Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Poster: hold the phone
Subject: RE: Nick Symmonds Post Race Comments
This is the point. I'm all in favour of post-race analysis and learning from mistakes, but you also have to understand that decisions taken in the context of a race only produce probabilities, not deterministic outcomes. Sometimes you can make the right decision and still get the wrong outcomes; other times it's the other way around.
How many other threads are there right now where people are yelling and screaming about Andrew Wheating or Hannah England running too wide on the curves during their heats? Symmonds made a decision that in many cases turns out to be the smart one: NOT swinging way wide at the very beginning of the final turn. Stay tight, save it for the final straightaway and hope for holes to open up -- it's what plenty of coaches would tell you. As it turns out, the holes didn't open up and Symmonds then decided he had to go wide, which cost him.
In the end, as others -- including he himself -- have pointed out, he probably would have been better off kicking early to stay ahead of the Pole, or waiting longer on the inside for an opening in the last 50m. His choices didn't turn out well, but neither of them were irrational or obviously wrong (unless you're playing with the benefit of hindsight).
Should he learn from the experience? Of course. The interview indicates that he's already learning from it. But if you think the relevant lesson is "Have more courage and unleash the animal inside," then you have a very, very simplistic view of middle-distance racing.
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