Fabio Aru fends off Chris Froome’s attacks to retain Tour de France lead as Warren Barguil wins stage

A perfect Bastille Day result for the French as Warren Barguil wins in Foix, and with an entertaining battle between Froome and Aru on a short, punchy stage

Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) gave the home nation plenty to cheer about on Bastille Day with the victory on a scintillating Tour de France stage in the Pyrenees in which Fabio Aru (Astana) defended the overall lead.

The short 101-kilometre stage featured three category one climbs in its centre, with a long descent to the finish in Foix. The action started from the gun, and what followed was one of the most thrilling Tour stages in recent memory.

Warren Barguil wins stage 13 of the 2017 Tour de France. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Frenchman Barguil took the victory from a ‘dream’ escape group, with a resurgent Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in second and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) in third.

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

Chris Froome and his Team Sky squad once again applied pressure to their rivals, but in a completely different show of tactics from the previous day – putting riders into escape groups to aid Froome, rather than drilling it en masse at the front of the bunch.

However, despite having no team-mates to assist him, Italian Aru countered everything thrown in his direction to keep hold of the race lead.

Aru leads Froome by six seconds, with Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2r) in third at 25 seconds.

How the stage developed

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) formed the day’s first break that really stuck after the start in Saint-Girons.

The trio hit the first of the day’s three category one climbs together – the Col de Latrape – but De Marchi was the strongest climber, and left his two companions behind on the ascent.

Behind, KOM leader Barguil attacked from the peloton in an attempt to grab the mountains points on offer at the summit. Crucially, he was followed by Contador and Mikel Landa (Team Sky).

Barguil, Contador and Landa caught and ultimately left De Marchi behind, and then started to tackle the Col d’Agnes. It was here that Contador launched his move, with Mikel Landa (Team Sky) following and the two riders quickly built up a lead.

Sensing a chance to regain lost time, Quintana attacked from the bunch on the Col d’Agnes. He had Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Carlos Betancur (Movistar) for company, but Betancur was dropped as they scooped up Barguil.

With 58km to go and on the ascent of the Col d’Agnes Contador and Landa were at the front of the race, with Quinata, Barguil, Vuillermoz and Kwiatkowski chasing and the Aru/Froome group at 1-35 to Contador.

By the summit, that gap had grown to 2-40. Romain Bardet (Ag2r) attacked over the top, followed by Froome. The two got a gap, but then slowed up allowing a regrouping on the descent.

Ahead, the Quintana/Barguil/Kwiatkowski group got with 10 seconds of catching Contador/Landa, but Contador accelerated into the final climb of Mur de Péguère and the gap stretched out.

The yellow jersey group became whittled down to just the top riders, with Aru, Froome, Uran, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), Louis Meintjes (UAE-Team Emirates), Bardet, Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), although Bennett was dropped before the top.

Kwiatkowski dropped back from his group, effectively waiting for Froome. Quintana and Barrguil made the junction with Landa and Contador to make a group of four in the lead.

Froome attacked in the final kilometre of the Mur de Péguère, bridging to Kwiatkowski. Aru, Uran and Bardet followed over, but the GC group was back together over the summit.

There were then numerous attacks on the fast, final descent. Froome and Kwiatkowski used their numerical advantage to keep applying pressure on Aru. Uran also had a concerted effort.

Barguil once again showed he has a strong sprint for a climber, out-pacing Quintana and Contador for the victory as Landa was distanced.

Towards the finish, Martin and Yates clipped off the front in an attempt to limit their losses in the overall classification from the four riders ahead.

Despite all of the days attacks and tactics, Froome finished with Aru in the group, meaning that Aru retained the yellow jersey and his six-second advantage over the defending champion.

Uran, meanwhile, rode himself up into third place and Froome’s team-mate Landa is now fourth, with Martin in fifth and Yates in sixth.

Day’s withdrawals

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) finally left the race after battling on with injury over the past few days. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) was another withdrawal, due to illness, leaving FDJ with just four riders in the race.

The 2017 Tour de France continues on Saturday with stage 14 from Blagnac to Rodez as the race now starts to head east towards the Alps. It’s a tricky stage that gently rises all day, with two third category climbs and a nasty uphill kick to the line. The race concludes in Paris on Sunday, July 23.

Results

Tour de France 2017 stage 13: Saint-Girons to Foix, 101km
1. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb, in 2-36-29
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
3. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at same time
4. Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, at 2 secs
5. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 1-39
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at same time
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, at 1-48
8. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at same time

General classification after stage 13
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, in 55-30-06
2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 6 secs
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 25 secs
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at 35 secs
5. Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, at 1-09
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-32
7. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 2-04
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, at 2-07
9. Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates, at 4-51
10. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 5-22


Go to Source

Going To The Beach This Weekend? Do This Chest and Arm Workout First!

Summer sun means lots of exposed skin, but before you lose those sleeves or bust out that bikini, make sure your muscles are pumped and ready to shine. You won’t need to spend hours at the gym for this quick summer pump. You just need a couple of weights and several minutes before hitting the beach.

These circuits require minimal equipment—just a couple sets of dumbbells and a ball or bench. Start the chest circuit with low-weight high-rep dumbbell presses to get your blood pumping and prime your muscles. From there, move to push-ups, using a wide hand position to get those pecs burning. Try a decline version to give your shoulders extra attention.

Slow things down a little bit and isolate your angles with slow, focused dumbbell flyes. Lift your chest to make those muscles burn! Finish your circuit with triceps push-ups to get your arms pre-exhausted for the next circuit.

Chest Circuit
Repeat for 2-3 circuits with minimal rest between exercises. Rest 1-2 mins

Once you’ve fired up your chest, shift gears to pump up those guns. Using the dumbbells, start with regular curls using the same low-weight high-rep sets to push blood into your biceps. Next, perform curl to presses to pump your shoulders and tris.

Isolate your triceps by switching to dumbbell kick-backs, taking time to extend through the full range of motion on each rep. From there, immediately move back to shoulders with upright rows, keeping those delts on fire.

Once your shoulders cry “uncle,” give them a break by switching back to biceps with alternating cross-body curls—a move that pumps the pecs and lights biceps on fire! If your arms aren’t bursting through your sleeves by the end, finish with a final dropset to get those muscles pumped.

Arm Circuit
Repeat for 2-3 circuits with minimal rest between exercises. Rest 1-2 mins

Go to Source

How To Avoid The Latest CrossFit Injury Epidemic

During the CrossFit Games regionals this year, over 25 men tore their pecs. Now as somebody who has experienced my share of them, I get it: Injuries really suck, and sometimes they can’t be predicted or avoided. But sometimes they can.

The real reason that people are tearing things and breaking themselves at such a high rate isn’t weakness. These guys were incredible! Instead, it all comes down to four fundamental components of training:

  • Exercise selection
  • Speed
  • Fatigue
  • Active range of motion vs. passive ROM

You’re at least somewhat familiar with the first three. The fourth, well, that may be what’s sneaking up behind you. After my rant, I’ll explain how to prevent this kind of thing from happening to you.

The Importance of Exercise Selection

This past month, these elite athletes tore their pecs while performing what I consider to be a “grim reaper” series of workouts.

It wasn’t that they couldn’t handle the force itself, though. During a flurry of high-rep, high-speed ring dips and muscle-ups (and many other exercises), the competitors showed they didn’t have the structural integrity to handle the way that force was being transferred through the tissue.

Let me be clear: These are high-level competitors, and under proper conditions they can perform these exercises with skill and ease. But unstable training—like ring dips, for example—simply isn’t well suited for high speeds, or high levels of fatigue.

Now, you could always argue that it’s a competition and they should be ready for anything, but I personally feel like that’s not a good enough reason to do something a certain way, especially when the health of tough, determined athletes is on the line. But I’ll grant there’s an argument there.

The biggest problem, and the one that I don’t see a defense for, was exercise selection. My friend—and a killer athlete—Christian Lucero was one of those injured—after he won his first two events. He was doing what he was ordered to do, like everyone else there, even though the “programming” of the competition was irresponsible and awful.

For this part, the athletes take no blame, and I salute them for fighting through a brutal series of workouts. Still, it makes me sad knowing that this could have been avoided.

Active ROM, Passive ROM, and You

Here’s where what happened at the Games comes home for every type of lifter. While the programming definitely factored heavily into the injuries, it’s quite probable that this mini-epidemic also had a lot to do with a common deficit among male athletes. I single out men because only men have suffered from these pec tears.

First, a simple definition:

  • Active ROM: How far you can move a joint with muscular control
  • Passive ROM: How far your joint can be moved, regardless of muscular control

The difference may seem subtle, but it’s quite significant. Active ROM means you have control—like lifting your arm over your head. Passive ROM means you don’t have control—like your arm being pulled over your head beyond where you can lift it.

When there is a large gap between the two, it means you can be taken to a range that you can’t control. A bigger gap equals greater injury risk.

Long story short, when you move outside of your active ROM under load, you are playing Russian roulette with your body. Doing it explosively is like adding extra bullets to the chambers.

Why Care About Shoulder Extension

So what happens when you take a person with a gap between their active shoulder extension and their passive shoulder extension and fling them ballistically into their deepest end range, such as in a ring dip or kipping muscle-up?

The joint will not be in its ideal position, and the muscles that are supposed to help stabilize the joint won’t be able to. Something’s gotta give, and it will.

That’s essentially what these elite athletes were asked to do last week.

Three Moves to Improve Active Shoulder Extension

The male population is notoriously stiff when it comes to shoulder extension. This may seem like something you don’t need if you don’t do ring dips, but it’s essential for overall shoulder health, and for being able to safely perform other movements. For example, shoulder extension is essential for owning the top position of a pull-up, which is another area men struggle with, in comparison to women.

Before we laser in on the shoulder, it’s also worth noting that shoulder mobility is dependent on several other factors that aren’t in the shoulder itself. I go into great detail about this in my “Simple Shoulder Solution” book and video series, but suffice it to say, your core strength, thoracic spine mobility, and even your breathing mechanics can dramatically affect how well your shoulder moves.

Plenty of people spend years trying to stretch their shoulders into health, when they had better results by spending 5 minutes every morning doing joint things like side planks and neck rotations with deep belly breathing.

But there are also specific ways you can develop the skill of active shoulder extension. Here are my favorites.

1. Tabletop Bridge

This is an exercise that doesn’t get nearly enough love. Shoulder extension plus posterior chain activation? Sold!

Tabletop Bridge

Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Move through 10-15 reps, then hold the top position for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Now make your neck long. Take a deep breath.
  3. Try to lift one hand just one millimeter off the ground, while keeping the rest of your body still. Keep your hand hovering directly above the spot on the ground where it was.
  4. No chance? Drop your butt a little bit lower. This will put you in less shoulder extension.

Initially, you may end up in more of a crab position than a tabletop. That’s fine. Keep practicing until you’re able to perform this drill looking more or less like a three-legged table, and you’ll make serious progress in your shoulder extension.

2. Stretch/Strengthen Combo

Stretching isn’t bad in and of itself, it just needs help. My rule is to never stretch without also adding an active motion to “own” that new range of motion you’ve opened up. Here’s how to do it for shoulder extension:

  1. Either perform a shoulder extension stretch with deep breathing on the rings, or a skin-the-cat exercise, if you’re able to do that safely.
  2. Immediately follow that up with a dowel raise—weighted if possible with a plate—behind you. Now you’re training the other side of the movement and building strength in that new range.

3. Dip Test

One last strategy is to use the dip itself and test your sport specific mobility.

Dip Test
  1. Set the rings or parallel bars at a height where you can support your body with your legs at any stage.
  2. Go to the bottom of your dip, with feet supported, and try to lift your hands straight up off of the rings without jacking up your posture.

If you can’t lift your hands off, you’ve gone beyond your active range of motion. In that case, don’t do dips. There are a lot of other great exercises to do in the meantime while you fix your shoulders. Once you’re ready for them, dips can be a great way to build strength in that extended position, but that only works if you’re staying in the ranges your body and muscles can control.

Get Strong, Move On

I don’t want any of this to come off as saying I’m not impressed with the physical capacity of the athletes at the Games themselves. They’re legit insane—and amazingly positive, even when injured.

That may have actually been the most impressive part, and it’s a great example to set for everyone watching. Injuries are not a life sentence, and these athletes know it. Shit happens, life’s tough, and you move on. I’m just sorry that so many people’s journey had to end prematurely this year.

If you want a single idea to take away and spray paint on your gym wall, make it this: Dial in your active range of motion, and don’t do evil workouts—or tell the athletes you’re in charge of to do them. If you do, may God have mercy on your soul.

Go to Source

Wimbledon 2017: Marin Cilic beats Sam Querrey in first semi-final

Marin Cilic

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July
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.

Croatia’s Marin Cilic reached his first Wimbledon final with a four-set win over American 24th seed Sam Querrey on Centre Court.

Seventh seed Cilic won 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 in two hours and 56 minutes, and will next face Roger Federer or Tomas Berdych.

Cilic, 28, won the US Open in 2014 but had never been past the quarter-finals at Wimbledon before this year.

More to follow

Go to Source

Tristen Ulett Among Night 1 Winners at 2017 Athens Speedo Sectionals

Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

By Bryan Gu, Swimming World Intern

The women’s 200 fly was a testament to the growing talent in US swimming. Not only did the three girls all finish within 0.2 seconds of one another, but they were also all under 17. 15 year old Tristen Ulett of Dynamo Swim Club, better known in SCY for being the first 13-14 girl to break 53 seconds, took first in 2:15.21. Fellow Dynamo teammate Jade Foelske, also 15, came within 0.02 seconds of Ulett to take second in 2:15.21. 16 year old Rachel Klinker of the Lexington Dolphins took third in 2:15.34.

Similar to the women’s race, the men’s 200 fly came down to a touch. William Brooks of SwimAtlanta managed to squeeze out a victory over David Dingess of Kentucky Aquatics in a time of 2:01.62 as Brooks came home in a blazing 30.88. Dingess who had been leading by almost 2 seconds at 150m just came second with a 2:01.63.

Standout Georgia swimmer Meaghan Raab dominated the 200 IM to take first in 2:13.60, coming within 0.25 seconds of her personal best. Raab remained untouched throughout the entirety of the race, which showed in the 5 second margin between her and Caroline Hauder of SwimMac who touched second in 2:18.61.

The races on the men’s side were a little more close as Glen Brown of Kentucky Aquatics swam 2:02.83 for gold. Raunak Khosla of Dynamo placed second in 2:04.41 and University of North Carolina junior Noah Cairns placed third in 2:04.55. Although the reasons were not specified, Mick Litherland was DQ’d after having qualified fifth in prelims in 2:05

Brooke Bauer of North Carolina showed a commanding victory as she ended up winning the women’s 50 free by almost half a second, being the only one under the 26 second barrier in 25.99. Julie Woody of Savannah Swim Team took second, while seventeen year olds Sophie Lindner of SwimMac and Sarah Srensen of Stingrays tied for third in 26.47.

Harvard Freshman standout Dean Farris won the 50 free in 22.78, breaking 23 seconds for the first time. Also breaking the barrier was Matheus Santana, a Brazilian Olympian who swam for Brazil’s 4×100 freestyle relay at Rio, who placed second in 22.95. Recent University of Michigan commit William Chan took third in 23.21.

Full results can be found on Meet Mobile – Speedo Long Course Sectionals 2017 (ESSZ) 

Go to Source

Promising American rider Adrien Costa decides to take ‘leave of absence’ from cycling

19-year-old Axeon Hagens Berman rider Adrien Costa will not race for remainder of 2017, saying he doesn’t want to ‘burn out before I’m ready’

Adrien Costa, one of the most promising riders in American cycling, will take the remainder of the 2017 season off racing, saying that he does not want to rush into his riding career.

The 19-year-old has been racing with the US-based Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team and achieved some notable results in 2016, including winning the Tour de Bretagne overall and placing second overall at the Tour of Utah. He spent the latter part of 2016 as a stagiaire for the Etixx-QuickStep team, and rode for them in the Tour of Britain.

Now, he says he wants to focus on other things in his life, to try and find a balance between cycling and his other interests and development.

“This was an incredibly tough decision for me to make, but for my personal development I think it’s the best option,” Costa wrote on the Axeon Hagens Berman website on Friday.

“I want to take time to do other things that I’ve always been passionate about and finding a new balance between the sport I love and the rest of my life.”

>>> Inside the talent factory team that has produced dozens of WorldTour riders

“I dream of achieving so much in cycling, but at my age it’s important to remember that I have time on my side and that the worst thing I could do is rush myself and ultimately burn out before I’m ready.

“I’ll take the rest of the season to study and travel in Europe, and give myself the time and the space that I need to prepare myself for the future,” said the Californian.

“There’s so much I want to achieve, not just in cycling but in life in general, and I want to make sure that I make the right calls at this stage of my career.

“I feel like I’m lucky to be able to take this time, and that’s thanks to the incredible people I have around me. I am so grateful for the support and understanding I’ve received from the team, and I look forward to returning to cycling as soon as I’m ready.”



The team, which is headed up by former pro racer Axel Merckx, said that it “fully supports Costa in his decision and remains focused in its efforts to develop the best young cyclists in the world”.

The team has nurtured many young riders in the past, including current WorldTour pros Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Taylor Phinney (BMC), Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) and Ian Boswell (Team Sky).

Costa has not ruled out a return to cycling, but other promising young riders have decided to retire early in the past few seasons after finding that the life of a pro cyclist is not for them. WorldTour-level riders Cameron Meyer, Campbell Flakemore and Carter Jones all retired in their 20s.


Go to Source

Tour de France commissaires explain decision to reverse penalties for illegal feeding on stage 12

UCI Commissaires Panel reverses decision due to vehicles being unable to reach riders

Tour de France commissaires have offered an explanation as to why have reversed a decision to penalise riders 20 seconds for taking illegal feeds late on stage 12.

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) were all initially penalised 20 seconds for taking drinks from the side of the road within the last 20km, before the commissaires reversed their decision ahead of stage 13.

A UCI statement said that the eventual decision not to penalise the riders was taken because riders were unable to take food and drink earlier in the race.


Watch: Tour de France stage 12 highlights


“In light of the inability of teams to resupply their riders before the last climb of stage 12 of the 2017 Tour de France due to specific circumstances of the race which had blocked vehicles, the UCI Commissaires Panel has decided to annul the penalties imposed on riders Serge Pauwels, George Bennett and Rigoberto Uran,” the statement read.

The original decision had been the subject of controversy after footage emerged of eventual stage winner Romain Bardet taking a bottle from a spectator at the same time as Bennett, but escaping punishment.

The race continues on Friday with a 101km stage from Saint-Girons to Foix.


Go to Source

Peter Sagan to return to racing at Tour de Pologne after Tour de France disqualification, reports suggest

The world champion is set to race again in Poland after his Tour de France disqualification

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is set to race again at the Tour de Pologne in Poland at the end of the month after his disqualification from the Tour de France.

Bora-Hansgrohe are said to have confirmed Sagan’s place at the Tour de Pologne according to a report by Polish website Przeglad Sportowy

No official statement has been released but Polish journalists have said that the team leaders have given the go ahead. “I spoke with his manager, and he with the leadership of the group. Peter will be in Poland” one journalist reported. 

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

Sagan is expected to be accompanied by a number of Polish team-mates, possibly including Rafal Majka who crashed out of Tour de France and could be eyeing potential assault on the Vuelta a Espana later this year.

Sagan isn’t the only star that will take to the Polish race with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) already putting his name down having missed the Tour de France this year in favour of the Giro d’Italia. Other notable names include Caleb Ewan, Rui Costa and Luis Leon Sanchez, who all chose to compete at the Giro instead of the Tour this year.

The Tour de Pologne runs from the July 29 to August 4.


Go to Source

Astana: ‘Chris Froome is not as strong as he was last year’

Fabio Aru’s team see weakness in Froome

Chris Froome is not as strong in this 2017 Tour de France as he was in 2016, according to leading figures within Astana.

The Team Sky rider could not stay with his rivals on the steep grades to the Peyragudes summit finish on stage 12. He lost 22 seconds to the stage winner and slipped out of the yellow jersey, six seconds back on new leader Fabio Aru (Astana).

>>> Chris Froome loses yellow jersey to Fabio Aru as Romain Bardet wins Tour de France summit finish

“Sky did a great job to try to win the stage today,” Astana general manager Alexandre Vinokourov told Cycling Weekly next to the airstrip finish.

“You see that Mikel Landa is very strong, too. Froome should’ve won the stage for his Tour win, but you saw that he’s not as strong as last year. No he’s not, not for me. Because of this, we have more motivation for the next stages.”

>>> Fabio Aru: ‘I saw Chris out the back… and realised I had the yellow jersey’

Astana won the Tour de France with Vincenzo Nibali in 2014 after Froome abandoned due to crashes. Froome returned in 2015 and 2016 to win his second and third titles.

Some have questioned Froome’s strength leading into the Tour de France given he has yet to win a stage in 2017. In previous seasons, he showed greater domination heading into the Tour.


Watch: Tour de France stage 12 highlights


Sardinian Aru may have the leader’s jersey, but his team is much weaker than Sky. Helper Dario Cataldo abandoned after a crash in stage 11 and star captain Jakob Fuglsang continues with a fractured wrist and elbow.

“I hope he continues for the next stages because we really need him for the next mountain stages. We will talk to the doctor, but we face a difficult stage [today]. I hope Jakob recovers,” Vinokourov added.

“Why can’t Aru win the Tour? We are here to win, but Froome is always strong, and there’s also Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran.”

Froome moved into the yellow jersey on stage five after Sky’s Geraint Thomas held it for the opening four days.

>>> Chris Froome: ‘No excuses’ for losing Tour de France lead on stage 12 summit finish

“We thought that Froome was going for the stage given how he was having his team work, maybe he just lacked the legs in the final, but you can’t take anything away from him as a rider,” Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli said.

“[The final kick was] more adapted for the climbers than Froome, who paid more than the others, but for me, Froome remains the number one. Froome and Bardet are the strongest, we have to take advantage of them.

“But we need to keep our feet our on the ground. We lost a rider and a half, Jakob is bad off. We have Bardet who’s strong, and Froome’s still strong.”

Aru already counts a Vuelta a España win from 2015. Also in 2015, he finished second to Alberto Contador in the Giro d’Italia.


Go to Source

FINA World Championships Predictions: Women’s 200 Fly

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports

Editorial Coverage provided by Suit-extractor-logo

Mireia Belmonte won a historic victory for Spain in the women’s 200 fly at last summer’s Olympic Games, and with her closest competition out of action, she’s heavily favored to add a gold medal at the FINA World Championships.

She touched out Madeline Groves by just three hundredths for the top spot in Rio, but Groves and the next two highest-placing finishers, Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi and the USA’s Cammile Adams, will both be absent from the field this summer in Budapest.

No one has even swum under 2:06 yet this year, so it should not take any insanely fast times to get on the podium.

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Women’s 200 Fly

Current Records:

World Record: Liu Zige, CHN (2009) — 2:01.81
Championship Record: Jessicah Schipper, AUS (2009) — 2:03.41
American Record: Mary Descenza (2009) — 2:04.14

2015 World Champion: Natsumi Hoshi, JPN — 2:05.56
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: Mireia Belmonte, ESP — 2:04.85
2017 World No. 1: Franziska Hentke, GER — 2:06.18

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Mireia Belmonte, ESP
Silver: Suzuka Hasegawa, JPN
Bronze: Franziska Hentke, GER

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Mireia Belmonte, ESP
Silver: Suzuka Hasegawa, JPN
Bronze: Emma McKeon, AUS

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Mireia Belmonte, ESP
Silver: Franziska Hentke, GER
Bronze: Liliana Szilagyi, HUN

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

Day Five:

Go to Source