Swimming World Presents “Let The Fast Twitchers Race!”

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

“Let The Fast Twitchers Race!”

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Prior to the IOC announcement of the Olympic distance races and mixed gender relays, Swimming World’s Annie Grevers penned a commentary on why adding the 50s of stroke to the Olympic Games could favorably change the sport.

2012 Olympian Jessica Hardy was the first woman to break 30 seconds in the 50 meter breaststroke. Hardy trained her body to swim 100 meters fast, but her natural sweet spot was always in the 50-meter distance.

“I know from experience that training causes a lot of damage to our bodies over the years, and 50s put literally half the wear and tear on your body that 100s do,” Hardy said. For this anatomical reason, Hardy foresees a greater number of older swimmers able to stay in the sport if 50s of stroke enter the Olympic lineup.” – Jessica Hardy, 2012 Olympian 

To read the full story “Let the Fast Twitchers Race!”, check out the July 2017 issue of Swimming World, available now!


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Joseph Schooling wanted to be like Michael Phelps as a kid. Last summer, he beat his childhood hero in the men’s 100 butterfly on the world’s grandest stage, the Olympics. Now he wants to break Phelps’ world record. Can this swimmer from Singapore become the next greatest butterflyer of all time?

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Eighteen countries won Olympic medals in the pool last year in Rio, and the battle for the podium this summer appears just as deep, as the world’s best swimmers focus on FINA’s World Championships in Budapest.

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Many of the athletes from last summer’s Olympic water polo, synchronized swimming, diving and open water competitions in Rio will be returning later this month, July 14-30, for encore performances at the World Championships in Budapest.

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This month’s article addresses the misconception that at the beginning of the backstroke start, the arms should move upward as they move away from the starting block. While an upward arm motion is conventional, a downward motion is more effective.

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Murray and Konta face tough tests in second round

Andy Murray and trainer Matt Little

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Andy Murray is ready to face a barrage of serve-volleying when he takes on Germany’s Dustin Brown in the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday.

The defending champion plays world number 97 Brown in the second match on Centre Court at about 15:00 BST.

Fellow British number one Johanna Konta faces Donna Vekic of Croatia in the opening match on Centre Court at 13:00.

Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams, Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene are also in action on day three.

Britain’s Watson faces Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia on court two at 11:30, while compatriot Bedene takes on Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina on court three at about 13:00.

Two-time champion Nadal plays American Donald Young in the third and final match on Centre Court.

Japan’s ninth seed Kei Nishikori opens play on Court One against Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, before 10th seed and five-time winner Williams plays China’s Qiang Wang, and second seed Simona Halep plays Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka are also in action in a packed bottom half of the women’s draw.

‘Dustin will be very aggressive’

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Murray came through his opening match against the unorthodox Alexander Bublik in straight sets, and the Scot expects another unusual test from Brown.

The dreadlocked German upset Nadal at Wimbledon two years ago, thrilling the Centre Court crowd with his diving volleys and attacking style.

“I know Dustin pretty well,” said Murray. “We get on well with each other. We message each other from time to time. I like him. He’s really, really a nice guy.

“But in terms of the match, I expect him to be very aggressive. I think he’ll go for his shots. I think he’ll come forward a lot. You know, he’s unpredictable.

“You know he’s going to go for it. Also you know he hits a lot of drop shots. He can play slice. Sometimes he hits two first serves, goes for a huge second serve.

“It’s not easy to play players like that.”

Murray won their only previous meeting at the US Open seven years ago in straight sets.

Familiar foe for Konta

Wim Fissette and Johanna Konta

Sixth seed Konta, 26, arrived at the All England Club as a serious title contender for the first time and impressed in her first-round win over the tricky Hsieh Su-Wei.

The Taiwanese player had beaten Konta at the French Open five weeks ago, and the Briton has another chance to make amends against Vekic, the world number 58 who beat her in the recent Nottingham final.

“That’s another great opportunity for me to play against someone who the last time I played, played a very good match,” said Konta.

“It’s another opportunity for me to try and find a way to come out on top this time.”

It is also a chance for Konta to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the first time, at the sixth time of asking.

“I play my career in a tennis season context, so I don’t live my career for this week particular, this fortnight particular,” she said.

“I live it for the whole season and try to really perform the best that I can in every event that I enter.

“That said, I definitely would like to be involved here for the full fortnight to help, I guess, put tennis on the map that much more.”

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Peter Sagan: ‘I accept the jury’s decision, but I don’t think I did anything wrong in the sprint’ (video)

World champion wishes Cavendish a good recovery from his broken collarbone

World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) says that he accepts the decision of the Tour de France race jury to disqualify him from the race, but maintains that he did nothing wrong to cause the crash that forced Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) to abandon.

Speaking to the press outside his hotel in Vittel after the UCI had rejected his team’s right to appeal against the decision of the race jury, Sagan said that he had to accept the decision of the commissaires.

“Today I can just accept the decision of the jury,” Sagan told reporters. “But for sure I don’t agree with them because I think I didn’t do anything wrong in the sprint.

“It is very bad that Mark fell down and it is important that he can recover well. I’m sorry for that.

“But it was a crazy sprint – it wasn’t the first one like that and it won’t be the last one like that. I wish Mark a good recovery.”

The crash with around 250m to go on stage four to Vittel left Cavendish with a broken shoulder blade and a wound to his hand, forcing him to abandon the race overnight.

Sagan is the first rider to be disqualified from the Tour de France for an offence not connected to doping since Cavendish’s lead-out man Mark Renshaw was thrown out for headbutting Julian Dean in a sprint finish in 2010.

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Peter Sagan remains disqualified after UCI rejects appeal

The World Champion had hoped to be reinstated but will stay excluded from the Tour

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will remain disqualified from the Tour de France, following yesterday’s crash on stage four with Mark Cavendish.

The world champion had hoped to successfully appeal the race jury’s decision after consulting his team. However the UCI said that the decision of race commissaires was not open for discussion

The Slovakian was disqualified after colliding with fellow sprinter Cavendish, who has also left the race with a broken shoulder as a result of the crash, in the stage’s closing meters.

Speaking to the press outside his team hotel in Vittel, Sagan said that he had accepted the decision.

“I have to agree with the jury’s opinion, I think I did not do anything wrong with the sprint,” said the 27-year-old, as he met press outside his team hotel this morning.

“It was bad that Mark fell, I’m sorry, I hope he’s recovering well, it was a crazy sprint, but it was not the first of its kind, and it will not be the last. That’s it” he concluded.

More to follow

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Who will win the green jersey now that Peter Sagan is out of the Tour de France?

We take a look at the remaining contenders for the green jersey of Tour de France points classification leader now that Peter Sagan has been disqualified

Whether or not the Tour de France commissaires made the right call in kicking Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) out of the race following the dramatic crash at the end of stage four, his absence means that, for the first time in years, the green jersey competition looks wide open.

The Slovak had dominated the points classification to the point that the result has begun to feel like a foregone conclusion, having won it five years in a row, usually with a huge margin of over 100 points.

>>> Tour de France 2017: Latest news, race info and reports

This year, however, the jersey will pass on to someone else. With 2011 green jersey winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) also out of the race with a fractured shoulder blade – it will be a rider who has never won it before.

Here are some of the main candidates, with their current tally of points after stage four.

Arnaud Démare (FDJ) 124 points

Arnaud Démare wins stage four of the 2017 Tour de France. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Démare currently leads the competition (and would still have been had Sagan not been punished) following an excellent start in which he has placed second, sixth and first on the first three road stages respectively. The lead he holds is a handy one, too, having opened up a gap of 43 points already over the next best-placed rider, Marcel Kittel.

The Frenchman possesses the necessary versatility to obtain points in trickier terrain, as proven by his placing on stage three’s uphill finish, as well as the fact he is a past winner of Milan-San Remo.

>>> Arnaud Démare wins Tour de France stage four as Mark Cavendish taken down in crash

His problem, however, could be a lack of experience. He’s only completed two Grand Tours in his career (the 2014 and 2015 Tours de France) and on neither occasion did he commit to contending the points classification – an exhausting three week battle for the jersey may prove too much for him.

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 81 points

Marcel Kittel wins stage two. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

If the speed he produced to win stage two is anything to go by, Kittel ought to be capable of accumulating enough points in the flat bunch sprint stages to win the green jersey. He will need to be consistent though, which – as demonstrated by the finish in Vittel, where he lost contact with the leaders to finish down in 13th – has not always been his strong point.

>>> Marcel Kittel powers to Tour de France stage two victory

He did, however, manage to finish second in the competition behind Sagan last year despite only winning one stage, suggesting he does have what it takes. The higher-than-usual number of straightforward, flat sprint stages will also play into his favour.

Michael Matthews (Trek-Segafredo) 66 points

Michael Matthews. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Compared with the other green jersey contenders, Matthews is the rider most capable of replicating the kind of moves Sagan makes to gain points in lumpier terrain. As a skilled climber, the Australian could be able to get into breaks on hilly and middle-mountain stages, and sweep up crucial points in intermediate sprints, while his heavier rivals will be being dropped out of the back peloton.

His adaptability has seen him perform well in points classifications in the past, including wins in the past two editions of Paris-Nice, and third at the Tour de France last year. He will, however, need to do better than the ninth and seventh placings he’s managed in the flat bunch sprints so far (where most points are handed out)

André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) 63 points

Andre Greipel at the 2017 Tour de France. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

He hasn’t quite got going yet, but if Greipel can start upgrading his podium finishes (third on stage two and third again on stage four) into sprint wins, he’ll quickly close the gap and become a serious contender for the green jersey.

The German has been one of the main riders to miss out as a result of Sagan’s indomitable hold on the classification, having finished second behind him in 2012 and 2015, and third in 2013. The green jersey is one of the major holes in the 34-year-old’s long, illustrious career – he likely never get a better chance to win than this year.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) 43 points

Alexander Kristoff. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

All has not been well for Kristoff, for whom an apparent fallout with his team has coincided with a dip in form on the road. There were more promising signs in Vittel where he finished second (upgraded from third following Sagan’s disqualification), although he remains somewhat adrift in the points classification, lying fifth place at 80 points behind Démare.

At his best (as was the case at the 2014 Tour, where he finished second in the points classification), the Norwegian is one of the most consistent sprinters in the peloton, and capable of remaining in contention for points in the more complicated terrain. He’ll need to improve considerably to reach that level again, however.

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Who’s out of the Tour de France after stage four?

Keep up to date with who has withdrawn from this year’s Tour de France

With three weeks of racing and thousands of kilometres to cover, sporting events don’t come tougher than the Tour de France.

Last year’s race was notable for its lack of early withdrawals – all 198 starters made it to the start of stage eight – but a rainy Grand Départ in Düsseldorf, Germany, and a controversy on stage four has made for a very different start to the 2017 Tour.

The most notable withdrawals so far have been those of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data). The two riders clashed in the final sprint on stage four, with Cavendish crashing heavily and Sagan being disqualified by the race jury for ‘endangering’ other riders.

The wet conditions on the opening couple of stages in Germany claimed Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who suffered a broken kneecap in a high-speed crash on a left-hand bend on the opening time trial.

A key domestique for Nairo Quintana, the 37-year-old was even considered by some experts as an outside bet for the yellow jersey. But his hopes for the race were dashed in an instant when he came down, slid across the tarmac and hit a roadside barrier. He retired from the race immediately and looks set to miss the rest of the 2017 season.

Fellow Spaniard Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) crashed on the same bend as Valverde and also retired from the race, suffering a fracture to his lower back.

Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott), who finished stage one despite crashing on the time trial, retired early in stage two. After his crash, the Australian’s team said they believed he had sustained ligament damage to his ankle and was cleared to start the following day – but was fairly swiftly forced to leave the race.

Watch highlights of stage four of the 2017 Tour de France

The race began on July 1 in Düsseldorf with 198 riders consisting of 22 teams of nine riders each.

Stage five abandonments

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) – DNS, fractured shoulder blade

Stage four abandonments

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) – disqualified from race

Stage three abandonments


Stage two abandonments

Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) – ankle ligament damage

Stage one abandonments

Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) – fracture to lower back
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) – broken knee cap, broken ankle

This page will be updated as the race progresses

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Andy Schleck: Geraint Thomas is the only guy who could beat Chris Froome at this Tour

The 2010 Tour de France winner gives his view on who will win the 2017 edition of the race

If Geraint Thomas was on another team, he would have a chance to beat his Team Sky team-mate and win the Tour de France, says former winner Andy Schleck.

>>> Rival teams braced for Richie Porte attack on first summit finish of Tour de France

Schleck saw the race off on stage four from his home town in Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg. The peloton raced the stage back into France towards Vittel.

“It’s up there,” Schleck told Cycling Weekly. He pointed to his house just above the start village and then turned his attention back to the peloton and the favourites.

“With [Alejandro] Valverde’s crash and abandon, the race is now back in team Sky’s favour. Unfortunately, Geraint is in the wrong team because he’s the guy who can beat Froome,” he said.

Bernard Thévenet with Andy Schleck before the fourth stage of the Tour de France (ASO)

“Porte is extremely strong, but every one knows that and is watching him very closely. Sky is watching him. Who is left? Aru and Fuglsang.”

Perhaps fans could see a situation like 2012 with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, where the team helper is just as strong, if maybe stronger, than the captain.

“I don’t say that, but if the was a team who just supported him, like Movistar, he’d be a real threat for Froome,” Schleck added.

“Yeah [it would have been good to see Thomas change teams]. I’m happy for the team, I admire Thomas and Froome is a great champion and a friend.

“I wanted to see Thomas have a chance. I know, he re-signed, but that’s a choice you have to make in life.”

Thomas has held the yellow jersey for three day’s at the 2017 Tour de France (Sunada)

Schleck says the race swings in Sky’s favour because they have the true two-pronged approach with Froome and Thomas.

“Honestly, it looks like Sky did everything right. Next to Froome and Sky, I think there’s one team that can beat them, Astana. They have two cards to play with Fabio Aru and Jakob Fuglsang.

“Movistar has no Valverde. Before, Valverde was my favourite. To win the overall? Yeah, I observed him in the Tour of Catalonia and País Vasco. Normally he would be dropped on the very long climbs, but now he managed to drop the others.

“He managed to really step up. We only have three uphill finishes and Valverde is only weak in the high altitude, which was only two stages this year. He was my pick. I believe many experts would agree with me.”

Followers will have their first understanding of the race’s strongest riders with stage five, the 5.9km summit finish to La Planche des Belles Filles on Wednesday.

“It is very early in the Tour,” said Schleck. “You still have a long way to the Alps and Pyrenees, but on the other hand, you can still say you have the yellow jersey on your shoulders. But if you want to win, maybe [stage five] is not the day.”

Andy Schleck beats Alberto Contador on the Col du Tourmalet in the 2010 Tour de France (Watson)

Schleck took the 2010 Tour title after Alberto Contador lost the title due to a doping positive. He retried in 2014 after suffering injury in a crash on the way to London on the third stage of that year’s Tour.

At 32 – the same age as Froome and just a year older than Thomas – Schleck now owns a bike shop and works for Tour organiser ASO at select races.

“I feel very honoured to be here,” Schleck said.

“I made all the rounds with the television stations, seeing the journalists and old friends, but on the other hand, I’m happy to be retired. I’m very busy, I have a very full schedule every day. I miss it a little bit yes..”

“I’m in the shop every day, but I’m also president of the Tour of Luxembourg, so that’s a big thing for us to organise, and I do eight events for ASO, so much in the Asian countries, but also in London and South Africa, where they do L’Étape du Tour.”

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Jenna Zaffino – Creative Reformer Flow (45 mins) – Level 2

It is always important to draw inspiration from different places to help keep your Pilates practice fresh. In this Reformer workout with Jenna Zaffino, she takes her inspiration from one of her favorite musicals. She flows through different variations and progressions using minimal spring changes to keep the class moving. By the end of the class you will feel new, liberated, and amazing!

Jenna encourages you to guess the musical she is using as inspiration. Leave a comment below with your guess.

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Yellow jersey of Geraint Thomas prepared for domestique duty on Tour de France summit finish

Team Sky prepared to put the yellow jersey on the front to protect Chris Froome

Stage five of the Tour de France could see the yellow jersey on domestique duty as Geraint Thomas is put to work for team-mate Chris Froome.

Froome came into the race as Team Sky’s leader with Thomas as a back-up option, and despite Thomas taking the yellow jersey onto the race’s first summit finish to La Planche des Belle Filles, that plan remains unchanged.

“Yes, if needed,” was sports director Nicolas Portal’s response when asked if fans could expect the sight of the yellow jersey working on the front for his team leader.

>>> Rival teams braced for Richie Porte attack on first summit finish of Tour de Frace

“The thing is we came here with one goal,” Portal continued. “Obviously for Geraint it’s unbelievable [to wear yellow], it’s really cool, but the plan is to help Froomey 100 per cent.

“I think G, [Mikel] Landa, [Sergio] Henao, and Kwiato [Michal Kwiatkowski] will be the guys close to help out in the last three to five kilometres. So they will be close anyway.

“If we can keep the jersey for G it’s fine, but we need to really look after Froomey.”

Watch: Tour de France stage four highlights

Froome won on the climb in 2012, a Tour which saw a the growth of an apparent rivalry between him and team-mate and eventual race winner Bradley Wiggins.

When asked if we could see any repeat of that scenario, Thomas shook his head.

“No, not at all,” he said after Tuesdays’ stage to Vittel. “I’m fully behind Froomey. I’ll do as much as I can to help him win a fourth Tour.”

Froome also reminisced about 2012 as he looked forward to the short, sharp climb in the Vosges mountains in eastern France, but said that he would be riding a defensive race on Wednesday with the onus on his rivals to gain time.

>>> Five talking points from stage four of the Tour de France

“It is the first opportunity to test our legs on the climbs and see exactly where all of our rivals are at,” said the three-time Tour winner.

“After the way the time trial went, I expect some of my rivals will be looking to try to make up time and go on the offensive tomorrow.

“As a team, we’re in a really good position, G leading with myself in second. I think we will probably ride more of a defensive race tomorrow, and try to look after our positions. It’s up to the other teams to go on the offensive tomorrow.”

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