ACC Announces Dates for 2017-18 Swimming Championships in Greensboro

The ACC swimming and diving championships will return to the Greensboro Aquatic Center in 2018, and the conference has now announced the dates for the two meets, both in the Wednesday through Saturday format.

The women’s swimming and women’s and men’s diving championships will be held Feb. 14-17, while the men’s swimming will be contested Feb. 21-24.

The meets had been scheduled for the Greensboro Aquatic Center every year from 2016 through 2023, but the 2017 meets were moved to Atlanta after the ACC (and NCAA) pulled all neutral-site championships from the state in response to the controversial HB2. But the bill’s repeal this spring meant that the conference would return for the 2017-18 season.

The ACC championships have previously been held in Greensboro in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

View the full ACC championships schedule for 2017-18 (all sports) by clicking here.

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Cyclist uses plungers to create protected bike lane in Rhode Island

One cyclist took surprising measures to mark out the bike lane…

Just in time for last week’s National Bike to Work Day, Jeff Leary installed some rather surprising bike lane protectors.

Located on Fountain Street in Providence, Rhode Island, Leary placed 72 toilet plungers along the white line indicating the outside of the street’s bike lane. Leary even went so far to put reflective yellow tape on the handle for increased visibility.

>>> Watch: Cyclist knocked off bike then nearly run over in shocking dooring incident (video)

“The city could’ve gone one step further by putting in flex posts and it would’ve been a signal to drivers that, ‘You really don’t belong over here,’ and park in the middle,” Leary, a long-time bike commuter said to NBC 10 News about the creation of the new bike lane.

Although the city is working to make the city more accessible to cycling commuters, he believes more safety measure should be put in place to protect cyclists on the city’s roads.

“I would like to see the transportation department and the highway department be a little more proactive when these sort of things are implemented – to really go all the way with it,” he said.

Fountain Street was recently re-designed to include the dedicated bike lane, something that drivers in Providence aren’t accustomed to.

Adjacent to the the new bike lane are parking spaces whose parking meters are actually located on the other side of the bike lane. In order for a driver to feed the meter, they must cross over the bike lane, which can create a dangerous and confusing situation.

“The parking meters are right next to the bike lane, so I think that’s just what makes people (confused),” Providence resident Chris Anderson said.

According to a spokesperson from Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office, more improvements are expected to the bike lane this summer and the plungers will not be removed by the city immediately.

“We think it’s a creative solution to an existing problem,” the spokesperson told NBC 10 News.


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3 Topics for World Para Swimming to Consider

Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports

By Robert Griswold Swimming World College Intern.

At the beginning of every Olympic and Paralympic four-year cycle, both international and national federations alike evaluate the successes and failures of the previous four years and plan for the future.

World Para Swimming as a whole has accomplished a lot in the past four years in terms of competition level, athlete development and media attention. In order to build on the successes of the last four years, World Para Swimming must address the following topics: classification, endorsement and emerging athletes.

1. Classification

As World Para Swimming garners more spectator and media attention, the issue of classification must be addressed. At the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it was painfully obvious that some athletes almost magically appeared out of nowhere to win medals and acquire records in massive numbers. It was also embarrassingly obvious that there were athletes placed in the wrong classifications who went on to win medals and break records.

This controversy has unfortunately turned many potential spectators and fans away from the sport. At the beginning of this year, World Para Swimming decided to significantly reduce the amount of meets where classification occurs and is currently conducting classification research in conjunction with many national federations. The hope from these changes is that a solution will be found which will allow a greater transparency amongst classifications.

2. Endorsement of the Elite Sport Aspect

Para Swimming has come a long way in the last decade. There are an increasing number of athletes making a living off of competing every year. These athletes have made up to seven figures annually. World Para Swimming has decided to include a five-stop World Cup Series to its schedule for 2017. With stops in Copenhagen, Sao Páulo, Sheffield, Indianapolis and Berlin, the goal is to increase the level of media coverage for Para Swimming as well as give athletes a platform in which they compete all year long.

Another measure that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has taken to increase media coverage is to host Para Swimming and Para Powerlifting World championships in Mexico City from September 30 to October 6, 2017. Having World Championships later in the year will allow World Para Swimming to establish itself as its own entity instead of being drowned out by FINA World Championships earlier in the year.

3. World-wide Emerging Athlete Development 

World Para Swimming has put a great deal of effort into developing talent across the world. In response to limiting the number of international classification opportunities each year, World Para Swimming has decided to give greater autonomy to each National Paralympic Committee (NPC) in regard to nationally classifying their athletes.

What this means is that countries now have been given the means to classify their swimmers so they can compete at a national level in their respective country. This compromise allows athletes to plunge into the sport and hone their skills without having to travel across the world to get classified.

Another example of how World Para Swimming is attempting to grow the sport is by affording international competition opportunities for junior athletes. This year, São Paulo hosted the Youth Para Pan-American Games. Competitions like this expose junior athletes to international competition and therefore prepare them to compete at the senior level. A full implementation of a youth system is likely years away since many of these athletes are already competing and winning at the senior level. As the level of competition rises, however, there will be a demand for junior level international competition.

“Grooming the next generation of Paralympic athletes is vital to the continued success and growth of the Paralympic movement,” Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan said. “Emerging Athletes who embody determination, courage and sportsmanship continue the mission of elite competition for persons with disabilities in Para Sport.”

In summary, World Para Swimming is on the right track to address these aspects of the sport and to improve growth and opportunity for athletes across the world. This is just the beginning, but one can only hope that the next four years will be looked upon as an even greater success than the previous four years.

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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[VIDEO] Cliff Divers Train at Famed Arch of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico

Photo Courtesy: Mauricio Ramos/Red Bull Content Pool

A summit of a particular nature took place where the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean: cliff divers Jonathan Paredes of Mexico and America’s David Colturi dived at the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas. With their aesthetic dives from up to 24m into the ocean, the athletes joined forces and flexed their muscles towards the 6-time champion Gary Hunt from England prior to the most unpredictable season in Red Bull Cliff Diving history. Ever since they qualified for the World Series in 2012, they’ve been battling side by side and are aiming for the 2017 overall title under the most contrasting pre-conditions: one as 2016’s runner-up and the other returning from a gnarly injury.

In awe of the beauty of the natural rock formation also known as ‘lands end’, the 27-year-old ‘style master’ pulled off a series of immaculate dives and proved to be ready to better his personal best from the previous season. “It’s my first time here in Cabo San Lucas. This place is amazing for cliff diving,” says the runner-up from 2016, “I’m super happy to be back in Mexico.”

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Born and bred in Mexico City, Paredes lives and trains mainly in his wife’s hometown Madrid, Spain, but returns to his roots on a regular basis to recharge and make use of the country’s natural cliffs like the ones in Cabo San Lucas. With the 2017 World Series only 5 weeks away, the preparation for dives from up to 27m and impacts of 85km/h is mostly about fine-tuning what has been worked on during the off-season. “I tried a new dive a couple of weeks ago, which I’ve been working on from 10m all winter and I’m going to give my best this year for sure,” explains the diving perfectionist, ”my expectations are bigger than last year. I want to fight for the title again, against Gary. I’m ready for the season.”

L.A. based Colturi on the other hand, spent most of his winter with rehab training after he had to withdraw from the World Series and undergo shoulder surgery last October. His comeback is planned right down to the last detail and does not leave room for doubts – the 28-year-old twist master is committed to step it up again. “I really focused and changed my game plan. I was working smarter and harder in a lot of situations, trying to dial back the numbers but dial up the intensity and the focus on the mental aspects of it,” states the 8-time podium finisher, “I feel like this is going to be my biggest and best season and I need it coming off of a not so great 2016.”

For both athletes the cliff dives into crystal clear water from the graceful limestone arch emerging from a white sandy beach, a popular hangout for sea lions, served as a confidence booster. Colturi explains: “It’s huge to get some experience cliff diving before the competitions actually start. Any chance you get to be up above the normal training heights of 10 and 12m is invaluable experience. To put yourself up that high and take the impacts from that height and trying to fly and control through the air is something that really gets you ready for the first competitions of the year.”

From Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja California, the athletes travel to Inis Mór off Ireland’s west coast. The mysterious blowhole of Serpent’s Lair hosts the first of six competitions to define the new champions in the men’s and the women’s. This is where Paredes and Colturi will start chasing down the record winner Hunt.

Watch the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series preview:

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for exhilarating action and dives of ever-growing complexity. The series features elite athletes as well as young up-and-coming talent and a Women’s World Series was introduced in 2014. In 2017 the sport’s best athletes will once again leap, twist and somersault from breathtaking heights with no protection, except their concentration, skill and physical control during six competitions around the world.

Press release courtesy of Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

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Turker Ayar Scores FINA A Cut At Islamic Solidarity Games

Photo Courtesy: Randam

BAKU, Azerbaijan — Texas A&M senior swimmer Turker Ayar earned a pair of gold medals and tallied a coveted FINA “A” qualifying time at the recent Islamic Solidarity Games at the Baku Aquatics Center.

Ayar, who was representing his home country of Turkey at the meet, was victorious in the 100-meter butterfly and with Turkey’s 400-meter medley relay. He won the 100 fly by more than a quarter of a second with a time of 52.75. In the semifinals, Ayar won his heat with a lifetime best time of 52.20, which was a Turkish national record and a FINA “A” cut, and it will likely earn him a spot at the FINA World Championships, which will be contested July 14-30 in Budapest, Hungary.

Ayar helped lead Turkey to a victory in the 400 medley relay with a butterfly split time of 53.10, which was the fastest of the day. Turkey won the 400 medley relay in 3:40.70, which was nearly three seconds faster than the runner-up foursome.

Press release courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics. 

You can find the full results of the swimming events from the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games here.

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IOC Evaluation Commission Praises Paris 2024 Committee for Authenticity, Creativity

We have just about four months to go until the announcement of the site of the 2024 Summer Olympics, and possibly the 2028 Summer Olympics as well. The International Olympic Committee recently visited Paris, one of the two finalists for the 2024 Games along with Los Angeles, and they liked what the city had to offer.

IOC evaluation commission chairman Patrick Baumann praised Paris’ vision for hosting the 2024 Games, but did not elaborate any further.

Paris 2024 Olympics candidate

Photo Courtesy: Benh

The IOC has four vice presidents looking at the possibility of awarding the next two Olympics to Paris and Los Angeles in September of this year in an unprecedented “win-win” scenario. Paris, however, has indicated it is only interested in hosting the 2024 Games, and holds no interest in hosting beyond that–as of right now. After three cities pulled out of the potential bid, Paris and Los Angeles remain the last two cities in line for the Games.

“I’m not even thinking that we won’t get 2024,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told The Associated Press when asked about the future of the bid if Paris loses.

Paris has a history with the Olympics. The city hosted the summer Games in 1900 and 1924, and presented bids for the 1992, 2008 and 2012 Games. The IOC was also founded in Paris in 1894 by French Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

The IOC also liked Paris’ vision of having road cycling races finish at the Arc de Triomphe, taekwondo and fencing competition inside the Grand Palais, equestrian next to the Versailles Castle, and beach volleyball at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

“The Paris bid can put sport in the middle of that history,” Baumann said at a news conference. “And there is also the Olympic history, with the baron Pierre de Coubertin, this is where modern Olympics were born. There is a very strong link between Paris’ history, the Olympics history and their will to host the games again after those of 1924.”

A decision regarding the host of the 2024 Summer Olympics is expected to be made September 13 in Lima, Peru.

“We have two candidatures that do not present major risks,” Baumann said. “Both cities have an Olympic tradition, venues ready to use and dedicated teams. They have a totally different historic and cultural background. The two cities have a different vision and IOC members will have to decide between the two.”

You can read a full report from Daily Mail here.

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Conor McGregor signs to fight Floyd Mayweather

18/05/2017 13:34

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor says he has signed a deal to fight former boxing pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.

The Irish mixed martial artist has agreed a deal with UFC president Dana White to meet the American in a boxing match and now says, it’s up to Mayweather to make the megafight happen.

“The first, and most important part of this historic contract has now officially been signed off on,” McGregor said in a statement to Themaclife.com.

“Congratulations to all parties involved. We now await (Mayweather’s adviser) Al Haymon and his boxer’s signature in the coming days.”

McGregor did not specify on the terms of the deal.

“The McGregor side is done,” said White. “I’m starting to work on the Mayweather side now.

“I’m not saying the fight will happen, but I’ve got one side done, now it’s time to work on the other. If we can come to a deal with Haymon and Mayweather, the fight’s gonna happen.”

Mayweather retired from boxing in September 2015 after equalling Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten record of 49-0.

“There’s only one fight that makes business sense,” Mayweather said on Wednesday. “I came out of retirement because I’m a businessman and I want to give the world what they want to see.

“McGregor’s a fighter. I’m a fighter. This is what the fight fans and MMA fans want to see.”

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Swim Drill Of The Week: Breaststroke Tempo Progression

Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week”. Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill is a progression to work on developing a high tempo breaststroke with minimal resistance on the recovery of the pull. This progression does use fins for some of the drills involved. Take a look at the progression below and the explanation that follows:

3-4 Rounds:

50 body dolphin breaststroke w/ fins

50 breaststroke with flutter kick w/ fins

*hop out of pool, 8-10 x med ball throws against wall while sitting

25 fast breaststroke

The whole idea behind this drill progression is to push through the middle of the stroke to get a fast, efficient pull. The focus of the first two 50’s is to drive the turnover, trying to use the fins and a high tempo pull to go as fast as possible. The breaststroke pull with body dolphin is to remind your athletes to drive forward at the end of each stroke, while the breaststroke pull with flutter kick is meant to get their tempo up as they are working their legs.

The purpose of the fins on the drill work is twofold: the fins will obviously help your swimmers go faster and get their tempo up, but they will also help your swimmers spot any areas of resistance in their pull. Since the fins will help them get up to a faster than normal speed, any pause in their stroke will be exaggerated and able to be corrected.

After the first two 50’s, swimmers will hop out and do 8-10 med ball throws on land. These should be done sitting down facing a wall, and with each throw your swimmers should be driving their chests forward, almost parallel to the ground. Again, this is an exaggeration of the forward drive they want at the end of each stroke. Finish with a 25 of full stroke breaststroke with no equipment to see how the drill work translates into a high tempo, efficient stroke. Happy swimming!

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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‘He’s a superstar of the future’: Is Fernando Gaviria’s Grand Tour debut one of the greatest ever?

The Colombian has three stage wins already in his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, the best since at a Grand Tour since Peter Sagan

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), after his Giro d’Italia stage win on stage 12 in Reggio Emilia, is riding the most impressive Grand Tour debut for a sprinter since Peter Sagan in 2011.

The 22-year-old Colombian won three stages so far in the Giro. Such an explosive debut has not been seen in six years, when Sagan – now a double world champion and riding for Bora-Hansgrohe – won three stages in the 2011 Vuelta a España.

>>> Fernando Gaviria continues dream Grand Tour debut with third win at Giro d’Italia on stage 12

“No, I couldn’t imagine such a debut,” Gaviria said. “It would be a lie if I said otherwise. In this first Grand Tour, one can imagine, OK, one stage, maybe one stage by luck, but three wins is something important.”

Gaviria won his first stage before the Giro left Sardinia. He took another in Sicily. On Thursday, he won in Emilia Romagna.

“The first time when he sprinted, he sprinted with a bunch of sprinters, and the team rode a fantastic race and did a great job,” said Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), third on stage 12.

“The next day, I hit the wind early and he came off the wheel at the right time and then today, they are doing a great job again.

Fernando Gaviria celebrates his third victory at the Giro d’Italia 2017 (Sunada)

“He’s shown experience beyond his years again. He’s so young. He’s only going to get stronger as well. He’s a superstar of the future.”

One of the best Grand Tour sprinters, if not the best, Mark Cavendish made a quiet debut in the 2007 Tour de France before pulling back the throttle on his rivals and riding clear in the following years.

Marcel Kittel, André Greipel or John Degenkolb were unable to enjoy the success that Gaviria has in the Giro. Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Petacchi could not either.

Thinking back to big debuts, Belgian Freddy Maertens comes to mind. He won eight times in the 1976 Tour.

“This is Fernando’s first Grand Tour? Geez! Yeah, I’m impressed,” Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Jens Zemke said.

“Everyone knows that he’s one of the fastest and it’s always the new generation that brings such a star.

“It also shows that if you can win one stage in a grand tour then you can win two, three or four. He is now the man to beat. He’s 22, but Caleb Ewan is similar.”

Fernando Gaviria sprints ahead of the field on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia (Sunada)

Ewan, at 21-years-old, rode the 2015 Vuelta a España. That year, in the only big kick he contested, he won. But even Ewan was unable to pull off three victories.

“They are the future of sprinting,” Orica-Scott sports director Matt White said of his rider Ewan and Gaviria. “A couple of others are in their twilight years, and I dare say we are going to see a big battle between those two over the next decade.”

“[The older riders] had their time, everyone does, but it’s a very competitive sprint world at the moment and Caleb and Gaviria are certainly the up and comers in the sprinting world.

“Gaviria is a canny bike rider, you don’t win omnium championships unless you know how to handle your bike.”


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Michael Hoey tied for lead at Rocco Forte Open first round

Michael Hoey

Michael Hoey is tied for the lead at the Rocco Forte Open in Verdura after posting a stunning first round of 10-under-par 61 in Sicily on Thursday.

The Northern Irishman, 38, carded 10 birdies, eight in his first 11 holes, to join Swede Sebastian Soderberg at the top of the leaderboard.

The pair lie one shot ahead of Zander Lombard of South Africa.

Hoey missed an eagle putt at the ninth and a birdie attempt at the 10th as he attempted to post a first sub-60 round.

Despite passing up those opportunities, his round of 61 was still the lowest of his career.

“I left it in the jaws, both putts, but I was nervous,” admitted Hoey, who has won five times on the European Tour but lost his card last year.

“It was hard to hit them past the hole but it’s nice to be nervous because I haven’t been nervous on a golf course for quite a while and it’s exciting to have such a good score.

“My best ever score by two shots, no bogeys, it doesn’t get much better.

“We’ve had two kids (since 2013) and it’s been tiring. I had to have sinus surgery done a couple of years ago. I haven’t been as healthy as I wanted to be, so hopefully now I can get going.”

Playing in just his 15th European Tour event after gaining his card via the qualifying school last year, Soderberg was also eight under par after 11 holes and admitted breaking the magical 60 barrier was very much on his mind.

“That’s all I thought about walking down the par-five 12th, it kind of helped keep me going,” Soderberg said.

“I didn’t feel like it stopped me, I definitely had a couple of putts the last seven holes that could have gone in, but overall it was a great round.”

Alvaro Quiros, Sebastian Heisele and Jbe Kruger all lie joint third on eight under.

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