In my last post, I suggested that Franz Kruger’s technique was an excellent example of the “German style” of discus throwing for men,
I also suggested that Lars Riedel did not adhere to the German template for men but instead used a style common among German women.
Allow me to elaborate.
Here are Lars and Franka Dietszch set up to run the ring:
I put those blue marks on there to emphasize the position of their feet. Pretty similar, eh?
Torsten Schmidt told me that it is advisable for women throwers to use a kicking action out of the back, and you can see that Franka is set up to do just that. As is Lars.
A quick note of caution to those of you who coach athletes slightly less gifted than these two (between them they won 8 World Championship gold medals). The placement of the left shoulder out past the left hip can cause balance problems that the average athlete will not be able to overcome. Franz provides a better model for getting out of the back on balance. (See my last post).
Here are Lars and Franka beginning to run the ring:
Do you ever read People Magazine? They have a feature in there every week where they print two versions of the same photograph, one of which has been slightly altered and you are supposed to find the alterations. I can never do it. Both photos always look the same to me.
As is the case above.
Both have turned their left foot really far. So far that by the time they
get off it…
…it is just about perpendicular to the direction of the throw and the right foot has almost touched down in the middle of the ring.
They both clearly emphasize an aggressive turning of the right foot and knee, although Lars has maintained a taller posture.
Here they are at right foot touch down:
Again, Lars stays taller, but check out the angle of the right foot. It is turning like crazy as it lands. According to Torsten, This extreme turning of the right foot and hip does not work for most men as it is too hard to keep the 2k discus back while doing so. Clearly, then, Lars is not like “most men.”
Now for the final phase of the throw:
It seems to me that the emphasis here is getting as much distance as possible between the disc and the right heel/knee/hip. It is as if the disc is an arrow and their bodies are bows and they are trying to create massive tension in the bow before launching the arrow. I know how important this phase of the throw was to Lars, as I had the pleasure of seeing him compete in person a couple of times and during warmups he practiced this right knee/hip action over and over.
Okay, due to technical difficulties, I can’t get the final photo that I wanted to use to load.
Stay tuned, for the final proof that Lars Riedel, uber mensch, did in fact throw like a girl.