Photo Gallery: Day 5 Prelims of 2017 FINA World Championships

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

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Day five prelims of the 2017 FINA World Championships featured the women’s 100 free, men’s 200 back, women’s 200 breast, men’s 200 breast, and the women’s 800 free relay.

Unsurprisingly, recent World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom claimed the top seed for the women’s 100 free, while Olympic champion Ryan Murphy topped heats of the men’s 200 back.

Anton Chupkov and Molly Renshaw hold the top spots going into semi-finals of the 200 breaststrokes and China topped the competition in prelims of the 800 free relay.

Splash through day 5 prelims (photos courtesy of SIPA USA):

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Novak Djokovic: 'Break will help 12-time Grand Slam champion recover best'

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s enforced break through injury will help the 12-time Grand Slam winner recover his best form, says former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

Former world number one Djokovic, 30, will not play again in 2017 because of an elbow injury.

Cash said he could now “mentally refresh, get his enthusiasm back, and start back again strongly”.

“We all know how tough and athletic he is, we want to see that again,” the 52-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live.

“It might seem a bit obvious for a tennis player to get tennis elbow and there is literally no cure for it, it just takes time, usually about a year or so, to fix it.

“But it is probably just what the doctor ordered, to take time off. After so many unbelievable years, 2017 has been poor for him.”

Djokovic retired injured during his most recent match, a Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych on 12 July.

Earlier in the month, he won the Aegon International at Eastbourne – his 68th career title, but his first since January.

He suffered a shock defeat by world number 117 Denis Istomin at January’s Australian Open, where he was defending champion, and then lost his French Open crown when he was beaten by Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals in June.

“It will take time for him to get his intensity back,” said Australian Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon men’s singles champion.

“It won’t be like Roger Federer, who was winning Grand Slams straight out of the blocks after he came back [after several months out with a knee injury in 2016], but some time next year he will be playing well again.

“Djokovic’s style is very similar to almost everyone else on the circuit, but he was just that bit fitter, that bit more flexible, that bit more mentally tough.

“He has probably lost two of those three major qualities, but he will be very sensible and make sure he is ready when he does come back. I do think he will be competitive again.”

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FINA World Championships Top Quotes: Day Four

Check out quotes and audio interviews from athletes who posted impressive performances on the third day of the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest!

“I just didn’t have that extra gear tonight… I know this race will really motivate me moving forward and for the rest of the meet.”Katie Ledecky (USA), after women’s 200 free final (tied for silver, 1:55.18)



“It’s very important to me, this medal, because after a lot of years since Shanghai, a gold medal is very different.” — Federica Pellegrini (ITA), on six-year gap between her World titles, after women’s 200 free final (gold, 1:54.73)


“I’m not in the business of predicting. It’s going to be a good race.” — Nathan Adrian (USA), on his expectations for the men’s 100 free final (qualified third, 47.85)


“It was my biggest win outside of London. Maybe bigger than London… Losing last year was the lowest moment of my career.” — Chad Le Clos (RSA), after men’s 200 fly final (gold, 1:53.33).


“I’m pretty disappointed with the time and place, but it’s a learning experience for me. I’m just getting started.” — Jack Conger (USA), after men’s 200 fly final (fifth place, 1:54.88)


“I think it’s just having more rest. Things aren’t tiring as much as they were before (at U.S. Nationals). I think it’s just everything coming together.” — Chase Kalisz (USA), on his improvement, after men’s 200 IM semi-finals (qualified first, 1:55.88).


“Now that it’s an Olympic event, we’ll be focusing on it the extra 10 percent or 20 percent, whatever we need, to hopefully win in Tokyo.” — Adam Peaty (GBR), on mixed 400 medley relay (Great Britain finished fifth, 3:41.56)


“There was a lot of energy in the ready room. It’s different, but it’s a lot of fun that it’s going to be an Olympic event.” Simone Manuel (USA), on mixed 400 medley relay (USA won gold, 3:38.56 WR)

“It’s cool that we could have had two relays up there, and we could have one-two’d it.”Matt Grevers, on U.S. team setting world records in both prelims and finals of mixed 400 medley relay

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Get discounts on Rapha clothing in new summer sale

Rapha currently has an up to 30 per cent sale on selected items, a great time to save on the British brand’s collections

British brand Rapha is holding an up to 30 per cent sale on selected spring / summer and autumn / winter cycling kit this week.

You can expect to see some of Rapha’s popular brand items such as the Classic Bib Shorts II fall as much as £35 with all sizes available to purchase. The summer sale is available directly through Rapha.cc.

>>> Best summer cycling clothing for 2017

Below you can see some of the highlights of the summer sale.

Pro Team Lightweight Wind jacket  £95 down from £125

Souplesse Lightweight Jersey £95 down from £120

Pro Team Lightweight gilet £60 down from £85

Classic bib shorts II £130 down from £165

Fly Weight bib shorts £125 down from £160

Rapha was founded in 2004 by Simon Mottram and was launched with a month long exhibition in London. In 2012 Rapha partnered with Team Sky and provided the Tour de France winning team for four years before cutting ties mutually.

The latest news is that high-end brand is set to be sold to before the end of the year. Louis Vuitton Group (LVMH), which also recently bought Pinarello, has been rumoured to be a targeted buyer.


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Heat Sheets Out for FINA World Champs Day Five Finals; No Scratches

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

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The heat sheets have been posted for day five finals at the 2017 FINA World Champs in Budapest.

Click here to view the full heat sheets.

No athletes scratched their semi-final or finals races after qualifying. Events on the evening finals slate include the men’s 100 free and 200 IM, as well as the women’s 50 back and 200 fly and 800 free relay.

Top seeds for the five finals include Mehdy Metella (men’s 100 free), Chase Kalisz (men’s 200 IM), Etiene Medieros (women’s 50 back), Franziska Hentke (women’s 200 fly) and China (women’s 800 free relay).

In semi-final action, Sarah Sjostrom will be the top seed in the women’s 100 free, Ryan Murphy led the prelims field in the men’s 200 back and Molly Renshaw and Anton Chupkov finished tops in their respective 200 breast events.

The finals session begins at 5:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET in the USA).

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Ryan Murphy, Molly Renshaw Among Top Seeds after Day 5 Prelims

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After a short break in competition Sarah Sjostrom continued to display her dominance with a top showing of 53.01 in prelims of the women’s 100 free. Olympic gold medallists Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak qualified within the top eight for the semi-finals heats.

Ryan Murphy claimed the top seed in the men’s 200 back, while Molly Renshaw and Anton Chupkov lead the 200 breast qualifiers into semi-finals.

China dominated the women’s 800 free relay prelims, leading the race from start to finish in prelims of day five.

DAY FIVE PRELIMS RESULTS

Event Schedule:

  • Women’s 100 free
  • Men’s 200 back
  • Women’s 200 breast
  • Men’s 200 breast
  • Women’s 800 free relay

Women’s 100 Free

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom popped a 53.01 in the prelims of the women’s 100 free, well off her world record of 51.71 set leading off Sweden’s women’s 400 free relay squad Sunday evening, but good enough to claim the top spot into the semi-finals.

Denmark’s Pernille Blume, the Olympic gold medalist in the 50 free, qualified second in 53.13, and she was followed by the two women who shared Olympic gold in the 100 free last year: the United States’ Simone Manuel (53.17) and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak (53.18).

American Mallory Comerford was fifth in 53.42, just ahead of the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (53.45) and Australians Emma McKeon (53.47) and Bronte Campbell (53.56). Kromowidjojo was the Olympic gold medalist in the event in 2012, while Campbell won the World title in the event two years ago in Kazan.

Italy’s Federica Pellegrini, fresh off her gold medal in the women’s 200 free, was ninth in 53.92, and she will be joined in the semi-finals by France’s Charlotte Bonnet (54.00), China’s Zhu Menghui (54.00), Canada’s Sandrine Mainville (54.22), Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (54.23), Great Britain’s Freya Anderson (54.25) and Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (54.45).

The Netherlands’ Maud Van Der Meer and Israel’s Andrea Murez tied for 16th in 54.49, necessitating a swim-off to determine the final qualifier into the semis.

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Men’s 200 Back

American Ryan Murphy was beat out for the World title in the 100 back, but his 200 appears to be on point in the early goings in Budapest. He trailed Hungary’s Peter Bernek by a full bodylength heading into the final 50 of their prelim heat, but Murphy accelerated down the stretch and posted the top time of the morning in 1:56.11.

Bernek qualified second in 1:56.56, ahead of Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys (1:56.67) and Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov (1:56.74). China’s Xu Jiayu, the World Champion in the 100 back, was fifth in 1:56.92.

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie qualified sixth in 1:57.21, and Russia’s Evgeny Rylov was seventh in 1:57.28. They were followed by Hungary’s Adam Telegoy (1:57.41), China’s Li Guangyuan (1:57.66), Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank (1:57.67) and Australia’s Josh Beaver (1:57.67).

A trio of big names had to squeeze into the semi-finals as Japan’s Kosuke Hagino was 12th in 1:57.97, while Australia’s Mitch Larkin, the reigning World Champion, qualified 13th in 1:58.00. The USA’s Jacob Pebley took 14th in 1:58.05.

Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus (1:58.33) and New Zealand’s Corey Main (1:58.34) earned the final two spots in the top 16. Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki, the Short Course World Champion, was 18th in 1:58.41.

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Women’s 200 Breast

Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw posted the top time in the women’s 200 breast prelims, coming in at 2:24.03 in the third of four heats. The United States’ Lilly King, the 100 breast World Champion and new world record-holder, won her heat in 2:24.28 to claim the No. 2 time overall.

Australia’s Taylor McKeown took third in 2:24.31, and Spain’s Jessica Vall was fourth in 2:24.41. Making her international debut, the USA’s Bethany Galat took fifth in 2:24.56, one hundredth ahead of Canada’s Kierra Smith (2:24.57).

World record-holder Rikke Moeller Pedersen qualified seventh in 2:24.69, followed by the Czech Republic’s Martina Moravcikova (2:25.26), Canada’s Ashley McGregor (2:25.31) and China’s Shi Jinglin (2:25.39).

Russia’s Yulia Efimova, the No. 1-ranked swimmer in the world this year at 2:19.83, cruised to an 11th-place time of 2:25.63. Efimova will aim to bounce back after a disappointing third-place finish in Tuesday’s 100 breast final. In the prelims, she swam next to her big rival from the 100 breast, King

Rounding out the semi-final qualifiers were Japan’s Reona Aoki (2:25.93), South Korea’s Back Suyeon (2:26.45), Great Britain’s Jocelyn Ulyett (2:26.50), Japan’s Satomi Suzuki (2:26.78) and Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen (2:28.59).

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Men’s 200 Breast

Russia’s Anton Chupkov cruised to the top time of the morning, posting a 2:08.23 to easily out-pace Great Britain’s Ross Murdoch. Murdoch, at 2:08.98, was the only other man to crack 2:09.

Japan’s Ippei Watanabe, who earlier this year became the first man to break 2:07 in the event, qualified third at 2:09.30. China’s Qin Haiyang posted a World Junior Record of 2:09.39 to qualify fourth for semis.

The USA’s Kevin Cordes (2:09.47), Italy’s Luca Pizzini (2:09.86), the USA’s Nic Fink (2:09.90) and Australia’s Matthew Wilson (2:09.98) also broke 2:10 in prelims.

China’s Feilian Mao (2:10.01) qualified ninth, while Kazakhstan’s Dimitriy Balandin, the Olympic gold medalist from 2016, took 10th in 2:10.18. Sweden’s Erik Persson (2:10.21), Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (2:!0.38) and Germany’s Marco Koch (2:10.40) qualified 11th through 13th, respectively. Koch was the defending World Champion in the event.

Russia’s Ilya Khomenko (2:10.43), the Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga (2:11.00) and Switzerland’s Yannick Kaeser (2:11.00) rounded out the semi-final qualifiers.

Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and multi-time World Champion in the event, finished 17th, one spot out of giving the Hungarian crowd a treat of having their man in the semi-finals.

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Women’s 800 Free Relay

China arrived at the Duna Arena for the 800 free relay prelims ready to race. Zhang Yuhan (1:57.13), Liu Zixuan (1:56.82), Wang Jingzhuo (1:59.09), and Shen Duo (1:58.71) jumped to an early lead and never looked back. Focused on nothing but moving forward. The foursome would clock a top seed time of 7:51.75 to return as the top seed, thanks largely in part to a dominating 1:56.82 split from Liu as the second swimmer.

For much of the race the battle for second was between the USA and Australia, however, Japan’s Aya Takano delivered a 1:57.76 as the anchor to move the Japanese to second in prelims. Chihiro Igarashi (1:58.74), Rikako Ikee (1:58.53), Tomomi Acki (1:58.64), and Takano (1:57.76) posted a combined time of 7:53.67 to edge out the competition.

The USA finished a close third as teammates Melanie Margalis (1:56.58), Cierra Runge (1:59.17), Hali Flickinger (1:58.36), and Madisyn Cox (1:59.52) turned in a time of 7:53.73.

Australia settled for fourth and a combined time of 7:54.74, followed by the Netherlands’ 7:56.16.

Russia (7:55.67), Hungary (7:55.77), and Canada (7:56.49) rounded out the top eight qualifiers.

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China Propels to Women’s 800 Free Relay Top Seed in Prelims

Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Ding Xu

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Women’s 800 Free Relay

China arrived at the Duna Arena for the 800 free relay prelims ready to race. Zhang Yuhan (1:57.13), Liu Zixuan (1:56.82), Wang Jingzhuo (1:59.09), and Shen Duo (1:58.71) jumped to an early lead and never looked back. Focused on nothing but moving forward. The foursome would clock a top seed time of 7:51.75 to return as the top seed, thanks largely in part to a dominating 1:56.82 split from Liu as the second swimmer.

For much of the race the battle for second was between the USA and Australia, however, Japan’s Aya Takano delivered a 1:57.76 as the anchor to move the Japanese to second in prelims. Chihiro Igarashi (1:58.74), Rikako Ikee (1:58.53), Tomomi Acki (1:58.64), and Takano (1:57.76) posted a combined time of 7:53.67 to edge out the competition.

The USA finished a close third as teammates Melanie Margalis (1:56.58), Cierra Runge (1:59.17), Hali Flickinger (1:58.36), and Madisyn Cox (1:59.52) turned in a time of 7:53.73.

Australia settled for fourth and a combined time of 7:54.74, followed by the Netherlands’ 7:56.16.

Russia (7:55.67), Hungary (7:55.77), and Canada (7:56.49) rounded out the top eight qualifiers.

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Mark Cavendish sets sights on Madison event at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

British sprinter Mark Cavendish resets goals after crashing out of the 2017 Tour de France, and says that long-term he wants to win gold at the 2020 Olympics

Mark Cavendish has said that he is aiming for a gold medal in the Madison event at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Speaking in an interview with the Times, Cavendish said that as soon as he heard that the Madison discipline was returning to the Olympics in 2020, he was interested.

“Before this year I wasn’t sure if this was my last contract,” the 32-year-old Dimension Data rider said. “And then the Madison was announced and I thought, ‘Right I’m going to go to 2020′.”

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish on their way to winning the 2016 Madison world title. Photo: Andy Jones

The two-rider Madison will be re-introduced into the list of cycling disciplines for both men and women at the 2020 Olympics after last being run at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In that Games, Cavendish partnered with Bradley Wiggins in the Madison but did not come away with a medal, to his disappointment.

>>> Madison confirmed to feature at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Cavendish took part in the 2016 Games in the Omnium, where he took silver – his first Olympic medal – behind Italian Elia Viviani. However, an Olympic gold is one of the few things missing from Cavendish’s extensive list of wins.

Cavendish has previously taken the Madison world title twice, in 2008 and 2016, both times with Wiggins. It is unclear who Cavendish would partner in the 2020 Madison – and he would also have to go through the qualification process in order to be selected for the British team.


Watch: Tour de France 2017 stage four highlights


Cavendish is currently recuperating after abandoning the Tour de France after crashing heavily on stage four. He clashed with Peter Sagan in the final, high-speed sprint, and ended up with a fractured shoulder blade among his injuries.

He hopes to be back riding for the Tour of Britain (September 3-10), but does not what form he will be in.

“I feel like I can do stuff now, but I don’t want to start only to put my recovery back or end my career,” Cavendish told the Times.

“It’s going to be another three weeks before I can even ride on the road again. I should get back for the Tour of Britain — I love to ride my home race — but being competitive is another thing.”


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China’s Qin Haiyang Adds 200 Breast World Junior Record to Accomplishments

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China’s Qin Haiyang has been on fire this week, lowering the World Junior Record (WJR) in the men’s 200 IM twice on day four of the 2017 FINA World Championships. His efforts earned him a spot in the top eight returning for tonight’s 200 IM final.

On top of his 200 IM success, Qin has added the 200 breast World Junior Record to his name with a 2:09.39 finish in prelims. A time quick enough to earn him the fourth place seed going into tonight’s semi-finals.

The previous WJR was held by Russia’s Anton Chupkov, who will return tonight as the top seed of the men’s 200 breast. Chupkov set the previous record at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan at a 2:09.64.

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Anton Chupkov Claims Top Seed in Men’s 200 Breast at Worlds

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Men’s 200 Breast

Russia’s Anton Chupkov cruised to the top time of the morning, posting a 2:08.23 to easily out-pace Great Britain’s Ross Murdoch. Murdoch, at 2:08.98, was the only other man to crack 2:09.

Japan’s Ippei Watanabe, who earlier this year became the first man to break 2:07 in the event, qualified third at 2:09.30. China’s Qin Haiyang posted a World Junior Record of 2:09.39 to qualify fourth for semis.

The USA’s Kevin Cordes (2:09.47), Italy’s Luca Pizzini (2:09.86), the USA’s Nic Fink (2:09.90) and Australia’s Matthew Wilson (2:09.98) also broke 2:10 in prelims.

China’s Feilian Mao (2:10.01) qualified ninth, while Kazakhstan’s Dimitriy Balandin, the Olympic gold medalist from 2016, took 10th in 2:10.18. Sweden’s Erik Persson (2:10.21), Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (2:!0.38) and Germany’s Marco Koch (2:10.40) qualified 11th through 13th, respectively. Koch was the defending World Champion in the event.

Russia’s Ilya Khomenko (2:10.43), the Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga (2:11.00) and Switzerland’s Yannick Kaeser (2:11.00) rounded out the semi-final qualifiers.

Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and multi-time World Champion in the event, finished 17th, one spot out of giving the Hungarian crowd a treat of having their man in the semi-finals.

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