Walmart heirs set to buy Rapha for £200m, reports suggest

Walmart, which owns Asda, looks set to finalise purchase of Rapha

With the race to buy British cycling brand, Rapha, heating up, it has been reported that the heirs to the American supermarket, Walmart, look set to clinch a deal.

RZC investments, a company set up by Steuart and Tom Walton the grandsons of Walmart-founder Sam Walton, is set to finalise a deal that will see them purchase Rapha for £200m, as reported by Sky News.

Initial interest from Italian Aston Martin shareholders, Investindustrial, looked to be the real deal but interest cooled after investors realised that the £200m price tag was a valuation that was 20 times the company’s annual profits.

>>> Inside Rapha: is it just branding or a British success story?

RZC are looking to provide long-term patient capital, a move that may have put other potential buyers off. In other words, the American company is happy to invest more money over a longer period to help the company grow, as opposed to trying to turn a quick profit.

With Rapha’s growing presence across the globe the British company saw its revenues grow by 30 per cent, an increase of £64m against the last 12 months up to January.

Walmart made forays into Britain back in 1999 when it purchased high street supermarket chain Asda, and it looks like Rapha is set to join it.


Go to Source

Ranomi Kromowidjojo Unleashes 22.93 50 Free SCM World Record

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Editorial content for the 2017 FINA World Cup is sponsored by TritonWear. Visit TritonWear.com for more information on our sponsor. For full Swimming World coverage, check event coverage page.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo sprinted her way to the top of the podium and into the record books of the women’s 50 free. The Dutch Olympian unleashed a 22.93 to become the first woman to break the 23 second mark in finals of the short course 50 free.

Her time downs the previous world record of 23.10 by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom just five days earlier at the Moscow stop of the 2017 FINA World Cup. Amazingly, Sjostrom, herself, also swam beneath her 23.10 world record with a 23.00 showing in Berlin.

Today’s world record marks the third time in history that Kromowidjojo has either set or tied the world record. She first began her sprinting quest with a 23.24 in 2013, before tying her own world record in 2015.

Go to Source

Katinka Hosszu Slips Past 100 IM World Record in Berlin

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Editorial content for the 2017 FINA World Cup is sponsored by TritonWear. Visit TritonWear.com for more information on our sponsor. For full Swimming World coverage, check event coverage page.

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary continued to flex her IM prowess with a top showing in the women’s 100 IM in Berlin, Germany, while swimming in the 2017 FINA World Cup series.

Hosszu’s time of 56.51 slipped past her own previous world record of 56.67, which she posted in Netanya, Israel in 2015. It also downed her own World Cup record of 56.86 from the Dubai stop of the 2014 series.

She is the sole owner of all IM world records in both short course and long course meter swimming, totaling five altogether.

Go to Source

2017 FINA World Cup Berlin: Day Two Finals Live Recap

Everything you need to follow along live with day two finals of the 2017 FINA World Cup stop in Berlin. Hit refresh for the latest coverage.

Schedule of events:

  • Women’s 100 IM
  • Men’s 200 Fly
  • Women’s 200 Back
  • Men’s 50 Breast
  • Women’s 50 Free
  • Men’s 200 Free
  • Women’s 100 Fly
  • Men’s 100 Back
  • Women’s 400 Free
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Women’s 100 Breast

Go to Source

Errani banned for two months after failed drugs test

Breaking news

Italy’s former world number five Sara Errani has been banned for two months after failing a drugs test.

The 30-year-old, who reached the French Open final in 2012, tested positive for cancer drug letrozole.

Errani’s mother had been using the drug as part of her treatment for breast cancer and had left pills on a kitchen worktop where food was prepared.

A tribunal panel accepted the player probably ingested the substance through accidental food contamination.

But it was ruled Errani, now ranked 98, could have done more to protect herself.

More to follow

Go to Source

Peter Sagan wins opening stage of BinckBank Tour after photo finish

World champion Peter Sagan shows that his form shows no sign of waning with victory on stage one of the BinckBank Tour in the Netherlands

World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) capitalised on a chaotic sprint finish on the opening stage of the 2017 BinckBank Tour to take the victory and early race lead.

His victory once again came down to a very close finish, with the winner settled via a finish-line photo. German Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) put in an impressive sprint to very nearly deny the Slovakian the stage win, but ultimately had to settle for second.

Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott) came home for third after pre-stage sprint favourites Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) found themselves out of the running.

Sagan now takes the early race lead after his stage one win, just as he did in last week’s Tour of Poland.

>>> BinckBank Tour start list 2017

After the start in Breda, an escape group assembled very quickly, comprising Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Elmar Reinders (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij)and British rider Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

The quartet were only allowed a couple of minutes gap given the flat route and interest from the sprinters’ teams. With 50km to go, the margin was a minute and a half, and they were left dangling out the front of the bunch into the final 10km with less than half a minute.

Several teams had started to assemble their sprint trains heading into the relatively narrow, tree-lined roads towards the finish in Venray with 5km to go.

Orica-Scott, Lotto-Soudal, LottoNL-Jumbo, Team Sunweb and Trek-Segafredo had the largest number of riders at the front when the break was finally caught just before the 3km-to-go marker. Quick-Step Floors looked to be slightly disorganised at this point, with Kittel sat in the middle of the pack.

After a roundabout with 1km to go, the peloton suddenly became strung out with Lotto-Soudal driving the pace. The final roundabout did more damage to the order of the peloton, fragmenting it further.

>>> Five things we learned from the Tour of Poland

Sagan opened up his sprint early to capitalise on the disorganisation with Bauhaus chasing him furiously. Although Bauhaus was accelerating faster than Sagan into the final 100 metres, it was Sagan’s superior lunge to the line that saw him win by less than a tyre’s width in the photo finish.

De Vreese scooped up intermediate sprint bonus seconds from the break to position himself in second place in the general classification at one second behind Sagan, with Bauhaus in third at four seconds.

The BinckBank Tour – formerly known as the Eneco Tour – continues on Tuesday with a short 9km individual time trial around Voorburg. The short distance is not one that favours time trial specialists outright, and Sagan could use his top-end speed to post a good result and maintain his overall lead. The race concludes on Sunday, August 13.



Result

BinckBank Tour 2017, stage one: Breda to Venray
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 3-50-09
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Terk-Segafredo
6. Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
8. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
10. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, all same time

General classification after stage one
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 3-49-59
2. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana, at 1 sec
3. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb, at 4 secs
4. Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse-Loterij, at 5 secs
5. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott, at 6 secs
6. Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 6 secs
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 10 secs
8. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Terk-Segafredo, at 10 secs
9. Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin, at 10 secs
10. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac, at 10 secs


Go to Source

Todd DeSorbo Named Head Coach of University of Virginia Swimming

Photo Courtesy: University of Virginia Athletics

Todd DeSorbo, previously the associate head coach at NC State, has been named head coach of the University of Virginia swimming and diving teams. DeSorbo succeeds Augie Busch, who departed for Arizona last month.

DeSorbo was the lead coach of NC State’s stable of sprinters, leading the likes of Simonas BilisRyan Held and Justin Ress to collegiate and, lately, international success. Recently, Olympians Cullen Jones and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace have both joined DeSorbo’s Wolfpack Elite squad.

DeSorbo played a big role in the Wolfpack’s three straight ACC men’s titles and the 2017 ACC women’s team title. The Wolfpack women actually dethroned Virginia to win the conference this past season, ending a nine-year win streak for the UVA women.

Read the full Press Release from University of Virginia Athletics here:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced Monday (August 7) that Todd DeSorbo has been named the Cavaliers’ head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach. He joins the UVA staff after serving on the staff at NC State the past six seasons as the associate head coach.

“I’m excited to welcome Todd to the Virginia athletics family,” Littlepage said. “He will bring great passion and energy to our swimming and diving programs. Todd has developed world-class student-athletes and he’s played an instrumental role in the transformation of NC State’s program to a championships level. He will bring highly talented student-athletes to Grounds and display an unwavering commitment to helping them reach their goals in and out of the pool.”

DeSorbo has been instrumental in the rise of the Wolfpack program. The NC State men have won the last three ACC titles and the Wolfpack women captured the 2017 ACC title, ending UVA’s streak of nine consecutive conference championships in the sport. Both NC State programs produced their highest finishes at the NCAA Championships this past season. The Wolfpack men placed fourth overall while the women’s team finished seventh.

“I’m honored and humbled for this opportunity to lead the University of Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs,” DeSorbo said. “UVA’s academic reputation for excellence coupled with the support from a phenomenal athletics department provides an environment for success at all levels. I’m appreciative to the administration at UVA, including director of athletics Craig Littlepage and senior associate athletics director Dirk Katstra for their support and confidence in me to continue to build upon UVA’s rich history. I’m excited for this next step in my career and look forward to a bright future with the Cavaliers and in Charlottesville.”

At NC State, DeSorbo worked primarily with the Wolfpack sprinters and was a developmental specialist. He oversaw the programs’ recruiting, training and day-to-day operations.

During his tenure at NC State, DeSorbo coached American Olympic gold medalist Ryan Held (2016 Rio 4×100 free relay), USA Swimming national champion Justin Ress and NCAA Champions in the 4×100 free relay (2016) and 4×200 free relay (2017).

In 2017, his athletes earned seven individual ACC titles and garnered 14 All-ACC honors, helping to lead both programs to sweep their respective ACC Championships meets. Additionally, DeSorbo coached 13 athletes to the 2017 NCAA Championships where they collected over 30 All-America honors on the way to the teams highest NCAA finishes in program history.

On the men’s side, he led sprint standout Held to three top-eight individual performances at NCAAs, highlighted by a runner-up title in the 50 freestyle in a time of 18.60. Andreas Vaziaos also tabbed three top-eight finishes, his highest being fifth in the 200 butterfly with a conference record and school record of 1:40.80.

DeSorbo helped the women’s team clinch its first conference title since 1980. Under his leadership, Ky-lee Perry had an outstanding rookie season in which she was crowned champion in the 50 freestyle in school record pace of 21.88 and qualified for NCAAs in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Perry was named ACC Female Freshman of the Year.

In the summer of 2016, DeSorbo coached three athletes to the Rio Olympic Games, as Held qualified for the U.S.A.’s 4x100m freestyle relay, Soeren Dahl qualified for Denmark’s a 4x200m freestyle relay and Simonas Bilis qualified the 50m and 100m freestyle. Held made history as he helped the United States win a gold medal in the relay. He posted a split of 47.73 alongside teammates Caleb Dressel, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian to notch a time of 3:12.38.

During the 2015-16 season, DeSorbo helped Bilis finish his career as the most decorated All-American in the NCAA era with 19 honors during the 2015-16 season. At the 2016 NCAA Championship Bilis earned top-three finishes in the 50,100 and 200 freestyle, marking the fourth person in NCAA history to do so. DeSorbo also guided the men’s 400 free relay of Held, Bilis, Andreas Schiellerup and Dahl to the program and conference’s first NCAA title in a relay event.

He additionally helped the men’s squad win four of five relay events at the conference championship and the team’s second-straight conference title, as well as earn All-America honors in all five swims at the national meet.

Prior to working at NC State, DeSorbo spent five seasons as the assistant coach at UNC Wilmington. At UNCW, DeSorbo assisted with all facets of the Seahawk program, including recruiting, student-athlete development and practice. During DeSorbo’s tenure in Wilmington the Seahawk men won five of 10 straight CAA titles and the women finished in the top-three of the conference every year.

Student-athletes directly under his tutelage set 35 school records, earned 100 all-conference honors, won 32 individual and relay conference championships, and collected 80 top-three conference finishes.

Prior to joining the UNCW staff full-time, DeSorbo served as the head swim coach for the Cape Fear Aquatic Club from 2005-07, and was a graduate assistant at UNCW from 1999-2000.

DeSorbo began his collegiate swimming career at Kentucky before transferring to UNCW in 1998-99. As a senior at UNCW, DeSorbo was named CAA Championships Swimmer of the Meet in 1999 after winning titles in the 200 backstroke, and both the 200 and 400 individual medley. He set school records in both the 200 and 400 individual medley, and made the All-ECAC team in 1999 by winning the 400 individual at the Eastern Championships.

DeSorbo holds two accounting degrees from UNCW, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a master’s degree in 2000. A native of Salisbury, N.C., DeSorbo is married to Lauren Suggs. They have one son, Jack, and one daughter, Cate.

Go to Source

Joel Runyon on Overcoming Insane Challenges

Runners have a clear super-power: we persevere when the tough gets tougher. We revel in adversity.

Runners Cross Country

Maybe you’re a totally new runner… but you sign up for that 5k anyway.

Or you’re a multi-year veteran of the sport… but you’re gearing up for an audacious marathon attempt.

You might also be like one of my clients who struggled to run a disappointing, hot, technical trail marathon (she literally said “the hardest race of my life”)… only to dust herself off and keep training for her ultra this fall.

There’s an interesting “glitch” in our psychology that tells us to defy the odds, believe in ourselves, and never give up.

Perhaps running causes that mindset.

Or maybe running attracts folks who have a predisposition for grit.

Either way, running makes me feel like I’m in a private club of super heroes.

And sometimes, we go for broke:

As many of you know, I love goals like this.

Goals that might seem “impossible,” but with the right approach (and a healthy dose of some old-fashioned tenacity), are ultimately achievable.

That’s why I don’t promote get-fast-quick-schemes or “run less, run faster!” empty promises.

Just actionable coaching guidance that’s proven to work with no fluff (ok ok, this article was definitely fluff – but I think we can all agree it’s hilarious).

And I love highlighting those runners who are accomplishing epic, “impossible” goals.

Recently I introduced you to Joel Runyon who recently ran an ultramarathon on every continent – and raised a staggering $190,000 in the process.

Today, we’re diving deeper into the obstacles he faced, lessons learned, and what he’d change if he were to do it all over again.

“26 miles into a 39 mile race I completely wrecked my ankle”

In part two of our conversation, Joel opens up about the obstacles he faced while attempting to finish the 777 Project.

They included injuries, unrelated lawsuits, brutal trail races in the mountains of Thailand, and the normal logistical nightmares of running races all over the world.

Of course, Joel didn’t quit.

It didn’t matter that he had to take 6 months off to rehabilitate a peroneal tendon injury.

He didn’t care that every race – and the travel that went along with it – was self-funded.

Nor was it even an option to quit during a race (how’s that for commitment?).

More important than the mindset that allowed Joel to leapfrog these obstacles is the impact and lessons learned from the 777 Project.

We cover all that and more in today’s episode of the Strength Running Podcast:

Show Links & Resources:

If you enjoyed this episode of the Strength Running Podcast, an honest iTunes review is most appreciated!

This episode is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people get special life insurance rates. Head on over to healthiq.com/strengthrunning to see how your running can help you save on insurance.

They’ve pulled the latest data on runners’ health risks to convince insurance companies to offer cheaper rates. Just consider:

  • Runners have a 41% lower risk of heart disease
  • Runners also have up to a 35% lower risk of premature death

And they’ve been successful: over the last three years, they’ve helped health-conscious athletes secure billions of dollars in coverage.

Want to see if you qualify for cheaper life insurance? Check out this tool to get your free quote.

Go to Source

Is the Vuelta a España’s opening KOM the easiest classified climb of all time?

The Alto de Nîmes and its 1.5 per cent average gradient shouldn’t cause too much trouble

While the fearsome climbs of Sierra Nevada, Los Machucos and the Alto de l’Angliru grab the headlines for their sheer brutality, the 2017 Vuelta a España may also feature the easiest classified climb of any Grand Tour.

>>> The Vuelta a España will take on an incredibly steep 31% climb and these photos show just how tough it is

When the Vuelta a España route was first announced back in January, the opening team time trial in Nîmes didn’t include a classified climb, but as part of some late route shuffling in the last couple of weeks, a third category ascent has appeared – therefore meaning that the king of the mountains jersey can be awarded at the end of the day.

The Alto de Nîmes isn’t likely to cause too much damage, climbing from 62m to 100m and averaging just 1.5 per cent over its 2.4km length. What’s more, most of the “climb” is on the wide D296 road which will be tackled at high speed during the team time trial, with only a tight corner near the “summit” to break the rhythm.

>>> Seven toughest climbs of the 2017 Vuelta a España

With just three points available for the first rider from the first team over the summit, the Alto de Nîmes is unlikely to be decisive in the mountains classification, although perhaps we could see a team go hard from the gun in order to set the fastest time to the top of the climb and put one of their riders in the polka dot jersey.


Go to Source

Usain Bolt: Like Phelps, A Legend with an Imperfect Ending

Photos Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports

Morning Splash by David Rieder.

Forget, for a minute, how fast anyone else had gone recently. None of that mattered. All the attention was on one man, a man with unmatched credentials — someone whose world records were so much faster than anyone else, someone who had come through and won gold time after time when the pressure was on.

Even if he was no longer at his peak, so what? When people think of his sport, they think of this man, and that will still be the case even years after he’s been retired.

I’m talking, of course, about Usain Bolt, he of eight Olympic gold medals and a pair of legendary world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. This week in London, he raced the 100m for the final time.

He retired from the 200m last year after winning his third straight Olympic gold, but he extended his career one more year to race track’s shortest event at the IAAF World Championships. Of course, if Bolt was going to be on the track, he was going to be noticed. Who could miss him?

Bolt stands above most of his competition — literally, at 6 feet 5 inches tall — and his personality won over those not already enamored with his lightning speed. Behind the starting blocks, he’s always the most loose, punching the air and playing to the cameras as he is introduced.

usain-bolt-running-2017-world-championships

Photo Courtesy: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Within the race, he long ago perfected the art of looking around to check in on his competition. Most memorably, during the 100m final at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Bolt realized that he had a big lead, so he dropped his arms and pounded his chest before he even reached the line — and he still took down his own world record.

His peak came one year after that, at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. That was the meet when he set world records in both sprint events that neither he nor anyone else have touched since — and no one will for a long time. The scoreboard said 9.58 in the 100m and 19.19 in the 200, beating his previous records by 11 hundredths on both occasions.

He would never approach those records again, but Bolt remained invincible. Well, almost. A false start did him in for the 100m at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, but he still won golds in the 200m and 4x100m at that meet.

As for slip-ups, that was it. In every other Olympics and World Championships between 2008 and 2016, Bolt stood on the podium three times, in the 100m, the 200m and 4x100m. He ended up losing the 2008 relay gold after a teammate tested positive for a banned substance. So that’s eight Olympic golds and 11 World titles in his career.

Does that sort of dominance sound familiar?

Well, it should. Hours before Bolt stormed to his first Olympic gold medal on August 16, 2008, at the Birds’ Nest in Beijing, Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games, capping off arguably the greatest single week performance in sports history (one which included seven world records).

In a career that largely overlapped with Bolt’s, Phelps won 23 Olympic gold medals in swimming, more than twice as many as anyone else had ever won in any sport. He won 26 World titles and set 39 world records, 29 of them in individual events.

Phelps’ golden moments came in 2004 at the Athens Olympics, at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne and, certainly, in 2008 in Beijing. But after 2009, Phelps would never set another world record. He still bagged his fair share of gold medals, but the incredible margins of victory were no more. And he lost plenty.

What Bolt is to the 100-meter dash, Phelps is to the 200 fly. That event was his “baby,” the event he qualified to swim as a 15-year-old in his first Olympics in 2000. He single-handedly redefined the limits of possibility in that event, lowering the world record on eight separate occasions between 2001 and 2009.

But then in 2012, in what at the time he declared would be his final 200 fly, Phelps lost. Chad Le Clos touched him out by five hundredths of a second. Years of spotty training since Beijing had finally caught up to him.

phelps-200fly-celebration-rio-gold

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Phelps would return to the sport and swim in Rio, and there he would reclaim his gold in the 200 fly — but only by four hundredths of a second over 21-year-old Japanese Olympic rookie Masato Sakai. An impressive win for sure, but not the same dominant Michael Phelps whose world record is more than a second quicker than anyone had ever been.

And then in his final individual Olympic race, Phelps would lose, and this one was not close. Phelps was the three-time Olympic champion in the 100 fly, but Joseph Schooling won Olympic gold by three-quarters of a second, while Phelps had to settle for a three-way tie for silver.

It was stunning to watch as swimming’s greatest-of-all-time came up so short, but was it really all that surprising? Schooling had quickly ascended the ranks of the world’s top sprint butterflyers, and about two months before Rio, he had narrowly beaten Phelps head-to-head. Phelps was still the greatest, still by-far the best-known swimmer in the world. But arriving in Rio, he was clearly vulnerable.

Phelps, to his credit, was nothing but gracious in defeat.

“Nothing I can do. It is what it is,” Phelps said that night. “Hats off to Joe. That’s an incredible race by him. I’m looking forward to watching how he progresses the next four years.”

And just like Phelps, Bolt wasn’t invincible at his final World Championships, at least not based on the times on paper. In 2017, six men had run faster than Bolt’s season-best time of 9.95. Leading the way was impressive 21-year-old American Christian Coleman, whose season best of 9.82 was eight hundredths faster than anyone else in the world

When he returned to London this year, Bolt was no longer “Bolt.” Sure, he was still incredibly talented and still very capable of winning gold if all broke his way. The aura he inspires with his credentials and personality, still very much intact. But the dominance, not so much.

Still, 60,000 viewers had piled into Olympic Stadium in London, and millions more were watching around the world — me included. Certainly, they were not tuning in to watch Coleman. It was all about Bolt.

Sounds like Phelps, no?

And just like Phelps, when Bolt raced individually, for the final time, he lost. Frankly, it was an amazing effort by Bolt just to make the race so close.

In the 100m final in London, Coleman exploded out of the blocks and took a big lead, while Bolt got off to a terrible start and immediately found himself at the back of the pack. Bolt did come storming back, as he’s known to do, but so did Justin Gatlin, the American who had been runner-up behind Bolt at the 2016 Olympics and both the 2013 and 2015 World Championships.

Gatlin, Bolt and Coleman reached the line at almost the exact same time. All three turned and looked to the scoreboard for clarity. All thought they had won. But only one would get a gold medal, and it was Gatlin.

The final results: Gatlin 9.92, Coleman 9.94, Bolt 9.95. For the first time at a major championships since 2007 and for the first time ever in a 100-meter race, Bolt had lost.

usain-bolt-justin-gatlin-embrace-london

Photo Courtesy: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gatlin had been viciously booed all week by the London crowd for his own history with banned substances (he served a four-year ban from 2006 to 2010), so he pressed his index finger to his lips, imploring the audience to be silent. A vanquished Bolt immediately approached Gatlin and wrapped him in a congratulatory embrace.

It was a moment of great triumph for Gatlin, who had won his first major international gold medal since 2005 and his first since his long, doping-related absence from the sport. And yet, the moment still belonged to the bronze medalist: Bolt.

Bolt took a lap around the stadium as an adoring crowd chanted his name. Photographers followed Bolt, and he bowed to the fans who had come to witness his finale performance.

It was eerily reminiscent of a moment almost 12 months earlier and half an Earth away, when Phelps stood on the pool deck at the Olympic Aquatic Center in Rio, moments after the final swimming race of the Olympic Games, the 400 medley relay — and the final race of his career — and raised his arms as a raucous crowd honored him.

That night, the crowd was thanking Phelps, fully cognizant of the fact that a man who had given them so many memories over the previous decade-plus would never race again.

Usain Bolt still has one race to go in his storied career — like Phelps, his last competitive effort will come on a relay — but late Saturday night, London thanked Bolt for a decade of truly incredible highlights.

No, Bolt’s ending would not be perfect, not with a loss in his final individual race. But remember: neither was Phelps’ final individual swim. And in the end, each of those setbacks will go down as mere footnotes in the chronicles of two of the greatest athletes that Olympic sports have ever known.

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

Go to Source