Coach: Estonia world athletics championships performance a four out of five

Holger Peel.
Holger Peel. Source: ERR

Estonian national athletics team coach Holger Peel has rated the performances of the Estonian national team at the recent World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, giving the team a four out of five.

Peel told ERR that in order to make greater progress, a more systemic attitude, including involvement from the state, is needed.

Peel (pictured) gave an interview to ERR's Sport's Ragnar Kaasik, which follows.

Holger Peel, the World Athletics Championships, for the Estonians at least, are now over. Let's start with the performance of our decathlon competitors – what score could you give, to sum up?

Well, I see it this way: It was totally at the level and finally there was a breakthrough. What the press forecasts all the time, how many athletes there are and how hard they work; for the first time finally now this generation was able to get three men among the finalists, and with some decent results.

[Decathlete] Karel Tilga put in Estonia's second best result ever. Was it the case that it was known that he had the potential, and it was just a matter of formalizing this somewhere?

This seemed more or less certain, right away. Although overall he only attained one PB, in the 1,500 meters, this athlete has a lot of potential. For the first time, I was able to see when Karel really walked from area to area with a stoic calm; he was very sure of what he was doing.

We also had two debutantes in the team this time. [Javelin thrower] Gedly Tugi's competition was rather unsuccessful, while [high jumper] Elisabeth Pihela saw her highest jump beaten. What have you to say about these people

Considering that [Tugi] has a fairly stable throwing technique, she shouldn't have lost out in any way. I guess all this milling around of people and the heat and everything brought her a hard experience.

But Elisabeth almost reached her potential, because I saw her last training session in Tallinn and I would have guessed that she would have performed better than she did (Pihela failed to make the final in Budapest-ed.).

[Hurdler] Rasmus Mägi. What can be said about an athlete who continues to reach the finals of title competitions in such a rapidly growing field?

It's been 12 years now, which is a surprisingly long career for a young man. And I believe that he... well, he can make the Olympics for sure, and maybe he can continue. The 400m hurdles is a tough event, though

To sum up the Estonian national team's performance: Was it a successful world championships or not?

By abilities, we'll put a four as the score (out of five – ed.). It's a pity that Estonia didn't win any medals, but those are not so easy to come by either.

This would require a systemic national approach. Just as they do in Norway, which now everyone is noticing, and in Slovenia. The state has contributed a lot. Even Poland, too, has approached sports quite systematically.

There are certainly many more countries, but the ones that have contact with their athletes, you can see how they organize preparation, how they prepare for competitions, how teams are taken to camps, sports associations provide all kinds of care and help and so on.

And here at the competitions themselves, you can also observe how team members act and help each other


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: ERR Sport

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