Stephane Caristan recently discussed the hypothetical idea of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic competing in 110m hurdles - an event in which Caristan was a European champion. The Frenchman believes that Roger Federer would have fared better than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, given his superior technical acumen.
Stephane Caristan represented France at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. In addition to 110m hurdles, the 56-year-old also took part in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay events during his playing days. Caristan boasts of a gold medal in the 60m hurdles event at the 1985 World Indoor Games, and another gold in the 110m hurdles at the European Championships the very next year.
During a recent interview with L’Equipe, Stephane Caristan expressed his admiration for Roger Federer and his technical skills. The Frenchman believes that the Swiss legend has the kind of balance in his footwork that most present-day 110m hurdles athletes possess.
“He's an excellent technician," Caristan said. "It is not because he is my favorite athlete, but I will have put him on 110 meters hurdles. I think of the Big 3, he would have been the most technically skilled. He has the profile of the new 110m runners who amazed me, that is to say not necessarily very stretched in legs but technically sharp enough to compensate.”
Caristan reckons that Novak Djokovic would have also fared well in the event, given the Serb's supreme flexibility. According to the Frenchman, Djokovic is physically similar to Federer but is ahead of the Swiss when it comes to stamina.
“He is very flexible, quite fine, he could also have expressed himself in the 110m hurdles. It's a bit like the Federer profile, but maybe more enduring," Caristan added.
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic could have expressed themselves in technical events: Stephane Caristan
Stephane Caristan believes that Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have the necessary physical attributes to do well in some of the track and field events. He opined that the Big 3 could do well in the disciplines that don’t require the use of height, while also being able to execute the shorter jumps in the decathlon events.
“Nadal, Federer and he could have expressed themselves on very technical events,” Caristan said. “The height, no, because they don't necessarily have the size. But in the decathlon, they would have been very good at jumping 2.00m, 2.05m.”Published 05 Jan 2021, 10:59 IST