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I wonder though, how much of the decline is based on actual declining ability, and how much is based on the small pool size. I suppose about the only way to know for sure, is to be able to wait until some of these people age, and get their numbers again in 20 years.
Some has to do with age. As with any sport as you age your not as strong. If it were different pro players would be playing in to their 50's. But also 20 years ago there were very few players that were monster throwers. Now there seems to be an endless parade of 400'+ throwers out there.
How many times have you heard a 15 year-old kid whining that he has hit a distance wall at 400'? For old timers like me it gets really aggravating when at best I could reach 300'.
But I have actually gotten better with longer drives. As I got older (I'm 47) If I would throw with the same force I did when I was younger my shoulder would get really sore. Now I rely less on power and more on the right mechanics of trowing a disc.
Now I can throw longer with better accuracy now than I could 10 years ago. I just wish I had learned the right mechanics 25 years ago.
Athletic ability clearly declines with age. But you can't conclude that "women would lose over 200 feet in 20 years". From age 20 to 40, there's likely very little loss. If someone only throws 275', they're not likely to be throwing 75' in 20 years.
Keep in mind that very few of the grandmasters started playing in our youth, so we didn't have the advantage that many younger plays have today.
Just have one phrase...................
The older I get,
The better I use to be.
I was being flip, when I wondered whether older women lose 200 ft in 20 years. I'm really talking about the maximums, and I completely agree that we're not comparing apples to apples. I expect the current long distance pros to completey blow these numbers out of the water in 20 years.
The reason I started this discussion, is because as an almost grandmaster female, I've been throwing with much younger women, and seeing them throw 250 feet or so. I can't even keep up with the beginners (most beginners I've seen tend to be much younger). I've been working really hard for two years, and have just worked myself up to almost 100 ft, but figured I should be throwing at least 200. By seeing those statistics, I think a more realistic expectation for my age is 150 ft. From 100, 150 seems possible, whereas 200 seems like Mount Everest. It's totally changed my perspective. I'm still really terrible, but maybe not abysmal :-).