September 6th,

Today the cast, which protected my achilles tendon, was removed. This was a great relief, because it's no pick nick when you're carrying around two additional kilo's while you need to use crutches to get ahead! The wound looked fine and showed excellent signs of recovery. In another week the stitches will be removed. For now I'm allowed to steadily increase the weight on my right ankle. If all goes according to plan I should be walking around freely in another week. This week will also be used to increase the mobility of my achilles and increase the tension on the surrounding muscles. A good thing because sitting at home is not one of my favorite pastimes.

September 1st,

Yesterday I finally received some good news. After the operation my surgeon told me that the rupture in my achilles tendon wasn't as bad as was derived from the scans that were made. The rupture was also located in such a position that the remaining tendon would be strong enough to carry the necessary loads. This is partly influenced by the increased thickness of my tendon, which is probably a result of my body taking some precautionary measures to prepare for the loads to which it was exposed in the past. Therefore the remaining thickness should be more than enough to carry the necessary loads in the future. The operation was also used to inspect the remainder of my ankle and take some additional measures to prevent the problems that have been bothering me in the past. According to my surgeon the recovery program can be compared to that of my knee, which provides me with a considerable advantage. Should the recovery be anything like my knee than things will turn around very soon!

August 20th,

The surgery on my achilles tendon is scheduled for August 30th, which gives me and my achilles tendon some time to prepare for this second procedure of the year. Not that I'm scared or anything of sorts, but now I'm able to use the available time to relax somewhat more and spend some quality time with my girlfriend and friends. Even though I haven't been able to do any competitions this year, all my effort was focused on recovering as soon as possible. I've managed to keep this up until my achilles tendon finally ruptured. Considering the fact that most of my training sessions where not very exhilaration, it has been a very difficult period both mentally and physically. A short break before I can start with my recovery program for my achilles is therefore more than welcome.

With the highjump qualification starting this evening my motivation to get well soon is only getting stronger. Having to watch from the sideline during a whole year gives you a good perspective at what you've been able to take for granted these last couple of years. It is always a good thing to get this in perspective because it will make me stronger in the long run. This year has also shown me that a life as a top athlete is not something that will go on and on. You've only got a couple of years and you will need to make them count, but more importantly is that you enjoy every moment of it! And I'm planning to do just that in the next couple of years. A picture of me and my girlfriend Stefanie during one of our trips!


August 5th,

The last couple of months have been really very unrewarding, no Olympic Games, no competitions during the entire year, just a lot of boring exercises to ensure my recovery. Even though it was trying at times we did everything humanly possible to ensure my full recovery. In the end I had to conclude that it wasn't enough. After my previous entry in which I was really convinced that full recovery was within my grasps and in which I made a statement about not rushing through an injury, especially when it concerns the achilles tendon, fate has decided to play me a foul card ones more. During a training session on monday, which seemed to be going really well, I ruptured a part of my achilles tendon. Right on the spot where the problems where most severe. After extended medical research the decision was made to operate. The only advantage of this development is that we'll be able to see the actual area which has been bothering me for the last couple of months. Depending on the findings during the actual surgery, recovery will take somewhere along the line of three months, which isn't that bad considering the fact that full recovery will be almost certain then. It will also give me some ease of mind due to the fact that no hidden problems will be left, which means that I can once again fully trust my achilles and focus on the essentials: jumping as high as possible!

July 28th,

Last week I was finally able to do some actual running without any problems what so ever. A major breakthrough, if you ask me, and a necessary step to full recovery. Unfortunately, the next couple of days where a bit to much for my achilles tendon, which meant I had to take it easy for an other couple of days. Currently things are once again looking good. Should I be able to improve some more in the next couple of weeks, full recovery won't be that far off! Which would be a momentous occasion because I'm really fed-up with all the boring exercises I'm currently doing. Some improvement on this part would really do me some good. It would also boost my confidence that my ordeal is finally coming to an end. However, the unfortunate rupture of the achilles tendon by Kajsa Bergqvist, which I by the way wish all the best with her recovery, shows that you shouldn't rush things when it comes down to these types of injuries. A little extra time can't hurt.

July 12th,

Tried to defend my National Title on Sunday but wasn't up to the job just yet. It felt really strange to enter a competition the way I had done. All the problems I still experience every day with my knee and achilles tendon and the lack of any actual track sessions made this a hazardous endeavor to start with. The only reason I went along with the competition had to do with the fact that I'm frustrated with the slow progress I'm making and the helplessness I'm experiencing when it comes down to defending my place as one of the top athletes of our country. Trying to hold on to my title at least gave me the satisfaction of being on the track. It also reminded me of the reasons I'm going through this rough period, namely my love for jumping and the people I meet during my travels. During the competition I tried my luck at some heights a couple of times, but decided in the end to stop prematurely. Thankfully no reaction was noticeable today, which means the work we have been doing these last couple of weeks is starting to pay-off. Hopefully thinks will turn around in the next couple of weeks and give me the opportunity to focus my attention at the things that matter.

I at least want to congratulate Jurgen Cools (long jump), Kitty van Haperen (javelin), Thomas Kortbeen (400 hurdles) and Marloes Strooper-Lammerts (highjump) with their medals. Next year we will get one or two more!

June 26th,

First of all I would like to congratulate Staffan and Tiffany with their marriage and whish them all the best for the future!

My recovery is progressing slowly but steadily in the right direction. Today I did some hurdle jumps which felt really good. If my heel suffers no after affects it will be a major step forward. I've been trying to get ready for a number of competitions so far, but each time I was forced to postpone my return. Today I'm hopeful that I'll be able to start at our nationals which would be a real spirit lifter should this prove possible.


June 9th,

Yesterday we had a get together with the professional military sport equip. During such a day we discuss the past season and the lessons learned, but we also take the time for some fun stuff. Together with a part of the Dutch press we tried to improve our weapon skills in a simulator. This proved to be a lot of fun especially when we did a closing competition during which the aim was to stop as many foreign soldiers from reaching our coast lines. It proved to be more difficult than I had inspected. Probably the result of poorly aligned riffle...

I also made a lot of progress with my heel. So far it has given me no problems what so ever, which makes it possible to keep in increasing the load in the next couple of days. Tomorrow I'll participate in an international Air force competition, where I'll support the team by throwing some discus and javelin. Not something I do regularly but something I enjoy nonetheless. Especially in this difficult period it is nice to be on the track and being able to enjoy myself for a change. After that I'll do everything I can to speed up my recovery and maybe join the Dutch team for the Super league which takes place in just over a week.

June 3rd,

I'm still not making the progress I was hoping for with my right heel. During a visit to my physician it became clear that the achilles tendon still shows some signs of injury. He was however successfully in treating the surrounding tissue that was also acting up as a result. This will make all the difference in improving my achilles by making it stronger. This is the only way for me to get back on track. It is very frustrating to have to take it easy while time is slipping through my fingers. I can't do anything about it and therefore I try to focus on my recovery because the sooner this phase is concluded the faster I'll be able to jump again.

May 21st,

Achieved some excellent results during a horizontal jump session. Another good example that my knee is getting better and better with every day that passes. After my return from Torremolinos I had a checkup from both my orthopedic surgeon and my physician. Both concluded that my knee was looking short of incredible. Furthermore both agreed that the next course of action should be a scan of my right heel. The information gathered from this scan could be crucial to shortening my recovery. If it is possible to get my heel functioning the way it should I could get back to doing some actual competitions in a couple of weeks. I also want to whish Judith Vis (dutch 100m hurdles) all the best with her recovery in the next couple of months! I'm convinced you will get your revenge next year !

May 13th,

A lot has happened these last couple of weeks. We left for Torremolinos (Spain) to prepare for the outdoor season. At least that is normally the case. For me, however, it was a chance to focus all my energy at speeding up my recovery. We had made some incredible progress in the weeks after my surgery. Even the problems with my heel seemed lessened with every week that passed. Something I've been working at since our trip to South Africa early January. Everything finally seemed to come together.

One of my personal goals for our trip to Spain was to make some actual jumps. A 'hurdle' which we cleared during our first week. It was not a very spectacular training, but for me it was a significant step forwards. I managed to make three jumps from a short approach from which I cleared 1.90m twice. Afterwards it took me two days to recover from this session, which was fine with me. A couple of days later we even managed to make some 15 jumps from an even shorter and somewhat slower approach. This session proved to be less of a problem for my knee. We finally did some more jumps, during the second week, from a short approach, during which I cleared 1.95m with ease. An incredible improvement in such a short time. Today I got the bar at two meters, with a couple of attempts at 2.05m. Not bad, considering the fact that under normal conditions I'm capable of clearing heights of 2.10m from the same approach. The most important lesson during these three weeks, from which I take a lot of comfort, is the fact that my technique has stayed with me during this difficult period and that during sound jumps my knee suffers little.

Somewhat less was the progress we made with my heel. We did a lot of fast work, which proved to stress my heel's capabilities. Thankfully the reaction was limited and my heel now seems to function just fine, but we will have to keep monitoring it's progress and stimulate it every way possible. This development has however made clear to me that my competition schedule was somewhat premature. Therefore I've cancelled my first competition and I now aim for an appearance somewhere in the middle of June depending on the progress we make. I'm however confident that I'll prove my worth during this season. Also added some pictures of our stay in Torremolinos. Check them out under the pictures option (season 2004)!


April 20th,

Still making nice progress during practice as the weeks pass! I'm currently able to make all sorts of jumps which allow me to prepare for the impact during actual jumping. We even made a start with practicing my highjump approach, which is an crucial element in getting my technique under control. All this is possible because the heel problems that have hampered me lately are as good as gone, which was the only thing that could have slowed my recovery down. Everything is currently looking great and I'm actually looking forward to our trip to Spain, where we'll do two weeks of intense training. If everything progresses as it has in the last couple of weeks we might even try to do some actual highjump jumps.... The main thing will however be to take the necessary time to get every aspect of my recovery out of the way before we do anything rash! Under the diary option I made a list of available highjump competitions available. Check the out!


April 4tht,

Made my first couple of runs on the track. Before we went ahead with my operation we discussed the path along which we could increase the load during training and the exercises which would lead to this increase. In this schedule we figured that at the end of april high speed runs would be possible. Today I made my first runs at the track and noticed that my knee had absolutely no difficulties with the exercises! I might not have reached my full capacity during this training, but the speed was there. If only my right heel would have recovered fully at this stage, I'm certain that in a week or so I would reach my old levels of sprinting. The heel is however progressing, so with a little bit of luck I can start working at regaining my speed in another week.

Yesterday I had my hand imprinted in clay! Our local athletics club (AV. Attila) has it's 30th anniversary in a couple of weeks, during which they are going to honor all the National Champions (men & woman) the club has had during there existence. A very nice gesture if you ask me!

March 25th,

Did an incredible amount of weights in the last week. Almost every exercise was aimed at increasing my strength and stability with good result. I'm currently lifting weights somewhere around my normal level, which is short of incredible. My knee has been super so far. No pain, no increase in swelling only some healthy feelings of exhaustion! We currently reducing the number of repetitions while slowly shifting our focus to doing the exercises faster. If everything goes as planed I'll start with some track sessions in the next couple of days. Which would be an immense relief. After one week of weights an outdoor training will seem like heaven!

March 19th,

Received some terrific news yesterday! According to my physician Dr. Heijboer the recovery of my knee is progressing nicely. According to his estimates we are already a week ahead of schedule. This also means we can expend the number of exercises and loading in the next couple of weeks. It all depends on the way my knee reacts to the increase in activity. We made a good start with the recovery so far and I'm going to do everything in my power to make the remaining recovery as smooth and easy as possible.

March 13th,

Have had a good week of recovery. My knee never gave me any problems other than during the night because of the limited positions I could sleep in. After a couple of days even this improved due to the fact that I was allowed to bent the knee some more. At the moment I'm working hard at getting as much tension in the upper part of my leg back by ways of electro stimulants. An operations is, so far as I can tell, one of the fasted ways to lose muscle tension. Luckily, a little training can do miracles and it is possible to get a lot of tension back with just a couple of training sessions. Also started with a couple of leg and upper body exercises just to keep me busy. The days seem twice as long when you're on crutches. If everything works out as it should I'll be of the crutches on Thursday when I meet with my orthopedic surgeon. In the next couple of days I'll be allowed to start putting more and more pressure on my left leg which is a thing to look forward to.

March 5th,

Just had a tiresome night. It's not easy when you have to lie absolutely still and each movement you make keeps you awake. I managed to get at least some sleep but it felt good to get up! The surgery on my knee has gone well. According to my surgeon Dr. Heijboer we made the right choice, because the damaged tissue in my knee would never have heeled on it's own. That is always a good thing to know and it makes this ordeal a little bit better easier to cope with.

One of the strangest things I was faced with during my stay in the hospital was watching the World indoor Championships on television (even in the preparation room prior to surgery) while I was getting ready to be treated. It told me one important thing and that is that I want to be on television when they show the Olympic highjump final!

The next couple of weeks will be required to let the wound heal and to slowly start using my knee and leg again. If everything goes well I'll be of my crutches in two week. After that I can slowly, depending on my recovery speed, start working on getting back to a hundred percent and more. It will get challenging in some stages of the process, but with all the support I have been given so far it will work out just fine.


March 3rd,

Wednesday turned out to be decision day! Further medical research on my knee confirmed the presence of damaged tissue. After a long talk with my surgeon, we concluded that all the parties involved (physician, fysiotherapist, coach) should be contacted and asked for there opinion on whether or not to get surgery. We finally decided that the best course of action was to go ahead with surgery, because the foreseen recovery period would not jeopardize my Olympic ambitions. This is probably the hardest decision I have had to make during my entire career. With all the setbacks I have faced in the last couple of years I'm more than a hundred percent motivated to show everybody, but especially myself, that I can do better than I've been able to do so far. There is no better way than to prove my worth than during the Olympics. With the decision to go ahead with surgery we're taking a chance (you can never predict how things will progress, you can only take a good guess), but I'm confident that we have taking the right course of action. With no more problems bothering me, qualification and much more will be possible in the months to come!


Troy Dougles and me enjoying better times!

February 21st,

I had a long talk with my coach about whether or not to start at any of the meetings. We concluded that even though I might become National Champion the risk and the benefits wouldn't outdo the risk we would be taking. I've known this all along, but I'm a jumper at heart and that's what I want to do. It is good to make a decision at this point and stick with it. I can use the time I've gained to prepare even better for the upcoming outdoor season where I'll need to be at my best.


February 19th,

The nationals are only two days away and I'm still not certain on whether or not I should participate. My achilles is improving with every training I do, but has still a long way to go before I'm completely recovered. During a test session on tuesday I was able to do my run-ups without any problems. It's felt a bit shaky and uncertain, and not every step is a firm as I would have liked it to be, but that has also to do with me being a bit out of shape when it comes to jumping. Should I participate it would only be an attempt to get the title, which would be a major achievement considering my preparations, or rather lack of!

Apart from that I'm still waiting for more information on my knee. More research will be done before a final decision is made on whether or not to go ahead with surgery. This is very frustrating because as an athlete I want to go on with my preparations. Hopefully everything will become clear in the next couple of days. Nothing left for but to further my performances in areas where I can do so, like lifting weights. Updated my indoor schedule (if you can still call it that!).


February 3rd,

After the problems with my heel and the lymph gland infection that followed this, I was absolutely thrilled today to be back on track and start training again. Further medical analysis of my knee will still commence, but for now I'm allowed to build up my strength and see where that leads me! It will not be the most exhilarating sessions but for now I'm satisfied with just getting of the couch I've been sitting on for the last couple of weeks. Maybe I'll even be able to participate at our nation championships which I would hate to miss out on. This is however not an important issue at the moment, getting back to a hundred percent is!



January 21st,

There is only one thing off which I'm absolutely certain and that is that I've used up all my bad luck for the remainder of the year. On the second day of our visit to South Africa I overexerted my heel. This seemed a minor problem at the time, but as the days progressed it became more and more apparent that the problem was more severe that we thought. We have tried absolutely everything to speed up the recovery process but nothing worked. In the end we decided that rest was in order and that a specialist should look at the problem on arrival in Holland. What this means for my indoor season is yet to be determined but it doesn't look promising. Apart from this the meeting in Siegen was cancelled which was a hard blow and a bad development for the highjump scene in Germany. Hopefully they'll be back next year. Added a number of pictures from our stay in South Africa to the option pictures (pictures 2004)!

December 31st,

The last day of the year. Let me start with wishing everybody the very best for 2004 and that it may be a successful but above all a sportive highlight. I think that if 2004 is going to be anything like my last jump session it's going to be a great year. After three weeks, in which we did no actual jumps, my knee felt pretty good. I've done a lot of basic technique exercises, e.g. run-ups, to make up for limit amount of jumps. This had no major impact on my preparations because they were going better than ever and during previous practice sessions we (my coach and I) had noticed that with a limited amount of actual jumps I would this be able to get my technique under control. That this theory really works was evident from yesterday's jump session in which I cleared 2.21m with my trousers still on! Never before have I cleared this height at such an early stage of my preparations. I was absolutely thrilled to clear it and it has given my a lot of confidence for our final part of my preparations which will be done in South Africa (Stellenbosch). We will be leaving on the 2nd of January and get back on the 21st. After which the first competitions are eminent.


December 14th,

The preparations are still progressing nicely, things haven't been going this well for a long time and every exercises I attempt is done at peak efficiency. I'm getting more and more confident each time I rehearse my approach. The changes we made feel wright in a natural kind of way. Everything goes so smooth and it hardly seems to cost me any effort at all. The only thing that has been off a bit lately is my knee, but it getting a check-up on thursday where will try to determine what is causing the problems and how to remedy accordingly. If I'm able to get this bump flattened there will be no stopping me this year!


December 8th,

We just returned from our training session in Leverkusen where we had a fabulous weekend. Every time I come to Leverkusen I'm astonished by the excellent facilities they have. Especially when you compare this to Holland where we have nothing of the sorts. Our group was joined by the talented Marije Langen and her coach. Marije is our hope for the future when it comes to the woman's highjump. She's only sixteen years old but she's already has a best of 1.86m, which is only three centimeters below our national record. It's about time somebody updates this outdated record! I personally had a very good weekend. On friday we had a jump session, which went very well even though my knee still hurts. It's however getting better with every training I do. This week I was even able to do two good practice sessions. On saturday we did some weights which was followed later in the day by a technique session which focused mainly on my shoulder position, which can improve somewhat. On sunday we finished with a sprint session, which is always fun to do, especially if you can compete against the clock and your fellow athletes. In two weeks we'll be hading back to Leverkusen again to hopefully improve somewhat more.




† Gerben IJpelaar 1972 - 2003

December 1st,

A day long to be remembered by many. Today we said our farewell to a friend, college, but most of all a top Dutch athlete. Gerben IJpelaar was not only a superb athlete, but he was also a coach and inspiration to a group of young athletes who wanted to follow in his footsteps. He coached, inspired and motivated them with all his passion and love for the sport. Gerben, you will be sincerely missed.

November 14th,

Yesterday the Dutch Military Sport selection was presented to the press. This sport selection's goals are to emphasize the importance of sport within the Army and the possibilities it can offer as an Employer in this field. Another important aspect of having athlete's who can perform at the highest levels is the stimulating effect it can have on the organization and the way it is regarded by the outside world. The advantages of being part of this selection is the amount of time and flexibility I'm offered to exercise my sport to it's full capacity, while having a reliable source of income. Not a bad deal if you ask me!


Training has been going so due to some slight problems with my knee. My knee still needs to adopt to the levels of work we are currently doing and it is always frustrating when you have to put on the break now and then. I don't think it's anything serious, but to be sure I'm going to visit my physician and see how he feels about my problems. I'm hopeful that in another week I'm fully capable of completing every training for the full one hundred percent. The good thing this week was the arrival of Tora Harris, a jumper from the states, which will help me focus and force me to improve myself. The lack of competition has always been one of the major problems with training in Holland. With Tora joining us, this will change considerably.


October 29th,

The preparations for the new season are underway. The next couple of weeks will be used to improve my strength by doing a lot of weights. Simultaneously I will put in some extra effort in the adjustment of my approach, which we've altered immensely. My initial mark has moved three feet inwards, which can be considered a major alteration. This adjustment provides me with a larger freedom of movement making small mistakes in my run up less severe for the end result. So far I've adjusted just fine and I'm becoming more and more confident with my run up each practice session we do. I can't wait to attempt a couple of jumps from the new full approach. But all in good time, is the advice I get from my coach. He's probably right...

October 4th,

The last couple of weeks have been going superb. The last four weeks we've done a lot of basic exercises from which I'm already feeling the benefit. My body still get's the necessary rest, because we avoid the exercises that are most severe, and is feeling better every day. My feet can still use some additional attention which will be an important factor for the next couple of weeks. Late October we will start with the preparations for indoors, but until then I'll also use the available time to relax somewhat.

September 18th,

Let me start with wishing Staffan Strand a quick and, even more important, a successful recovery from surgery. I hope we'll be able to enjoy his company as soon as possible.

It felt good to get home after Paris. Just to get away from the athletic scene for a while, spent some time with friends and use the available time to heal my hurts. In the mean time I'm putting in some extra effort at work (helps me clear my head) besides which I'm doing some essential basic training exercises, mainly aimed at getting a solid foundation from which we can move on from when we start with the real preparations for next year. The exercises we're currently doing are rudimentary but there also very satisfying, like for example throwing some weights as far as possible. Giving it every effort to beat your fellow athletes. No complex patters, just the simple straightforward stuff! Life can be so easy..



August 30th,

The end of another eventful championship is coming in sight. After a couple of days of relaxation I've started training again. I just can't sit still for very long before I feel the need to get back on the track. On Thursday we did a jump session with Tora Harris (USA), which went reasonable well. One or two jumps where even very good. The next day we paid some attention to the last strides of my run up. We are even considering moving my approach more to the center of the track. At the moment I'm more than a meter more to the right than every other athlete in the field. Due to some stress fractures I had a couple of years back we decided to move my approach more to the right. This would reduce the load in the curve (of my approach) and thus in my feet. This has worked really well, but we learned with the passing of time that such an approach can be very beneficial but also cause many problems. The amount of error one can effort with such an approach is much smaller than with a more conventional approach. If things are going really well there's no problem, but when things are just slightly off I've not been able to perform accordingly. This is all related to the amount of pressure one can achieve in the for-last stride, which is crucial in the highjump. Because I've become much stronger in the last couple of years a return to a more conventional approach might be the solution for a more consistent season.

August 23rd,

I knew that it would be a very tough competition out there! Everything had to come together today for me to have a chance at the finals. I started of very well and was full of confidence that a good result was possible. At 2.25m, however, it just didn't come together. It wasn't bad but it just didn't click, I wasn't flying like I've done a couple of times this season. Only my best would have sufficed for the finals and this just wasn't it. Disappointing to say the least, but I've enjoyed every minute out there and I'm positive about the future. We made some crucial improvements this year in respect to the last two years. Next year I'll make sure to improve some more which will help through my next qualifying!

August 22nd,

Me and my coach made a short visit to the incredible stadium de la France (see below)! The sight was breathtaking. Especially when one considers the fact that the Championship is almost sold out... It's going to one major spectacle tomorrow when I'll make my appearance on this immense stage. The Qualification height is set at 2.29m. The competition will start at 2.15m after which the following heights need to be cleared: 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.27m and finally 2.29m. I'll jump in the second, or also called B-group, with jumpers like Jacques fritag, Tora Harris and many more.. It will be tough going but in such an inspiring place anything is possible. Who wouldn't want to come back on monday and be witness to this for a second time...





August 21st,

Yesterday we arrived in the beautiful capital of France, Paris! All the athletes are staying together in the athlete's villa, which is situated at the university dormitory. All the houses on the university terrain are based on common architecture of certain countries. Our house is based on the belgium way of life, as can be seen from the picture on the left side of the screen. We're sharing this immense building with the France, Luxembourg and Belgium equips.

Today we took a look at the training venues which are situated just across the street from the athlete's village. A couple of weeks back the EYOF junior championships where held at these venues. Afterwards we used the afternoon to visit the Notre-Dame and the press conference which was held by the Dutch Federation.

Tomorrow we'll visit the competition venue. Hopefully we'll be able to check out the track and get some idea on how the highjump pits will be situated. After this the only thing for me to do will be to relax and get the necessary rest for the competition on saturday.

August 16th,

We just got back from Leverkusen where we did our final preparations for the World Championships. Everything went superb, which is not very strange if you are able to make use of such an excellent accommodation. We even managed to flatten 'the couple of bumps' in my technique. These had been bothering me for some weeks! It proves again how important it can be to change scenery now and then, just to get that extra bit of motivation to push you on. Almost everything we did was observed by Hans-Jörg Thomaskamp, the coach from Leverkusen who is responsible for the good results of the two German highjumpers Roman Fricke and Danielle Rath. The experience of both my Coach and Hans-Jörg was immensely beneficial to me to improve myself during these couple of days. Now that we have returned home we'll take the necessary time for my body to relax with respect to the upcoming qualifications on Saturday the 23rd!

August 4th,

My last competition didn't go exactly like I had planned. The end result, however, gives a poor perspective on my current shape. The heights are still there only the execution has been lacking somewhat lately. This has more to do with my state of mind, than with any real problems. The main thing I need to work on in the next couple of weeks before the World Championships is finding the true competition spirit that was lacking these last three weeks. To achieve this we will team up with the German Highjumpgroup in Leverkusen in the following week. The change in scenery will help me get focused and help me acquire the championship shape I'll need for Paris.

July 28th,

Have returned from a fruitless competition in Sweden. Felt very tired from all the traveling in the last couple of weeks. Therefore it felt good to have the weekend off. The battery is recharging and I'm confident that in the next competition I will reach maximum capacity again. Just in time for my next competition where I'll have a chance to redeem myself. The next couple of weeks I wil concentrate on getting sharp and focused for the World Championships where a good result is much more important. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to relax some more and work on the final details during practice.


July 21th,

It was a strange competition in Dudelange (Lux). The weather conditions (head wind) and the track (slight downhill slope in the beginning) made it a difficult place for me to jump at. Therefore I can only be satisfied with the end result of 2.23m. After this height I went for the 2.30m but it was a bit too much at that time. Today, me and my coach took a look at the recordings I made during the competition. The only conclusion we could make after having seen the pictures was that I did well to jump 2.23m. I was bouncing like crazy in my approach, each foot placement came from too high and as a result too late, making it awfully difficult to get anything going at all. The problem lies probably at the conditions and me being a bit to slow, but both can be remedied quickly, which I will try to do on thursday when I jump in Karlstad (Swe).

July 18th,

I made some changes to my competition schedule (see diary outdoor2003). Tomorrow I'll depart to Dudelange (Lux) where they organize another highjumpmeet. According to hearsay the track is supposed to be very fast. This has resulted in some very good results in the past. If the weather holds I'm confident that some nice results can be expected there! On top of this I'm participating in a competition in Karlstad (Swe) on thursday. This is the home track of Stefan Holm, which is a absolute guarantee for some good results.



July 13th,

I had a very unsettling weekend, which started very poor but finished surprisingly well. The poor part had everything to do with my performance at the meeting in Bühl. I can be very short about my appearance there because it only lasted one height, which I didn't even clear on top of that! Something which hasn't ever happened to me before. It was a very unsettling experience especially because I had no explanation other than that the downhill slope at which the meeting was held must have caused me to completely lose my rhythm and thus my technique. I have experienced problems before with meetings like this. A competition to forget as soon as possible.

Two days later we had the Nationals in Holland. My preparations were somewhat cut short by the long trip we had to undergo to get back from Bühl. I made every effort to get as much rest a possible, but I still didn't feel one hundred percent. It was however more than enough. The start was somewhat slow, but the further the competition got the better I started to jump. I cleared every height up until 2.24m in my first attempt, after which I tried my luck at the height of 2.31m. And I got VERY CLOSE! I'm confident that one of these days everything will fall into place. A very nice way to show myself that the result in Bühl was an accident.

July 6st,

Had a nice visit to Cork, met a lot of nice folk, but didn't get the result I was hoping for. With the emphasis on hope! After my previous competitions where everything seemed to go so smoothly, I thought that nothing could stop me from jumping higher. Well I was wrong. I wasn't relaxed, never really got things going for me and I the end I was left with the dissatisfactory feeling of having lost the competition even before it started. There is a lesson to be learned from all this, namely that I should focus on enjoying myself and giving it every I've got, but to never again focus on a particular height, how important that height may be or seem! It was a good place to learn this lesson and during my next competition (friday in Buhl) I'll have every chance to prove it. The competition was swell, the weather wasn't (to cold and we had a headwind!) and I got to meet some old friends and make some new ones. My Canadian friend can be seen in the picture.




July 1st,

Anxious to get underway to Cork (Ireland), where I'll do my next competition. Had some time to relax this last week en spend some quality time with friends and my girl. Also used the available time to do some basic training. The World Championships are still two months away and I need to stay focused and sharp until that time. It is still nice to compete especially when things are going well. Also added some new picture of Rhelingen to my site. You can find them under 'pictures' and then look under 'the season 2003'-option. Enjoy!


June 26st,

My first competition in Holland where I had a near miss at 2.30m! Each competition I'm capable of improving my level of performance. Yesterday I had a huge jump at 2.24m (some say that it would easily have sufficed for 2.30m), after which I needed three attempts to get a jump going at 2.30m, but this jump was almost good enough. It was an immense improvement from my previous competition in Velenje where I couldn't get anything going at 2.30m. Next time there will be three good attempts of which one will be right! My preparations where however less than optimal. After our return from Slovenia I had some problems in my back, which my physiotherapist treated with success, however, my back was still sore during the competition yesterday. It was also my first competition of the season where I didn't need a painkiller to be able to jump, which is a very good sign.



June 23rd,

They always say all good things come in pairs! Well this one certainly did! Holland is going to the SUPER LEAGUE. Next year everybody will be able to view the performances of the dutch athletes live on television! A result that has never been upheld by any of the previous dutch teams. An awesome team result of which everybody can be proud. It is an important step in improving the dutch athletic scene and getting more people enthusiastic about this sport! More pictures will be available later this week!

June 21nd,

I've cleared the qualification height of 2.27m, Paris here we come! An incredible result and an awesome place to do it. The last couple of weeks went, without doubt better than expected, but to have cleared the qualification height at this stage of the season is absolutely amazing. Normally my performance at the Europe Cup has been disappointing to say the least, but this year I was full of confidence and in the right frame of mind for a excellent performance. Up until 2.21m I had no problems what so ever, the following heights where, however one major struggle. I had lots of difficulty with maintaining my frequency in the last couple of strides, whenever I got it going the jump was awesome, especially the one at 2.27m! The 2.30m was a bit too much at this stage, especially after getting the World Championship height. It is still so early in the season that I'm confident that higher and better result will follow. More info is available under the diary option!



June 15th,

Had a very nice visit to England. During the Airnorth Championships, which is a military competition between northern European Nato countries, I jumped a very sound 2.15m which was good enough for the victory. No further attempts where made after my first time clearance of 2.15m due to the fact that my body desired some rest after the three previous competitions. With the height of 2.15m I even improved the Airnorth Record. Maybe next year I'll be able to further improve the height.

After my return to Holland I consulted my physician on the status of my knee and achilles. The conclusion was that a little bit of rest was in order and that the prospects where good. Today I had my first real test during practice and that felt already much better! With a little bit of luck I'll be able to jump free of pain during the Europe Cup which is scheduled for next week.

During the weekend I was also asked to help with the medal ceremonies at a school athletics competition. This annual happening took place in Breda at the local athletics club Sprint. This competition is part of a national competition in which kids of various ages are made aware of the wonderful things sports, in this case athletics, have to offer. The kids had a ball and I, I had a sore hand from signing so many autographs, but it was worth every bit of it!


June 9th,

Good to be back home. Was a tough week, but the result was worth it! The meet in Herogenbuchsee was very nice. Good track, enthusiastic crowd and a good field of jumpers. After Milan I tried very hard to get my knee back into shape. On the day of the competition it was already feeling much better. Feeling good and having no pain are however to different things. Especially in the beginning I tried a bit to hard to spare my knee, which didn't improve my jumps. After a couple of jumps it felt better and I was capable of focusing solemnly on the heights, which went very well. After a first time clearance over 2.21m, I jumped the 2.24m in my second. At 2.27m I was trying a bit to hard, but in the end my approaches were getting better with every turn. Afterwards I can look back at this competition as an excellent start of the season, especially when the only thing I wanted to do in June is improve my approach. Nice to see that the heights are progression equally as well.

Two days later I jumped in Rehlingen. This is one of my favorite meets. It has an especially nice crowd and good atmosphere which makes It so much easier to perform well. I finished third with 2.21m. After the 2.21m I attempted the 2.27m again, which I almost clinched in my third attempt. It is getting closer with every competition I do. It can't be long now! I was however very glad with the third place and the final result. I was feeling a bit tired from traveling and jumping (and I wasn't the only one..). Tomorrow I'm off to England with my employer and Sponsor, the Royal DUtch Air force, for a athletics meeting. I'm however not going to jump more than is absolutely necessary (which won't be very much) because I first want my knee to recuperate before I make any more attempts at clearing that 2.27m.

June 6st,

Today I'm off to Herzogenbuchsee (Ch) for a highjumpmeeting. After Milan my knee acted up a bit, which had me worried and question my decision to participate in this competition. It has however improved a great deal in the last two days and things aren't as bleak as I thought they might be. I'm confident that I can give the full one hundred percent and so I'm looking forward to competing there. The main objective will be to further improve my consistency in my approach, which is getting better but is still way of from what it should be. Only if I can improve on these points will the impact during each jump lessen. If all goes well I'll travel on sunday to Rehlingen (Ger) where I can jump on monday. It is a bit much in such a short period, but I need the practice at this moment.


June 3rd,

I just jumped in Milan (It) at 'La Notturna di Milano'. My goal for this second meeting was to jump at least 2.20m, concentrating solely on my technique. I partially succeeded: I did jump 2.20m, but my technique wasn't entirely what I hoped for. On top of that, my achilles started acting up again. I'll see how it feels tomorrow, but for now I'm going to my hotel room to relax.

May 28th,

I had my first meet of the season, which went pretty well considering the circumstances. The meet I took part in were the National Military Championships, not a lot of competition but the weather was very nice. I started this competition with a fact finding mission, namely: can I jump at a reasonable level with my current achilles problems or should I take more time for further recovery. The conclusion was that I still have considerable problems, especially during my approach, but considering the time that is left for me to further reduce these problems, the next meet (Milan) will probably go better. This is the most important lesson for today, namely that my problems are getting less with time! If this is the case, each competition can only help me improve my consistency and eventually my results. In any case I jumped 2.15m today and had one good attempt at 2.20m, a height which, under better circumstances, should prove no problem. Not really all that bad when you consider the fact that this was only the third time I jumped from full approach this season!

May 23rd,

I have decided not to take part in Rhede (Ger). This competition has come too early for me to take part in. My Achilles problems are still too severe and have kept me 'grounded' up until now. Things have, however, progressed in the last week, but I still need some extra time to fully heal. I will not take part in any competitions where I know in advance that no good will come of it. This is a major disappointment, but I'll just need to focus all my efforts on the meet in Milan on the third of June. Whish me luck!


May 19th,

Just returned from our stay in Torremolinos where we worked hard on the final preparations. The second week started out really well. I had another successful jump session, where I was again able to jump 2.16m. The height didn't really improve, but the consistency and the way in which I jumped were a lot better than the previous session. The only reason why the actual results didn't increase had probably to do with some fatigue after the heavy and exhausting first week! This was probably also the main reason why I experienced some discomfort from my achilles at the end of the second week. I was forced to take it a bit slower which was a slight setback. However, I'm currently feeling much better and I'm convinced that the problems will only be temporary. To make sure that nothing is left out that can speed up the recovery process I'm going to visit my physician later today.

I also got confirmation about my first couple of competitions. I'll start with the meet in Rhede (Ger) next sunday, after which I'll take part in the National Military Championships (May 28th), the meet in Milan (June 3rd), a highjump competition in Switzerland (7 June, this is still a maybe!) and the competition in Rhelingen (June 9th, Ger). As you can see a nice period for me to further improve my performance and who knows what might happen!

Also added the second part of the interview cycle for the radio program 'langs de lijn' (Dutch only!) and added some pictures of our stay in Torremolinos to my site. So check out the options under de 'pictures' and 'for the fan' sections.

May 10th,

Things are progressing nicely in Torremolinos! We started our week with a jump session, which went excellent! From a short approach I was able to jump a couple of time across 2.11m and had some good attempts on 2.15m. Considering that on my best days these heights would fit nicely in my list of greatest all time jumps, things couldn't go better. The way I started this week was also the way all my other sessions went. So things are looking good. Tomorrow I'll do my first jumps from the full approach. I'm looking forward at trying to implement the adjustments we made in the short approach. If this is only partly successful tomorrow, we'll be in for some good results.

May 2nd,

Another couple of days and then we're off to sunny parts of Spain! Two weeks where I can put all my efforts in improving my technique, just by focusing for the full one hundred percent on my sport. In the last couple of days we got some additional time to recuperate, just to make sure that we will be fully rested once we get to Spain. I still had a couple of good training session in the last couple of days, especially the highjump session went incredibly well. I'm getting more and more consisted with each jump I make. The improvements we've made in the last couple of strides are paying of. Still haven't done any jumps from the full approach, but we figure that once I can fully control my technique from the short approach I'll be able to make the transition rather easy. Furthermore, there's no real hurry, I want the season to get of to a good start, but I also realize that the only results that count are those made during the World Championships. That's where I'll need to be at my best, all the other competitions mean little in comparison. However some good results prior to the WC will be good for moral.

I also added another exercise to the 'training'-option under 'movies'. Check it out! The exercise illustrates the effort we are putting in improving my last stride in the highjump. It's all about getting your hips in the right place at the right time!

April 19th,

Another eventful week. It started out with some dental problems which kept me awake during a couple of nights. Next there was a farewell party for some colleges at work, which was followed, a day later, by a presentation I held on the subject of sport management. Finally there was an interview on the subject of sport development and a I was asked to give a highjump training to Jan Ruesink (on the left side of the picture, on the right side his younger brother), a handicapped athlete, who is going to the Special Olympics in another month. Apart from this I put in some overtime in the garden, which we are redecoration for the full one hundred percent. All in all I did to much this week and it's time to take it a bit easier and use more time for recovery.

Training went still very well this week. Last week was already amazing, but this week it felt even better. Even the second jump session went extremely well. No problems whatsoever. I made about fifteen jumps and my best jumps were somewhere around my normal standard. Not bad for a second session, especially after a break of two months. Feels good to be on the way up again!



April 12th,

The picture on the left must seem strange to some of you, but it is in fact very simple! One of my major sponsors is the Dutch Airforce, and recently we had a get-together with all the top-athletes that are supported by the army. One of these athletes is a top marksman, so this year it was decided to combine our annual meeting with a trip to the shooting range. I must say it was a lot of fun and it when pretty well considering I had no experience with this weapon! Some additional pictures from this day can be found under the option pictures, season 2003!

Back to business! It was a strange week. On one side training went incredibly well and nothing I did seemed to matter to my knee. No problems during practice and also no setbacks afterwards. It was also the week in which I made my first jumps from the short approach (picture below). This was however not what I had expected from it. After three jumps, my knee felt really tired and unstable and it didn't really improve from thereon. After ten jumps I decided it was enough for my first session. Compared to all my previous training sessions this one was kind of disappointing. Afterwards I concluded that it was an important and first step in fully recovering from my knee problems. I experienced no pain or lasting effects and that is the real bonus! It was my first highjump session in over two months and it seems that from now on I can improve on it!

April 6th,

Training hasn't felt so good in a long time. The problems in my knee have improved drastically. Hopefully, it will stay this way! With this daily distraction gone, my result during training have gone through the roof. If I can keep this up, I'll outdo myself this season. Keep those fingers crossed! I also added my preliminary outdoor schedule for 2003 (check out the diary option). There are enough competitions for me to prepare for the upcoming World Championships in August.


April 2nd,

Added the radio recording (dutch only) for the 'langs de lijn' special which is scheduled for august of this year. In the next couple of months more recordings will be added, making it possible for you to track my progress on my way to the World Championships in Paris, which are scheduled later this year. You can find the recording under the 'for the fan'-option by choosing 'Articles'!

March 28th,

Another week made to good use. The good weather is still holding in Holland. This in contrast to some places where the rain has been pouring down lately, like for instance the southern parts of Portugal where some dutch hurdlers are preparing them self for the outdoor season! Sorry guys!

Not much news from the home front, except that we made a start with some one-legged vertical jumps, which comes close to actual jumping. My knee gave no real problems. The first jumps are always the hardest, but after that it get pretty good. The day after my knee is a bit stiff, but after a good warming-up no lasting effect are noticed. Hopefully it will improve further in the next couple of days. Therefore it's a good thing that I've gotten the weekend off. No training until Tuesday, lucky me! Finally some time to recuperate.

Today we also started with an interview series (for the dutch radio program 'langs de lijn') about sport injuries and the effects these have on a athlete. They have chosen me to fill in the blanks, I wonder why? It is however an interesting subject, because all athletes go through it some time in there career, and with a discipline like the highjump which is prone to injuries, you've got all the aspect for an interesting report. Part of the interview, which is scheduled for August this year (they are gone follow me during my preparations for the World CHampionships in Paris) can be found in the near future under the 'article'-option. So watch out for this one! The picture on the right-side shows the fellow athlete's and physiotherapist with which I train together.


March 21st,

Great week for training! The first signs of spring are becoming more and more apparent, 16 degrees and plenty of sun. The life of an athlete can't get much better than this! We are still making a lot of progress with the full recovery of my knee. The level of intensity, with which we have been doing the various exercises, has increased even more in the last week. So far without any setbacks. Hopefully I'll be able to start jumping again early april. Right on schedule for my preparations for the coming outdoor season.

The final preparations (end of may) will take place in Torremolinos (Spain). We have been looking for a training facility which isn't to crowded and the chances of good weather are ensured. This will be our first visit to Spain, so hopefully it will be everything we have been looking for. According to the pictures we have seen this track will meet our demands.


March 17th,

Congratulations to Stefan Holm with winning the World Championships (2.35m) and Rens Blom with his third place in the pole volt (5.75m). The level of performance by Stefan is incredible. He performs so consistent and injuries seem to have no effect on him. This makes him a top class athlete. Personally I had some mixed feelings about having to watch the WC on television. It is a big disappointment having to miss out on these WC, even though I know that I've made the right choice. As an athlete you always want to perform, especially on these occasions.

That I've made the right choice is becoming more and more apparent. The time I've invested so far in my training is paying off in twofold. Yesterday I made a lot of horizontal jumps with a high level of impact. My knee felt great and still feels good after this session. This is a large step forward. During the next training period the impact level will be further increased. Thereby, preparing my knee for even bigger impact loads.

Also added a column to my site. Every two months a new column will be added to the article database (see 'for the fan' option under 'articles'). Also added the results of the last major championships to my site. This provides a good picture on what heights are required to go home with a medal! It can be found under the option 'for the fan' under 'cham. results'.

March 11th,

Training is going excellent! I have been doing a lot of weights, sprint exercises and two-legged jumps. Today we even tried some one-legged jumps which went very well. More important was the fact that my knee agreed with the impact level of the exercise. Afterward we did a couple of approaches which felt good. I can hardly wait to start jumping again. I realize however that the knee needs to be a 100% or more if that's possible, before I try my luck at jumping.

Another item I have added to my site is a section that discusses exercises we regularly do during practice. The exercises will be discussed and accompanied with live footage (Check-out the Exercise option under 'movies'!). In the animations that will regularly be updated you can also see some of my fellow athletes. In the picture you can see my coach Frans Bosch and one of the most talented athletes of Holland, Pally de Leuw. This sprinter has had some bad luck in the past. A couple of recent injuries have prevented him from giving his best on the track. He has however not been idle in the meantime. If I could only perform as well as he is capable of on some exercises, I'd be one hell of an athlete! So I'm looking forward to the outdoor season and seeing him perform at his best.


March 5th,

Great news! No serious problems were found on the MRI-Scan which was made of my knee. It only strengthened our opinion that the problems concerned the sinew. The only way this problem can be solved is by giving it the required rest, which doesn't mean that I'm lying on my back at this moment. Training is going great. We are using this time to improve my running, squat jumps (which are no problem), power and whatever more we can do without causing my knee any discomfort. I can tell you that this leaves plenty of things open for improvement. My coach can indulge in a number of exercises!

February 28th,

Had a busy week. After my announcement, in which I stated that the indoor season was over for me, I got all kinds of calls from the Dutch press. I even appeared on National Television (the interview -movie- is available under the article section of my site - Dutch only!) and radio. There is even talk of doing a special on sport injuries for the radio. I'll be looking forward to that! With regards to my injury I'm happy to announce that an MRI-scan was taken of my knee on Thursday and that the results of the scan will be made available to me in the following week. So who says that the Dutch Health service has to be slow...

I also started with my preparations for the outdoors, my knee is currently feeling fine, so long as I don't push it to hard. There are, however, plenty of exercises left for me to do. Another fun thing I did this week was a photo shoot for my employer and sponsor - The Dutch Army Me and Deborah Gravenstein, Dutch world class judo ka, had to pose in front of a Apache attack helicopter. We had a lot of fun, I just hope the pictures come out alright. Hopefully I'll be able to show a couple of these pictures on my site in the next couple of days.

February 23rd,

After a final test during training I came to the conclusion that my season was best served by taking a rest. This means no more indoor competitions for me! We are going to use this time to let my knee fully recover and use the additional time to get even better prepared for the outdoor season. It really was to bad because in some ways I was better than ever during my preparations for the indoors. If, however, your body doesn't fully live up to the expectations, you need to realize that no matter how sound your technique is, the really big jumps aren't go' ne be happening. So the best course it to use the extra time to be even better prepared for the outdoors.

February 20th,

The search for a good highjump meet has proved futile. Almost none of competitions of the remaining indoor season have the highjump in their schedule. I've so far come up with one competition on the 23rd of February in Dortmund. It is gone be do or die! I just hope that I'll be able to give it my best. A couple of years back, I did a meet in Dortmund during which I discovered that my approach didn't fit on the track. I hope this has changed! It will however, be a competition where I'm on my own. So should a reasonable height be recorded I hope the Dutch Federation will take these circumstances in consideration when they decide on my ticket to Birmingham. Wish me luck and keep those fingers crossed!

February 16th,

Another disappointing competition. Was one major struggle, but managed to at least clinch the title. I have never been so completely not into a competition. Normally I have no problem with the time it takes the other Dutch athlete's to get to my starting height, but this year I experienced the same thing at the meet in Siegen, where a lot of young German jumpers take part. I was so fed up with waiting that I was mentally exhausted when it finally was up to me to perform. Only after six jumps at two heights did I finally wake up. It was, however, not good enough. Three reasonable jumps at 2.24m were all that was left for me.

Coming to this competition I thought that the harder surface would make it easier for me to get my last couple of strides in order, but I had a very hard time getting anything going. Another contributing factor was the fatigue I experienced from the day-before. The only highlight I can think of is that my knee is feeling rather good after these two competitions. Within a couple of days I'll be able to jump again and that's the only way I can improve myself. My season has suffered tremendously with the forced rest I needed to incorporate after Wuppertal. There was however no alternative. Hopefully I'll be able to qualify myself in the next competition (if one is still available before the closing date of 2 March).

February 15th,

Another great competition in Siegen. They really know how to promote the highjump. Finished sixth with 2.20m not at all what I was hoping for, but the two weeks of forced rest have not improved my consistency. There's not much wrong with my jumping I just need more time to improve and work on the small details because that's where the problems are. Hopefully my knee will allow me to jump again today at our nationals. At this moment it's looking good. Maybe a hard surface will make it easier for me to get a grip on the details that go wrong in the last section of my jump. A soft bouncing floor is nice but only then when your feeling really confident and your jumps are really consistent.

February 13th,

Added my first two newspaper articles to my site. They can be found under the 'For the fan'-button. Check them out (Dutch only for now)! Tonight I'll be leaving for Siegen, where I'll jump tomorrow afternoon. On thursday I made a couple of jumps to test my knee. It still hurt a bit, but other than that it went really well. The best news was that my knee felt even better on wednesday. I'm confident that I'll be able to give it my best on Friday. In fact I can hardly wait for the competition to get under way. The two weeks of forced rest have made me even more eager to perform. So check out my site on Saturday to find out how things went in Siegen.


February 10th,

Major jump by Stefan Holm in Arnstadt (Ger, 2.36m). Makes it for me even harder to sit back and wait for my knee to fully recover. It is, however, progressing! Maybe not as fast as I initially thought but I'm getting there. Did a hurdle jump session this afternoon and that went really well. Just a couple of more days and I'll be able to jump again. My next competition will be on friday in SIegen. I'm confident that at that time I'll be able to jump once more. Siegen has every ingredient necessary for some good result. I'll be giving it all I can and hopefully improve on my last performance in Wuppertal.

February 3rd,

Things didn't go as I had planned! Just made the call to cancel my appearance at the meet in Weinheim. I have had some problems with my knee for the last couple of months but it never really bothered me, up till now. The last couple of weeks a lot of effort was put into getting ready for the indoor season, which made full recovery of my knee problems difficult. It was, however, bearable. After Wuppertal, where I was a bit slow in my last couple of strides, I gave my knee a hard time. Because Weinheim is so close to the meet in Wuppertal my knee hasn't fully recovered yet. It is at this moment better to give my knee a bit of rest and focus all my energy at the meet in Siegen. The good thing is that I don't have to qualify for the World Championships (WC), because I managed that already last year. I still need to prove that I mean serious business at the WC, but time is still on my side. For now better safe than sorry.

February 1st,

First competition of the year went OK! Another awesome meeting in Wuppertal. The crowd was superb and it was a pleasure to be able to jump there. My expectations were pretty high and the results was therefore somewhat disappointing, 9th with 2.20m. The warm-up was incredible, 2.20m was absolutely no problem. Normally I jump well during practice, but I always get better during the competition. Yesterday, however, I couldn't get the timing right and therefore the result was not what I expected. The performance was, however, good and this is the most important part. Speed will improve over the next couple of competitions so I'm confident for the remainder of the season. Wednesday will give me another chance to improve myself.

January 30th,

One more day before ....takeoff! We worked on some minor elements of my technique these last couple of days. The emphasis was mainly onbeing more consistent. It felt really good and I'm looking forward to competing again. For me, the first competition of the season is always the hardest (especially on the nerves), because it is the first real test. Especially indoors you need to be off to a good start or the season is going to be very short. You have no time for major changes so you have to do it right the first time. I'm confident that this year is gone be a good year! The results will be available on saturday under the diary option!



January 24th,

Just came back fom South Africa, where we had a great time. Training went excellent and my results were improving rapidly with every session. The way in which this training camp was organized by the Dutch Federation was excellent. Apart from that the good atmosphere that was present between the Dutch Athletes, made it a trip worth while!

Now I'm busy with my final preparations for the upcoming indoor season, which starts for me on the 31st of January in Wuppertal. I'm looking forward to giving it my best and I'm convinced that some awesome results will come of it. If you want to know more about my competition schedule than take a look at my section under the diary option. Information about my first couple of meets can also be found by checking out my link option to the German highjumpmeets.

January 11th,

Been at it for a week now in Stellenbosch South Africa. Besides from the wind, which is sometimes a bit much, the weather has been perfect. Most of times you're even glad there is some wind. Life at 35-50 degrees is at least bearable than! We have done a lot of work in the last couple of weeks, most of it aimed at improving my technique. The week started excellent with a jump across 2.20m, not bad for a start! We were also able to improve some elements of my last three strides, which should help me jump more easy and relaxed.

During my second jump session it however didn't quit come together. It will take some more time to get the rhythm and the feel of how to get through those last strides. even though I had a complete off day I managed to jump 2.15m rather easy. Not bad considering the fact that this was only my first attempt at implementing these changes and keeping in mind that fatigue was creeping through my body as a result of the large training load. Therefore, I'm confident that in my next sessions the advantages of these changes will become visible and eventually result in some great heights.


December 20th,

Almost christmas, one of my favorite times of the year. Too bad it won't be a white one this year. It hardly ever is in Holland. Training is progressing just fine and so is my jumping. We are focusing more and more on separate elements of my technique, by doing all sort of jumps. This week I also had a look at how the competition is progressing by looking at the amazing site of Staffan Strand (.com). He must have a huge server where he stores all his movies, because you can download complete training sessions!

This week I also added a new feature to my site, a guestbook. So if you're interested in leaving a message, just visit my guestbook, it's under the option 'For the fan'. For now, I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and all the best whishes for next year!


December 13th,

As you can see the Dutch athletes have their first real indoor facility. The facility may not be suited for actual competitions due to the lack of a 200m track, but it's an excellent place to prepare for the indoor season. Especially when it's below zero outside! This facility which is located in the southern part of Holland (Sittard) is suited for 60m sprints and has ample space for the highjump, longjump and polevolt.

My preparations have been going very smooth. At the moment we are doing a lot of weights which we balance with sprinting and all kinds of jumps. My technique is slowly but steadily improving and it's looking even better than last year. In a couple of weeks we'll be heading of to South Africa (Stellenbosch) where we will focus on the final preparations. This will be a joined undertaking of all the explosive events in Holland. I can barely wait for us to be of, because I know the heat will do wonders for my body!

If you're interested in the competitions which I'm planning to take part in during the indoor season a preliminary list is available under de diary button (indoor 2003).

October 25th,

I have just been promoted to First Lieutenant in the Dutch National Army. This concluded my basic military education and puts an end to three months of 'suffering'! No, I'm just kidding, when we started with our training, we thought we would go through hell (everybody's seen GI Jane). However, we never got that far, sometimes I think we didn't even pass further than the garden of Eden. Some undertakings weren't part of my average pastime, but compared to all the interesting and fun things we learned, these were easily overcome. In the end I even think this period of three months has come as a gift from heaven (too bad I'm not religious). My outdoor season was one full of hardship. Especially after the European Championships (EC) I had my fill of athletics for a while. Now, however, I've been able to fully recharge my batteries and together with my mental training, which I took up after the EC, I feel confident, that no matter what the future holds, I'll be able to deal with it.




October 3rd,

A couple of more weeks to go before the end of my military education. I need to confess that I had some second thoughts about this whole military training which I needed to go through. Not in the first place the impact it would have on my physical condition. However, so far I'm enjoying every minute of it. We will have to wait what the next couple of weeks will bring.


August 9th,

Major deception! After the qualification, I thought everything was possible. How wrong I was! The mistake I made was simple. Instead of looking forward to a special evening, in a fantastic stadium with a very sport-minded crowd, and savoring every minute of stepping on the big stage, I over-prepared myself. By which I mean that I suffered from a burn-out. The stress I had built up during my preparation for the final had left me completely drained. I need to learn to walk the small line between being sharp and being obsessed. My nature, which compels me to perform everything perfectly, is both my strength and my worst enemy. The only difference between me and a top-class athletes is the fact that they put the atmosphere such an event possesses to it's full use and gather strength from it. This is an important aspect which I will need to master in the near future.



August 8th,

One of the toughest things is to maintain one's focus during the time between the qualification and the final of a championship. Those days seem to last forever! You try to sleep late, but in my case 9.15 is about all I can manage. Next comes breakfast, which I usually try to keep going for about an hour or more. Not that I'm eating all the time, but the mess is a nice place to get together and make the hours pass more quickly. Afterwards, I'll return to my room where I try to relax a bit by reading a book or watching a movie on my computer. And then the routine starts all over with lunch and eventually dinner. Who said the life of an athlete is simple....!


August 7th,

Didn't suffer much from the qualification. I'm feeling rather good and I'm already looking ahead to the finals on Thursday.


August 6th,

Made it to the FINALS! Munich has seen it's share of rain during the last couple of weeks. During qualification it was no different. I was however fully prepared, with additional clothes and towels, which came in rather handy. I maintained my focus during the competition by ignoring the rain and making sure that every jump I made was right on its mark. This was not only building my confidence, but also kept me rather dry because I could suffice with a minimal amount of jumps.

August 4th,

After a tough outdoor season in which nothing seemed to go my way, the last two weeks have been a complete turn-around! The physical discomfort which has bothered me throughout the outdoor season, have subsided and are all but gone. My final preparations for the European Championships in Munich have been superb. This was a major confidence booster and I'm looking forward to the qualifications on Tuesday.