Toni Team GB Cap

Toni is back. Jess is back. In fact pretty much everyone is back. Back home, back in Sheffield. Time for a quick catch up and re-cap.

When we talk Toni is deciding which meal to buy in the cafeteria but he’s distracted by a pounding headache. I offer my ill informed but enthusiastic advice,

“Avoid the cheese”.


“I read somewhere that cheese can fire up migraines in some people. And chocolate”.

“What should I eat then?”

“Eat clean food”.

“Clean food? How about the tuna sandwich?”

Conscious that I was out of my depth as soon as the conversation started I change the subject,

“…it’s not Rio but Ratingen. I’m pleased with the overall score and that we’re showing progress. That’s all well and good but the real event is in six weeks”

“Your choice. Now you’ve had chance to reflect, how was Ratingen?”

“Pleasing. As I said before it’s not Rio but Ratingen. I’m pleased with the overall score and that we’re showing progress. That’s all well and good but the real event is in six weeks”

“You won pens”.

“Pens are nice”.

“But not Olympic medals”.


Ratingen Behind the Scenes Review with Toni, Jess and the Team

“Before we talk Ratingen how was the trip back after the nightmare of a couple of weeks ago?”

“Faultless. I’d recommend FlyBe anytime”.

“And the kit out in Birmingham? I think you look particularly fetching in the floppy hat”.

“Yeah, like Bing Crosby going fishing”

Toni Adidas Kit Out

Before each Olympics the athletes and coaches are all provided with their kit. Toni explains that he has a large kitbag containing trainers for the opening ceremony, trainers for village wear, rain jacket, tracksuit bottoms, various tops, flip flops, drink bottle, mosquito repellent (yes you read it here first), sunglasses, shower bag, etc, etc.

Team GB Rio Kit Shop

“How does it work?”

“It’s great. Basically it’s a shop with three rooms where you don’t pay. You’re just trying everything on for size and gathering up everything you need for the trip. Eighteen items from one room and pretty much the same from the next. It really is lovely kit”.

“Manage to squeeze in any medium size wear for me?”


“What about the third room?”

Jessica Ennis-Hill Team GB Adidas Kit

Jessica Ennis-Hill and the Team GB Adidas kit (Without Bing Crosby impression)

“That’s competition wear. Crop tops and the like. The coaches don’t get to wear any of that”.

“More’s the pity. I’d like to see you in a crop top”.

“Never going to happen”.

I’ll leave that image lingering in your mind. In my attempt to erase it I move on,

“Back to today, what are your reflections on Ratingen?”

“I review it event by event”.

“Any conclusions?”

Toni Reviewing Performance

Toni rattles off his analysis event by event. I imagine if you could witness a computer programme in action it would come across something like this. I’ll do my best to write it up and make it manageable to read. Buckle up, here goes

“Hurdles. Note to self, don’t hurdle in head winds and pissing rain. Need to make second half crisper. We’ll have the opportunity to test that out at the Anniversary games

High Jump. Runway adjustment. Need to work on timing in the mid section and leaning away at the board. We’ll focus on runway practice.

Shot. Not waiting in the middle when glides and lands, going early”

I have to interrupt, “Sorry? What does that mean?”

“With shot put there’s a point where you pause and turn which is where you introduce the tension for the throw. We need to work on the tension.

Two hundred metres. Just need more speed. Strength is fine. She’s just gotta’ run and get the body used to running fast and faster. That said, Ratingen has long bends which slows you down a little bit..” he draws breath, “ It was wet underfoot and there was a headwind too.

Long Jump was good. Still a few minor tweaks around the board, flight mechanics and the landing position”

I interrupt again, “Were you playing candy crush whilst Jess was jumping up and down with delight?”

Jess and Toni Ratingen High Jump PB

My attempt at humour is ignored “I was studying the form of the jump ready for the next one. That jump had happened, there was nothing I could do about that anymore, whatever the outcome. I was figuring out what, if anything we’d need to change for the next jump.

Javelin. We’re still building into that. We’ll be practicing with Mick and eight hundred metres?” I sense the smile has returned, “ We just need to run it faster”.

“And when do you start work with Jess again?”

“Friday. We’ll do a build up session with a range of drills and start to put in place what’s needed”.

I get tired just thinking of it.