Kazmirek - the decathlete who loves the 1500m

Kai Kazmirek
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Kai Kazmirek of Germany celebrates victory in the decathlon during day two of The 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships.

Most decathletes do not look forward to the final killer event of the ten disciplines that make up their speciality, the 1500m, but Kai Kazmirek is not amongst them.

"I love it, really. I can't imagine the decathlon without the 1500m, something would be missing. The effort. The decathlon is supposed to hurt. It has got to be torment."

Last year, Kazmirek's best score stood at 8150, now as European U23 champion he is over 200 points better. What has made the difference?

"We have done a lot of strength training and that shows most of all in the discus. And normally in the javelin, though it was not so good [in Tampere]. Also I have become calmer recently and that puts less pressure on me."

The javelin was a sore point for the 21 year old. His personal best from last year stands at 59.39m and yet in Tampere he found it difficult to make things click.

"I would rather not talk about it. That was a real exception," Kazmirek told Leithathletik.de.

"I have no idea how I managed it. When my javelin coach hears about it, he is sure to tell me off. As a rule I throw around 60m in training. That is what I wanted to do here [in Tampere]. Maybe I was not relaxed enough. For the other disciplines I was completely relaxed. That is what I wanted in this discipline too without a doubt. But in the javelin I was suddenly nervous. So I had to tell myself: pull yourself together Kai. Fortunately by the time the 1500m started I was OK again."

Which meant he ran a lifetime best of 4:34.46, one of the five personal bests he set in Tampere, not to mention his PB total. His first came in the first discipline, the 100m which he ran in 10.81. Then came the long jump in 7.58, the discus in 44.77, and pole vault in 5.20. His whole performance was as much of a surprise as it was for everyone else.

"Certainly it was a surprise for me too. I went to Finland without any expectations. It is great."

So when did he realise that something special was on?

"After the first two disciplines, PBs in the 100m and the long jump."

But despite his predilection for the 1500m, Kazmirek could not single out any particular discipline for special mention: "It was really a great experience over the two days. A really good decathlon."

Kazmirek will however not be in Moscow for the World championships since he is unlucky enough to come from a nation with the three best decathletes in the world so far this year.

"That is the way it has to be," he said. "We have got a really strong Decathlon squad in Germany and I am really happy about that. We can learn so much from each other. We often travel together to training camps. I get an enormous amount from it. That way I can improve."