrich "Ulli" Knapp, who held a longer theory session. Ulli received the "Coach of the Year 2021" award and has experience as a coach for 45 years and from the Olympic base in Saarbrücken for 30 years.

Hurdles coaches had two practical sessions with a wide variety of exercises. First with Laura Turner-Alleyne who herself participated in the 100 meters at the Beijing Olympics and competed in 4 world championships. In 2014, she started West London Track & Field (WLTF) where she is the head coach. She is also one of Great Britain Team Coaches for Sprints & Relays at British Athletics. After Laura, Petra Stenman followed up her theory session with practice and exercises to build up hurdlers

Erik Svensson presented his ongoing master's thesis focusing on the biomechanics of the long jump, more specifically the effect of carbon fiber plate in long jump shoes and the impact on performance. Erik combines his coaching career with a master's degree in sports science at GIH and has helped the Swedish Athletics Association with biomechanical analysis in the jumping disciplines in recent years. The presentation was followed by a roundtable discussion attended by Anders Möller, Ulrich Knapp and Helen Bayne.

New technologies can determine muscle fiber type

Stephen McAleer gave a lecture on tissue-specific injury management. Stephen has played a leading role in the implementation of Red Bull's Muscle Injury Plan in all sports within the Red Bull family and works at the Red Bull's Athlete Performance Centre in Salzburg with a wide range of athletes and previously worked as a physiotherapist at British Athletics.

Saturday night concluded scientifically with Dr. Eline Lievens, Victoris Ghent University, leading the Muscle Talent Scan project, a non-invasive method to estimate muscle fiber type for talent identification, individualization of training, and injury prevention.

Sunday was opened by Dr. Helen Bayne and a lecture where she delved into how we can go from "Complexity to Clarity: Performance-Supporting Teams in Elite Sports". For example, health, exercise, food, sleep, biomechanics and lifestyle. To create the "right" team of resources to not only reach set goals but to also do it in the best possible way and as efficiently as possible.

Finally jump coaches had practical session with Ulrich Knapp and hurdle coaches had theory session with Laura Turner-Alleyne.

Strives to bring in more female lecturers

There were a total of eight main lecturers and as part of the effort towards more women leaders and to achieve greater gender equality in sport at the elite level, five of the eight invited lecturers were women.

/Janne Wanhainen