A good idea from the organizers of the world’s leading combined athletics event: to bring also the most successful trainers into the limelight for once. Trainers contribute greatly to the performance of athletes, but often have a low profile in public and at winner’s ceremonies. At the world-class combined events in Götzis (Austria) this year, the most successful trainers were Vana Zdenek (Prague) and François Pepin (St Maur, France). Zdenek is the trainer of Tomas Dvorak, the Czech decathlon champion and world record holder from Prague. François Pepin trains Eugenie Barber, winner of the septathlon and victor in the IAAF World Challenge 1999.
The meeting on 3./4. June 2000 has become enshrined in the annals of sports. At the Götzis event, as many as 15 athletes made it past the demanding 8000 point mark, something previously unknown in track-and-field events. Following on his world record of August 1999, Tomas Dvorak clocked up in Götzis 8900 points, the second-highest figure ever reached by anyone. Eugenie Barber, the French citizen who grew up in Sierra Leone, was only 19 points behind her own personal record. Just in the long jump, the Leica TCA1800 laser tacheometer recorded one of her jumps at 6.85 metres. François Pepin is also the trainer of Marie-José Pérec, winner of the 400 metres in the Atlanta Olympics.
François Pepin and Vana Zdenek, the two most successful trainers at the meeting, received an award from Konrad Lerch, Meeting Director, and a DISTO™ hand-held laser meter from Josef Strasser, Business Area Manager of Leica Geosystems AG. As already in Sydney, also at the Götzis event all distances of the throwing and jumping disciplines were measured with instruments from this Swiss company. The DISTO™ hand-held laser meter is a small unit with which trainers can measure distances remotely at the touch of a button. Instead of measuring by tape, laser measurements offer fast and accurate distance definitions, a technology that is today the norm in international competitions. Now in form of the DISTO, this technology is helping trainers and athletes in the long preparations leading up to those events. As the measuring range of the DISTO goes up to 100 metres – there is still measuring space enough for new world records in the throwing disciplines.