Tag Archive for: Travel

Swiss Athletics Hammer Workshop

Whenever I complain about the hammer throwing situation in America, I always need to remind myself that it could be worse. It could be like Switzerland. America has come quite a long ways in the last decade. Switzerland has been going in the other direction.

The Swiss hammer throwing community in Locarno.

In the late nineties, Switzerland had more than five throwers over 65 meters. For comparison’s sake, Canada, a country with nearly five times as many people, had just three throwers over 65 meters last year.

But the fortunes have changed. Last season I was the only thrower over 65 meters in Switzerland and I learned to throw in America. Two more throwers were over fifty meters, but both are over 35 and had either already retired or were nearing retirement. The next best result was under 50 meters and an underwhelming 45.98m was good enough for the bronze medal at the Swiss Championships. With few coaches and competitions, participation is low. We need to do something to turn things around, and thankfully the Swiss federation agrees. They invited the top throwers, coaches, and youth to a hammer throw workshop last weeked at the Tenero national training center near Locarno. This was the first such event here in more than a decade.
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Holiday Greetings from Cayman

Enjoying a beer with my former training partner Ford on Seven Mile Beach.

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More Press for the Hammer Throw

I’ve been busy lately with my continued mission to evangelize the world about the hammer throw. If you are a frequent reader of this site, you already know my thoughts on the current state of the hammer throw. We’ve been excluded from the top meets and are shrinking away into oblivion. But perhaps worse is that the vast majority of track fans don’t even realize our absence. Many posts here have tried to inform the world of this, and now I’ve spread my efforts elsewhere.
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2010 Season Review

I was looking back at my review of last season today and it is eerily similar to how I feel about this season. However, the two years were world’s apart. I not only threw three meters further this year, but I was also more consistent and had almost ten meets over my season’s best from last year. But, as always, I want more.

The Good – Like I said above, I threw better than last year. Much better. The highlight of the season was another win at the national championships by a convincing margin. I finished more than fourteen meters ahead of the next Swiss thrower (Björn, a German citizen, also threw great for second place), which by my research is the largest margin of victory at a Swiss Championship. Training has also gone very well. I improved my special strength and set lots of training bests from the 5-kilogram hammer all the way up to the 10-kilogram hammer. If I can get that strength into the throw, I know it will produce something over 70-meters. My technique also improved this year, although it is still not where I want it to be.
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Lovely Luxembourg

Ettelbrück, Luxembourg. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ettelbrück.

As much as I like Switzerland, I am always searching for meets outside the country so I can face some tougher competition or find a good ring. After meeting Luxembourg champion Steve Tonizzo in Locarno last month, I was invited to the CAPA Memorial Kops Ludivig Reuter competition, a late-season throwers memorial meet that he hosts with some of the top French, Belgian and German throwers. Good meets are hard to find, so I was pleased to have a a chance to throw against some good competition and also visit my sister who lives nearby. Having visited Liechtenstein back in 2007, the trip would also allowed me to complete my tour of small countries and principalities that begin with the letter ‘L’.
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H.T.A.: Hammer Throwers Anonymous

Hello, my name is Martin and I’m addicted to the hammer throw. It may have been obvious from my obsessively regular posts about the hammer throw on this website and others. But that’s just the addiction you see on the surface. It is much deeper than that.

This weekend I am preparing to head down to Lake Como for a four-day weekend escape with my visiting girlfriend, my friend Andrea, and her brother. I know the chance to relax and have fun in Italy will be well worth it, but I must be honest, I’m having a little anxiety about taking the time off of throwing. In fact, I’m even going to squeeze in a little throwing session Thursday morning before we catch the train. Still, my three day break from throwing will be my longest since September 2007.
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Olten and Locarno Meet Recaps

This week has been busy with two small competitions in the past three days. It has been hard for me to find good meets lately since there is a small break in the European schedule when most countries have their national championships. Switzerland and Germany will have their championships next weekend, France is this weekend, and Italy was last weekend. Even without the conflicts, there are not many good hammer competitions. While I had lined up a competition in Hungary for this weekend, the plans fell through (unfortunately after I bought my plane ticket). Instead, I found a few local “all-comers” type meets to throw in. While I trained through both meets, it has been several weeks since my last competition and I wanted to find one more meet before the Swiss Championships.
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Mission Accomplished: ETCH 2nd League Recap

The Swiss national team travelled to Belgrade last Thursday with one goal in mind: get promoted back to the first league with a top two finish at the European Team Championships. The European Team Championships are kind of like the conference championships for European countries. Each country sends a team with one male and female athlete per event, and the meet is scored. The top and bottom teams in each league move up and down a division. We were relegated last year and were hoping to move back up again this year.
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SVM and Folksam Challenge Recap

LC Zürich won became Swiss Club Champions again on Saturday.

I had two meets over the past week and both results were very disappointing to say the least. While the conditions at the Schweizer Vereinsmesiterschaft on Saturday were less than ideal (I also had to throw the shot put), I had no excuses yesterday in Sweden and still threw poorly. The best I can do is to try to focus on the one positive note from each meet. On Saturday my club won the Swiss Club Championship and swept both the men’s and women’s titles for a historic 20th time. Yesterday, I got to visit Sweden for the first time, catch up with my friend Mattias Jons, and also meet several new throwers from Finland, Sweden, and Great Britain.
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Week 1 in Zurich

I’ve been pretty incommunicado the past week. That’s because I’ve been settling into life in Zürich. I arrived this week and will be staying here throughout the rest of the season. Through the support of my club, LC Zürich, and my job at UBS, I am able to train, earn some money, and have time to travel to some great competitions across the continent.
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