Four Reasons Why Being The Underdog Can Be a Good Thing

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

By Nick Pecoraro, Swimming World College Intern.

Underdogs – who are they? An underdog is a competitor who is expected to have little chance of winning a contest. It could be anyone: that one swimmer who just can’t quite keep up in practice or who always ends up in second because of a superstar who is much faster. Though typically out of the spotlight, being an underdog is not such a bad thing.

One of the most memorable examples of a great underdog story happened during the 2008 Beijing Olympics – the men’s 4×100 free relay (yes, that one). Going into the event, the United States were actually the underdogs next to France. However, it wasn’t until the last 50 meters that Jason Lezak made one of the greatest comebacks in sports history to out-touch France and help the United States win an unexpected gold medal.

So, what makes the underdog such a beloved character? Bryan Kramer, CEO of PureMatter, highlights that the beloved story of an underdog is “a journey that captures relatable challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds, only to be overcome by the little guy in the face of adversity.”

In his article about why it’s better to be the underdog, Kramer refers to many positive qualities of the underdog; however, a few themes stand out as the most important qualities that really draw out why you shouldn’t be ashamed of being an underdog. The following four points – told from the perspective of an anonymous college swimmer we’ll call Noah – will flesh out the many hidden perks that come with being the underdog.

1. It reveals a more human side.

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

Many underdogs, like Noah, have experienced the dark side of being an underdog. Noah draws out what being an underdog really is like:

“In middle school, I was not the fastest swimmer. Not keeping up in practice and missing championship cuts became a norm for me. Even in high school, I was always told I was too slow by people I swam with. After swim practice, I left the pool feeling defeated and humiliated. I came under the impression no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t succeed.”

Everyone can relate to this person who started at the bottom and worked his way up. It’s easy for spectators to look at superstars and treat them as untouchables. However, the underdog can give others hope that they, too, can accomplish unbelievable goals. After all, everyone’s human.

In the position Noah was in, you wouldn’t expect him to win anything. However, one of the great things that this human side reveals is that it doesn’t always have to be that way. The underdog tends to overcome society’s stereotypes and common beliefs. Many would not think that the loser would win – that’s where the underdog comes in. He comes in with no expectation to win and brings the biggest surprise that leaves those stereotypes baffled and stunned.

2. It instills dogged determination.

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

Determination is a well-known quality of an underdog. Kramer points out that when being an underdog, “making a better life becomes your driving motivation.”

And Noah did just that; he found that kind of motivation to drive his determination to achieve his goals:

I just knew deep down that swimming would be something special. I put in so much effort into my practices that I left tired and weak from hard work. I kept track of all my times on a marker board in my room. I could basically recite swimming stats of Olympians and mimic their techniques and strategies in the water. Many people I swam with would tell me I wasn’t good enough, but I had this shear determination to make sure that never happened.

3. You have a bigger, clearer perspective.

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

After many years of hard work, Noah did end up achieving his goals later on. However, through his eyes, he really saw what it was like to be in the top group:

When I reached college, I finally achieved big time drops and put myself on a scoring spot for our conference meet. It felt amazing, and I could not believe it. One thing I did notice was how upset some of my teammates were who didn’t make the scoring roster. Right then, I instantly felt for them, because I used to be in their shoes. I knew exactly what it felt like to be left out, undermined and embarrassed because you weren’t good enough. Experiencing both ends of the spectrum helped me learn not to take my journey for granted, and that I am not the only one who ever felt like the underdog.

In Noah’s story, he knew what it felt like to be at the top but also the bottom. This unique experience gives underdogs the ability to be humble and empathetic a little easier than those who’ve always been at the top.

4. You inspire others to succeed.

Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Crawford

“It’s the challenges that life throws at us that make us stronger and more resilient,” Kramer concludes. Noah agrees with this statement and opened up about how his unique story helped him want to inspire others:

In the midst of working towards my goals, I knew that there was one thing that could be in my way – arthritis. I was diagnosed when I started middle school, just three months before I started swimming. Yet, the one thing that could stop me became the one thing I would never let stop me. My arthritis became my main motive, and it was the reason why I became so determined. While many people my age might not have arthritis, they definitely know what it feels like to have something trying to stop them from achieving their goals. I love telling that story to people – not to show off my journey, but to maybe inspire them that anyone can succeed if they really put their hearts into it.

The underdog is here to prove that with a drive to succeed and hard work, anyone can achieve their goals. A wise coach once told his team that every person on the team, whether they were scoring at their conference meet or not, was valued in their own way. Whether you’re not quite fast enough for the championship meet or whether you have that one thing holding you back, know that you are important in your own way, just like an underdog.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Quick And Healthy Recipes That Put Your Blender To Good Use

No doubt you’ve mastered the art of making a smoothie: chuck stuff in a blender, blend it, drink it. But did you know that all this time you could also have been using that same everyday appliance to mix up fast, healthy chillis, soups, quiches, pancake batters, even ice cream? To bring you up to speed, we’ll show you how to create those very recipes for well-rounded, satisfying meals that are ready in minutes. Whether you’re running late in the morning or need food in a flash after work then, as Devo once sang, “You must whip it!”

Mexican Green Chicken Chilli

Photography: William and Susan Brinson

Ingredients (Serves Five)

  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • ½tsp salt
  • 2 poblano or other peppers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250ml chicken broth or stock
  • 8 canned tomatillos (green tomatoes)
  • 2x400g cans haricot beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded
  • Chopped coriander to taste, plus more for garnish
  • 1tsp cumin powder
  • 2 large handfuls of sliced rotisserie chicken mea
  • 125g sour cream or plain yogurt
  • ½ an avocado
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 2tbsp pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)

For unusual Mexican ingredients try mexgrocer.co.uk

To make

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and salt and cook for three minutes. Add the poblano peppers and garlic and cook for three more minutes.
  2. Put the chicken broth, tomatillos, one can of beans, jalapeño, coriander and cumin in a blender and blend until nearly smooth but with a few chunks remaining. Add the mixture to the pan and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken and the other can of beans and heat through. Add more broth if the chilli is too thick.
  4. Blend together the sour cream, avocado and lime juice with a pinch of salt until smooth. Serve the chilli topped with the avocado cream, pepitas and coriander.

Nutrition (per serving): 425 calories, 34g protein, 47g carbs, 13g fat

Swiss Chard Egg Pie

Ingredients (Serves Five)

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites 65ml milk
  • 4 large Swiss chard leaves, stems removed
  • ½tsp salt
  • ¼tsp black pepper
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ jar sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • Jar of salsa

To make

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/gas 6. Spray a round cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Blend the eggs, egg whites, milk, chard, salt and pepper until the chard is pulverised. Pulse in the sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thyme and three-quarters of the Parmesan.
  3. Pour the mixture into the pan, sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan, and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve with salsa.

Nutrition (per serving): 222 calories, 18g protein, 12g carbs, 12g fat

Chocolate Ricotta Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients (Serves Four)

  • 250g light ricotta cheese
  • 125ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 90g rolled oats
  • 4tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp baking soda
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 1tbsp butter or oil
  • 225g strawberries
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 2tsp fresh lemon juice

To make

  1. Place all ingredients except the butter, strawberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter. Pour 4tbsp (60ml) of batter for each pancake and cook for two minutes. Flip and cook another minute. Set the oven to a low heat and use it to keep prepared pancakes warm.
  3. Blend together the strawberries, syrup and lemon juice until smooth. Warm in the microwave and serve with the pancakes.

Nutrition (per serving): 425 calories, 34g protein, 47g carbs, 13g fat

Blueberry Protein Ice Cream

Ingredients (Serves One)

  • 65ml light coconut milk
  • 150g frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder
  • 1tsp honey
  • 1tsp lemon zest
  • A few drops of almond extract
  • 1tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1tbsp cacao nibs (optional)

To make

  1. Place a serving bowl in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before making ice cream – this will help prevent the mixture melting in the bowl.
  2. Place the coconut milk, blueberries, protein powder, honey, lemon zest and almond extract in a blender. Begin blending on low speed and work your way up to high speed until the mixture is creamy – or use the ice cream setting if your blender has one. If needed, add a small amount of additional coconut milk to help with blending.
  3. Place the mixture in the chilled serving bowl and top with coconut flakes and/or cacao nibs, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving): 260 calories, 28g protein, 27g carbs, 4g fat

Tomato Yogurt Soup

Ingredients (Serves Four)

  • 2x400g cans whole plum tomatoes
  • 250ml plain 2% yogurt
  • 250g canned haricot beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½tsp salt
  • ¼tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • ¼tsp black pepper
  • 140g canned water-packed tuna, drained
  • 4tbsp pesto

To make

  1. Blend the tomatoes with their juice from the can along with the rest of the ingredients (except the tuna and pesto) for one minute.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and heat on medium until warmed. If you have a powerful blender you can also keep the machine running while puréeing the soup until it is steaming.
  3. Garnish with the tuna, pesto and black pepper. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

Nutrition (per serving): 286 calories, 17g protein, 31g carbs, 10g fat

A version of this article first appeared in the US edition of Men’s Fitness

Novak Djokovic: Wimbledon champion beats Adrian Mannarino in Cincinnati

Novak Djokovic

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic came from a set down to beat Adrian Mannarino and move into the third round in Cincinnati.

The 13-time Grand Slam winner defeated his French opponent, the world number 25, 4-6 6-2 6-1.

Serbia’s Djokovic, ranked 10 in the world, will next play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov or German Mischa Zverev.

Earlier on Wednesday, Croatia’s Marin Cilic beat Marius Copil of Romania 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

And Robin Haase of the Netherlands beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev 5-7 6-4 7-5.

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European Championship Silver Medalist Kristian Gkolomeev Joins Team Elite

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

August 14th, 2018 – San Diego, CA:

Coach David Marsh​ and Team Elite Aquatics​ is thrilled to announce the addition of two-time Olympian Kristian Gkolomeev​ to Team Elite.

Coming off of a 21.44 runner-up finish at the 2018 European Championships for Greece, as well as a 4th place finish in the 50 Fly and 47.51 4×100 Freestyle relay split, Marsh said, “Kristian is one of the top swimmers in Europe and the best sprinter the nation of Greece has ever had. He has great upside and is
motivated to explore his fullest potential in San Diego with Team Elite.”

The NCAA champion from The University of Alabama added, “I’m very excited to continue my training and progress with David Marsh and Team Elite in San Diego beginning this Fall.”

Under the guidance of 2016 Head U.S. Women’s Olympic Swim Coach, Team Elite put more athletes on the 2016 United States’ Olympic swim team than any program in the nation. If Team Elite were a country, they would have placed 4th in the medal standings in Rio. The group consists of athletes from The United
States, Brazil, Japan, Spain, The Netherlands, and Israel, forming a truly global training base for amateur and professional swimmers around the globe based in San Diego, California.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Team Elite. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Volta a Portugal’s best young rider, 21-year-old Xubán Errazkín, in trouble for asthma drug use

Errazkín is not suspended, but the case is reportedly under review

Basque cyclist Xubán Errazkín, 21, won the youth classification in the Volta a Portugal but faces trouble following the results of anti-doping tests which showed him using asthma drug terbutaline.

Terbutaline is allowed with a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) served a four-month suspension after he was shown to have used the asthma drug in the 2016 Paris-Nice and failed to have a TUE.

Errazkín races for Portuguese team Vito-Feirense-BlackJack. Portuguese daily, Record, has reported he tested with the substance twice in June at the Gran Premio Abimota stage race, where he won stage four.

In the Volta a Portugal, he finished 16th overall and won the young rider classification. It is unclear if he had a TUE certificate or not for the Gran Premio Abimota stage race.

“Both my team and me decided to send all the necessary documentation before I was personally notified of the positive,” Errazkín told Sprint Final. “In addition, I have been using an asthma treatment for several years and there have never been any similar problems.”

The UCI and national federations have yet to comment. Errazkín is not suspended, but the case is reportedly under review.

Unlike the asthma drug salbutamol, which caused trouble for Chris Froome at the 2017 Vuelta a España, terbutaline must be used with a certificate. Salbutamol does not require a TUE certificate but riders cannot exceed certain limits.

Spain overlooked Errazkín for the Tour de l’Avenir, starting Friday. The investigation could be the reason they left one of their top cyclists at home.

“I spoke with him long ago to tell him to prepare for it [l’Avenir], I wanted him to be ready,” Team Director Pascual Momparler told Cycle 21. “But Errazkín has told me that he was not going to race and has raced in Portugal instead.”

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Three Home Gym Workouts That Use The FitBench Flex

Most men who love training will at some point daydream about having their own personal workout space. It usually occurs at the gym when the queue for the bench press is three deep and you can’t get to a squat rack because it’s being used for biceps curls. The luxury of having a well-equipped workout space in your home is well out of reach of most of us because of two big reasons: space and cost.

But both of those problems disappear when you consider the new FitBench Flex, the cheaper and more compact version of the all-in-one workout kit box embraced by commercial gyms across the US to offer clients a way of working out within their own space where all the kit they need is never more than an arm’s length away.

“The beauty of the FitBench is that it contains all the kit you need to improve your strength, build muscle, burn fat and achieve any other training goal,” says health and fitness consultant Tom Eastham. “It contains dumbbells, kettlebells, a medicine ball, resistance bands and even battle ropes to provide all the equipment you’ll need for fast and effective home workouts, even if you’re limited for space.” The FitBench Flex is only available in the US – for now – so to whet your appetite Men’s Fitness asked Eastham to put together three different goal-based workouts using the FitBench Flex to show how versatile this one-kit wonder can be.

  1. Supersets: Do these five pairs of moves using the bench, dumbbells, kettlebells and med ball to build lean size and strength in all your major muscle group
  2. EMOM: After a mobility and activation warm-up, do these three moves every minute on the minute (EMOM) to turn your body into a fat-fighting machin
  3. AMRAP: Doing these two “as many reps as possible” (AMRAP) circuits of three moves will push your heart, lungs and muscles to the limit, and improve your fitness

Workout 1: Supersets

How After a five-minute warm-up, start the session with the first superset. This means you do one set of 12 reps of move 1A, rest 30 seconds, then do one set of 12 reps of move 1B. Rest 30 seconds then repeat this for a total of three supersets. Then move on to the second superset and repeat until you’ve done all the sets of the fifth and final superset.

Why “This is a very effective time-saving workout that hits all your major muscle groups in the right rep ranges to stimulate the building of new muscle mass,” says Eastham. “The short rest periods work your heart and lungs to get your heart rate high so you burn more calories. It’s a fantastic workout that builds muscle and burn fat.”

1A Paused goblet squat

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Stand tall in front of the bench holding a dumbbell in both hands like a goblet. Squat down until your thighs go past parallel to the floor. Hold this position for two seconds. Push through your heels to stand up.

1B Dumbbell bench press

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Lie on the bench with your feet on the floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand with straight arms. Lower the weights to the sides of your chest, then press them back up to return to the start position.

2A Paused dumbbell Romanian deadlift 

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your legs straight, hinge forwards from your hips. Pause for two seconds at the bottom, then reverse back to the start.

2B Dumbbell seated overhead press

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Sit on the bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing at shoulder height. Press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight, then lower back to the start.

3A Kettlebell step-up

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Stand in front of the bench with a kettlebell in the racked position. Step up with your left leg to stand with both feet on the bench then step back down. Do six reps then switch arms and leading leg.

3B Dumbbell renegade row 

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Get into the press-up position with your hands gripping dumbbells. Brace your abs, row one hand up to your side, then lower it and repeat with your other arm. That’s one rep.

4A Tuck-up

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec

Sit on the bench with your abs braced. Crunch up to raise your torso as you also bring in your knees towards your chest. Pause, then reverse the move. Maintain tension on your abs throughout the set.

4B Russian twist 

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec 

Sit on the bench holding a medicine ball in both hands. Raise your torso and feet, then use your abs to rotate your torso to the left then back to the right then back to the middle. That’s one rep.

5A Bench jump

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec 

Stand with the bench in front of you. Lower into a quarter squat, then jump up explosively to land on the bench. Step back down. Make it harder by jumping over the bench then turning around and jumping back to the start.

5B Kettlebell swing 

SetsReps 12 Rest 30sec 

Stand tall, holding a kettlebell in both hands. Swing the bell back between your legs, then push your hips forwards to swing it up to head height. Swing it back down and repeat.

Workout 2: EMOM

How Do three rounds of the five warm-up exercises pictured below to activate your muscles and fire up your central nervous system for the main workout. For that, start a timer, then do 15 reps of move 1. Once you finish, rest for however much of the first minute is left, then do 30 reps of move 2, resting for the rest of that minute, then do 15 reps of move 3, resting for the remainder of that minute. Then go back to the start and continue for 30 minutes.

Why “EMOM workouts are very tough, because as you fatigue each set takes longer, giving you less and less time to rest before moving on to the next move,” says Eastham. “This type of workout is fantastic for losing fat and improving cardio fitness, so if you’re new to it aim for 18 to 21 minutes the first time, and instead of counting reps, do 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest to give yourself enough recovery time.”

Warm-up 

Do three rounds of the following:

1 Scapula press-up

Reps 10

Get into the press-up position, then lower your shoulder blades and raise them again, keeping your arms and legs straight.

2 Bungee reverse flye

Reps 10

Stand tall with a handle in each hand. Raise your hands out to the sides to feel a good stretch across your upper back.

3 Single-arm chest press

Reps 20

Lie on the bench holding a dumbbell in one hand. Lower the weight, then press it back up. Do ten reps on one side, then switch.

4 Paused kettlebell Romanian deadlift

Reps 10

Stand tall holding a kettlebell. Keeping your legs straight, hinge forwards from your hips. Pause, then reverse back to the start.

5 Down-up

Reps 10

Stand tall, then drop to the floor to get into the bottom of a press-up. Bring your knees back under your torso and stand back up.

EMOM workout

1 Feet-elevated press-up

Reps 15

Get into a press-up position with your wrists, elbows and shoulders aligned and your feet elevated on the bench. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the ground, then straighten your arms to press back up to the top. After your 15 reps, rest for the remainder of the minute and then move on to exercise 2.

2 Kettlebell swing

Reps 30

Stand tall, holding a kettlebell in both hands. Swing the bell back between your legs, then push your hips forwards to swing it up to head height. Swing it back down and repeat. After your 30 reps, rest for the remainder of the minute and then move on to exercise 3.

3 Burpee

Reps 15

Stand tall, then drop down on to your hands and feet. Kick your feet out to straighten your legs, then lower your chest to touch the floor. Bring your feet back in underneath your torso, then jump up explosively. As soon as you land, go straight into the next rep. After your 15 reps, rest for the remainder of the minute and then return to exercise 1.

Workout 3: AMRAP

How Do two rounds of the four warm-up moves pictured below, then move on to the main session. In AMRAP 1 do ten reps on each leg of move 1, then go straight into ten reps of move 2, then straight into ten reps of move 3. Without resting, go back to move 1 and repeat. The aim is to complete as many rounds as you can in ten minutes. After that time, rest for five minutes, then do AMRAP 2 following the exact same pattern for ten minutes.

Why “Doing ten minutes of constant work before getting a breather is really tough, so it’s important you get smart and pace yourself at the start so you don’t run out of gas after a few minutes,” says Eastham. “Focus on perfect form and breathing consistently to get in enough oxygen and, if you can, up the intensity towards the end to finish each AMRAP in style. It’s better to start smart then end strong than go out too quickly and blow up.”

Warm-up

Do two rounds of the following:

1 Banded external rotation

Reps 20

Stand tall with a handle in one hand with your forearm parallel to the ground. Rotate your hand up so your fists points to the ceiling, then reverse the move back to the start. Do ten reps on one side, then switch and repeat.

2 Half-kneeling straight-arm dumbbell overhead press

Reps 20

Start in a lunge position, with your front foot and back knee and toes on the floor, holding a dumbbell in one hand. Keeping your abs braced, press the weight overhead then lower it. Do ten reps on one side, then switch.

3 Lateral lunge

Reps 10

Stand tall with your feet wide apart. Bend one knee and lower into a side lunge, keeping your arms straight and parallel to the floor. Return to the start, then lunge to the other side. That’s one rep.

4 Kneeling rainbow medicine ball slam

Reps 10

Kneel on the floor, holding a medicine ball in both hands. Raise the ball over your head then slam it down to the side. Pick it up and repeat, moving in the other direction. That’s one rep.

AMRAP 1

1 Dumbbell overhead lunge

Reps 20

Stand tall with a dumbbell in your right hand at shoulder height. Lunge forwards with your left leg, pressing the weight overhead as you do. Push off your front foot to return to the start, lowering the weight. Do ten reps, then swap sides.

2 Medicine ball slam

Reps 10

Stand tall, holding a medicine ball in both hands. Raise the ball high, then slam it down to the ground. Pick it up and repeat.

3 Bench jump-over

Reps 10

Hold the sides of the bench with both hands, with your feet together on one side. Jump your feet up and over the bench to land on the other side. That’s one rep. Keep the reps fast and controlled.

AMRAP 2

1 Single-leg box squat

Reps 10

Stand tall in front of the bench on one leg, holding a kettlebell in both hands against your chest. Squat down until you sit on the bench, then stand up and repeat. After five reps, switch standing leg.

2 Ketlebell snatch

Reps 10 each side

Start with a one-arm swing, but as the kettlebell starts to come through your legs, shrug your shoulder backwards and up. Raise your elbow to draw the weight up and, as it and your elbow reach the same height, rotate your arm under the weight and press it overhead.

3 Hollow body rock

Reps 20

Lie on the bench with your legs straight and feet together and your arms extended straight overhead. Keeping your abs braced, rock your torso up so your legs go down, then rock your legs up so your torso goes down. That’s one rep.

Taco van der Hoorn triumphs in shock breakaway win at stage three of the BinckBank Tour

The 24-year-old Dutchman scarcely seemed to believe what was happening as he crossed the line

Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) was the surprise winner of stage three of the BinckBank Tour, on a rare occasion in which the breakaway managed to hold off the peloton on a flat stage.

His breakaway companion Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) inherits the overall lead from Stefan Küng (BMC), who finished in the peloton over one minute behind.

They were part of a five-man group that escaped at the start of the day, which also included Van der Hoorn’s Rompot teammate Jesper Asselman, Sean De Bie (Veranda’s Willems Crelan) and Maxime Vantomme (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic).

When it became clear in the final ten kilometres that they would survive, Mohoric – easily the most accomplished rider in the group – put in several stinging attacks in an attempt to win the stage.

However, it was Van der Hoorn’s counter-attack under the one kilometre to go banner that proved to be the decisive move, that neither Mohoric nor the others were able to respond to.

The result will go down as easily the biggest on the 24-year old Dutchman’s palmares, which until now had only featured a few wins in minor Europe Tour races. He scarcely seemed to believe what was happening himself, neither celebrating nor once looking back on the finishing straight until he’d crossed the line.

The peloton, lead by Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), didn’t arrive until 1-11 later, meaning that, as well as Mohoric becoming the new overall leader, De Bie also moves to second overall one second behind, while Vantomme rises to fourth and Van der Horn to fifth.

How it happened

Van der Hoorn, Mohoric, De Bie, Vantomme and Asselman all broke clear at the start of the day.

The biggest name was undoubtedly Mohoric, who had a licence to attack having lost 58 seconds in yesterday’s time trial.

The quintet worked well together straight from the off, and built a lead that peaked at 4-40 ahead of the peloton.

Ag2r La Mondiale upped the pace as the peloton went through the feed zone with around 55km to go, presumably in anticipation of strong crosswinds. They strung the bunch out in single file, and some lost contact, while overall contender Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) suffered a puncture at this inopportune time.

However, the French team knocked the pace off after a few kilometres when the wind failed to blow substantially, allowing Wellens and others to catch back on.

In the aftermatch, the gap to the break was reduced to three minutes. It stayed at around that amount for several kilometres, and remained so by the time the break reached the finish line for the first of three circuits in Antwerp with 26km to go.

The pace in the peloton was slow enough for Stefan Küng (BMC) to make his way through the cars back up to the peloton without any assistance from his teammates after he suffered a mechanical.

The gap did start to come down when the likes of Quick-Step Floors, LottoNL-Jumbo and Mitchelton-Scott put riders at the front of the peloton, but not quickly enough.

With 20km to go it remained at over two minutes. 10km later, it was still at around 1-50, and, despite a committed chase, the peloton were unable to make any inroads.

In the golden kilometre Mohoric picked up nine bonus seconds, time that would ultimately prove decisive for the Slovenian national champion as it meant that he, rather than De Bie, took the overall lead at the end of the stage.

Once it became clear that they would not be caught, hostilities resumed between the breakaway riders. With 5km to Mohoric made his first attack, which was enough to distance Asselman but not the others.

De Bie was careful to cover Mohoric’s other attacks, but neither had any answer to Van der Hoorn’s move 1km from the finish.

The BinckBank Tour will continue tomorrow with another flat stage expected to be a bunch sprint – but as we found out today, nothing is guaranteed in cycling.

Results

BinckBank Tour stage three, Aalter to Antwerpen (166km)

1 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij in 3-57-56
2 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic, at 35s
3 Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan
4 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
5 Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij, at same time
6 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1-11
7 Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
9 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
10 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale, at same time

General classification after stage three

1 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida in 8-03-56
2 Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan at 1s
3 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team at 22s
4 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic at 25s
5 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij at 34s
6 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 36s
7 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb at 37s
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at same time
9 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 41s
10 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin, at same time

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Three holes-in-one in five hours – amateur golfer’s extraordinary day

Ali Gibb

It’s a moment that, if you are lucky, might happen once in a lifetime.

But a 51-year-old amateur golfer hit three holes-in-one as she defended her club championship title on Tuesday.

Ali Gibb achieved the remarkable feat at Croham Hurst Golf Club in South Croydon, Surrey – and it was not the first time she had scored a hole-in-one either.

“Today was just a weird day. It was just very, very strange,” she said. “On my card I had a nine, two eights, sixes, fives, fours, threes, twos and three ones.

“Our pro Adam came up to me and said: ‘I’ve had one hole-in-one in 42 years, you’ve just had three in five hours.'”

Two of her holes-in-one came on the same hole – the fifth – with the third coming on her second visit to the 11th in the 36-hole competition.

“I have had a hole-in-one before – three actually. One was here on the seventh, one at Surrey National Golf Club, and one at the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate in South Africa,” Gibb added.

“It’s just absolutely extraordinary. I think I will wake up tomorrow asking if I’ve just been dreaming about it and if it is club championship day today instead!”

Club secretary Jean Cooke said: “It was fantastic, a great occasion. It’s the biggest golf day of our year, and as news travelled around the course, the buzz was spreading.

“At the award ceremony in the evening, the club bought her three bottles of champagne, and there was a really good celebration.

“Scoring one hole-in-one in a whole lifetime is unusual but three in one day is extremely rare if not unique.”

Scorecard showing Ali Gibb's winning scores

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Ledecky Gives Swim Lessons In Tokyo As Part Of U.S. Embassy Program

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, who is fresh off of winning five medals (including three golds) at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, stuck around after that meet in Tokyo to give swim lessons to Japanese students, per a report in the Charlotte Observer.

Ledecky was on hand to work with more than 100 elementary school and junior high school aged swimmers, answering questions about her career before getting into the pool and swimming with the students. Her lessons were part of the United States Embassy’s “Go For Gold” initiative, which brings American athletes and diplomats to participating schools in Japan.

“It’s fun for me to give back to the sport I love so much,” Ledecky told reporters, adding with a smile that “Hopefully I’ll see a lot of their faces again in two years.”

Preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games are well underway in Tokyo, including adding a roof to the swimming venue that is currently under construction. Ledecky figures to be a major player at those Games, with the swimmer forgoing her final two years of eligibility at Stanford to turn professional heading into the next Olympics.

The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report. 

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