Saturday, 27th October 2001


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-Official supplier of the World Championships and producer of "PEGASES"

Interview with Jac Janssen, head of J&F

Since the 1950ies, J&F is known as experienced international apparatus-supplier for gymnastics, having supplied the Olympic Games in Mexico-City in 1968 and Barcelona 1992. In Rotterdam in 1987, they did the whole World Championships, but complex service in the dimensions of this year has not been done yet.

Nothing less than 28 containers were delivered here in Gent, full of carpets, floors and apparatuses for 6 complete training gyms, one warming-up gym and the World Championships podium on top of it...

Jac Janssen (on the right) with FIG-vice president Vieru (ROM)


Mr Janssen, athletes all around  appreciate  the quality of training and competition equipment. That causes satisfaction, doesn't it ?

Jac Janssen: Yes, of course, but the World Championships have not started yet, there is a lot that could happen. And we did have some problems concerning the huge technical dimensions.

:  We have heard about problems with the uneven bars...?

Jac Janssen: Yes, that was such a situation for example: Actually there is a FIG book about how the apparatuses have to look like. But the rules have been changed, without changing the technical descriptions accordingly. If she wants to, every gymnasts can change the height of the apparatus within 5 cm, for example. There were 20 countries, who wanted to change the height, that means one third of all participants...we were not prepared for that and it does not make sense: It takes you up to three minutes to change the height, calculating with 40 gymnasts that makes two hours ! The FIG will have to find clear rules for that.

  One could see a lot of changements around the carpets under the apparatuses during the training...!

Jac and Mario Janssen, owners of J&F

Jac Janssen: That is another unsolved problem. Actually, a 10 cm thick carpet around and under the apparatuses  is according to the rules, but now it is allowed to choose a 5 cm thick one instead. Fortunately we are a modern enterprise and can produce and deliver those carpets in a few hours. So they are here when the World Championships start. However, I find this rule unbearable fort the media and the spectators. Such changements around the apparatuses do not only take a lot of time, they are not attractive at all on top of it. Clear and equal conditions for all is what I favour. Here, the FIG is required. 

:  The first World Championships in the new millenium will be rembered as "PEGASES - World Championships" probably !

Jac Janssen: It seems, that we have made a motivating innovation with the development and the production of the new vaulting table. It is being received very well by the athletes in the gymnastics centres. By now, we have delivered 311 apparatuses worldwide and the production is going on, the number of orderings is increasing. And apart from that, the apparatus does really give wings, just like the legendary creature in the Greek myths did give wings to the athletes: I have heard that some gymnasts, such as the Austrian Zimmermann and the Greek Mellissanidis will create completely new elements on it. That can only be a good sign.  

:   Surely, the development is not accomplished yet ?

Jac Janssen: No, actually it is only starting. During the World Championships, there will be another vaulting table, on which some bio-mechanical and physical measurings will be made, in order to improve the parameters. Such criteria as the depth of the hands touching the table, maximal power and rebound (reactive force) are important and are part of  the quality of the new apparatus. At the beginning, the FIG consciously allowed a great variety of these characterisitics, in order to give way to the versions of different producers. After the World Championships, the task is to make these criteria more precise and Janssen&Fritsen will  do a good part of that, of course. Therefore the days of the World Championships are exciting for us, too !

:  Thank you very much Mr Janssen and have a successful time at these World Championships! 

>>...more about PEGASES

(Jac Janssen was interviewed by Eckhard Herholz, GYMmedia)