Maria Sharapova knocked out of Kremlin Cup by Magdalena Rybarikova

Maria Sharapova and Magdalena Rybarikova shake hands after their match att he Kremlin Cup

Maria Sharapova has been knocked out of the Kremlin Cup in the first round, two days after winning her first tournament since 2015.

The Russian, 30, was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 by Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova in her fifth match in seven days.

It was Sharapova’s first tour appearance in Moscow in 10 years and came after she won the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

The win in China was her first title since serving a 15-month doping ban.

Sharapova, ranked 57 in the world, was given a wildcard for the Kremlin Cup, which was her eighth event since returning to the WTA Tour in April.

Wimbledon semi-finalist Rybarikova, ranked 26, reached a tour final herself on Sunday, losing to Barbora Strycova in the Ladies Linz tournament in Austria.

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2018 Tour de France route in 3D – Video

The ASO today unveiled all 21 stages of the 2018 Tour de France, which starts in Noirmoutier-En-L’Ïle on Saturday, July 7, and concludes three weeks later in Paris on July 29. In between, the peloton will tackle a 35km team time trial in Cholet, a 31km individual time trial from Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette, and six mountain says with three summit finishes.

The 2018 Tour de France will return to staples such as Alpe d’Huez and Pau, but there will also be an incredibly short 65km mountain stage, a stage that borrows 21.7km of cobbles from Paris-Roubaix, and a stage in the Alps that will take riders over gravel roads.

It’s a lot to take in, but the race organisers have provided this five-minute “3D” video to help bring the route to life. Hang on as the peloton zips through each of the stage routes and literally flies through the transfer days.

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Local Diver Brooke Leftwich Verbally Commits to Virginia Tech

Photo Courtesy: Allyson Leftwich

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NEW COMMIT: Brooke Leftwich has verbally committed to dive for Virginia Tech beginning next fall. Leftwich is from Roanoke, Virginia, where she is a senior at Cave Spring High School. She dives for the H2okies club team and practices at Virginia Tech.

Leftwich has only been diving for one year. She made the switch to the sport after an injury ended a highly successful gymnastics career. At the Virginia AAA State Championships last year Leftwhich finished second. She was Regional Diver of the Year.

She told Swimming World,

“I am very proud and excited to have committed to dive at Virginia Tech! The coaching staff, team, and academic opportunities are amazing, and I am excited for the next four years! Go Hokies!”

The Hokies built a large class early. Leftwich joins a women’s class of 2022 that includes Anna Landon, Jennifer HauserLauren MeekerRachael HolpNatalia Fryckowska, Abby Larson, Alex SlaytonJulia Bruneau and Loulou Vos

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Wednesday – Barbells For Boobs

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In recognition and support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this Friday, October 20th, Crossfit Factory Square will be hosting our annual Barbells For Boobs fundraiser!

For those who don’t know, Barbells for Boobs® is a 501(c)3 nonprofit breast cancer organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on women under the age of 40 and men. They believe that everyone has a RIGHT to know if they are living with breast cancer.  All funds collected from Barbells for Boobs events will contribute to support their nationwide grant program. Although not all of their work can be measured, the Impact from their Grant Program can. To date, they have provided 38,517 procedures, served 20,530 individuals and detected 271 cases of breast cancer.

Together as a community we have already raised over $2,000 towards this years fundraising event! Donations can be made directly online here or in person on Friday. Space is still available if you are interested in registering – you may do so online here. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate. The event starts with the Kids Heat at 6:15 PM with adult heats directly following. Don’t forget to wear pink! Spectators are welcome to come as well!

After the event our very own Box Bistro will be serving up two types of chili to keep everyone warn and fueled! Paleo beef chili over butternut squash and green tortilla chicken chili over basmati rice. Kid portions will be available as well! Box Bistro will be serving at 8:00 once everyone is finished working out. You can preorder online here or purchase the night of. As an added bonus this year Athleta will be at our event from 6-9 PM with items available for order/purchase and giving out prizes to the best dressed teams! Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

REMINDER – This Saturday morning from 10-11 Paul Poutouves will be hosting an additional mobility class at Factory Square.

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Mallory Comerford, Lane Stone Honored as ACC Swimmers of the Week

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Mallory Comerford of Louisville has been selected as the ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Week, and Florida State’s Ayla Bonniwell and Miami’s Wally Layland have been named Co-Divers of the Week. On the men’s side Virginia Tech’s Lane Stone has been named the ACC Men’s Swimmer of the Week, and Joshua Davidson of Florida State has been tabbed as the Men’s Diver of the Week.

Comerford and the Cardinals placed second in the SMU Classic, finishing ahead of No. 6 Michigan, No. 21 UCLA, Miami and SMU, and finishing just behind No. 7 Southern California by 0.5 points. The Kalamazoo, Michigan, junior swam in six events, taking the gold in the 100 free, 200 free, 500 free and 200 free relay, and silver in the 400 medley and 800 free relays. Comerford clocked NCAA A cut times in the 100 free (47.00), 200 free (1:41.70), and was a part of the 200 free relay team that posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:28.72.

Bonniwell, a sophomore hailing from Ithaca, New York, placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competition to help Florida State earn the win over Virginia Tech.

Layland was named the “high point diver” at the SMU Classic after scoring 29 points for Miami. The senior from Orlando, Florida, placed first on the 3-meter and second on the 1-meter.

Stone, a freshman from Christchurch, New Zealand, played a key role in Virginia Tech’s victories over No. 20 Florida State and Duke. The Hokie swimmer turned in three gold-medal winning performances in his collegiate debut, winning the 200 free (1:38.78), 500 free (4:27.24) and 1000 free (9:20.51).

Davidson, a freshman from Tomball, Texas, placed first on the 1-meter, posting a season-best score of 342.00. The Seminole diver also turned in a 327.40 in 3-meter competition, helping Florida State defeat Duke.

Press release courtesy of the ACC.

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US Ryder Cup team 'still have a chip on our shoulder'

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The US Ryder Cup team will have a “chip on their shoulder” when they defend the trophy in France next year despite their strength in depth, says captain Jim Furyk.

Furyk was speaking after a gathering, also attended by his European counterpart Thomas Bjorn, in Paris to mark a year to go before the event at Le Golf National.

He also stated he wants Tiger Woods on board as his team tries to win an away match for the first time since 1993.

Bjorn, meanwhile, claimed he is not concerned by American golf’s growing reputation and said the in-form Tyrrell Hatton is just the sort of player he wants in his team

The US won the Presidents Cup earlier this month by thrashing their International opposition 19-11. A year earlier, they convincingly won back the Ryder Cup with a resounding 17-11 triumph. at Hazeltine.

They boast some of the most potent golfing talent on the planet.

Among their number they have Open champion Jordan Spieth, US PGA winner Justin Thomas, US Open victor Brooks Koepka, world number one Dustin Johnson and Ryder Cup specialist Patrick Reed.

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But Furyk believes there is still work to be done to fully restore his country’s Ryder Cup reputation.

“I think as a team from the United States we still have something to prove,” he told BBC Sport.

“We still have a chip on our shoulder. Right now we do hold the cup, we won it at Hazeltine, but it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do that here in Europe.

“I think in order to validate what we have been working on we are going to have to win on both sides of the pond.”

The United States were so dominant in the recent Presidents Cup they came within a point of beating the Internationals with a day to spare.

It was a frightening display of talent, but Bjorn refuses to be intimidated.

“This morning’s world rankings have 10 Europeans in the top 20,” the Dane told me.

“I’ve got to say, European golf might never have looked stronger when it comes to world rankings.

“Yes the Americans are doing well, they did well at Hazeltine and in the Presidents Cup, but you’d expect that. It can’t surprise anyone that the American team is going to be strong.

“They are going to be fierce, they are going to play some fantastic golf but I still believe that European golf is in a healthier spot than it probably ever has been.

“I think it’s going to be quite close, and when I look at those numbers I get quite excited.”

Ryder Cup results: 2002-2016
Year & winner Result
2002 – Europe 15½-12½
2004 – Europe 18½-9½
2006 – Europe 18½-9½
2008 – United States 16½-11½
2010 – Europe 14½-13½
2012 – Europe 14½-13½
2014 – Europe 16½-11½
2016 – United States 17-11

Bjorn is delighted Hatton has made such a brilliant start to the qualifying process. The 26-year-old Englishman is celebrating back-to-back wins in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and last week’s Italian Open.

“He is everything you want in a player,” Bjorn said. “He’s aggressive, he knows what he wants, he works very hard.

“He gets out on a golf course and when things don’t go his way he gets very frustrated. I can certainly relate to that in my own golf.

“But he also has the capability of getting his nose right in there when it matters.

“Holing the right putts, hitting the right shots at the right time, and when he has to hole that 15-footer to win a tournament, he does hole it. Not everyone has that.”

By highlighting such qualities, Bjorn could have been talking about Woods in his prime. The 14-time major champion has not played since January after the fourth back surgery of his career.

Recent social media posts have shown signs that the 41-year-old is on the road to a full recovery. He has been hitting tee shots and given the all-clear to continue working towards a return to competitive golf.

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“I think it is exciting,” Furyk said. “Everyone in the world of golf would like to see Tiger playing, and playing well and competitive again.

“I haven’t seen him swing a golf club in so long and in the last couple of years when he did it looked very stiff.”

Furyk, a former Ryder Cup partner of Woods, is encouraged by what he has seen in the most recent footage.

“He wasn’t revving it up to 120mph but it was fluid, it looked like Tiger’s swing of old,” he said.

“I don’t know how healthy he is and when he will start playing competitive golf again but I would hope and love to see him with the same exuberance.

“He’s been excited to be involved in the last few teams as a vice-captain. He’s been a great resource for our captains.

And Furyk made it clear he wants Woods as part of his set-up in France next September.

“A lot of the young players look up to him,” he said.

“So if that could be as a player that would be great but if not I would hope he would accept that same role as a vice-captain and help out in that way.”

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Isaac Jones and Beryl Gastaldello Named SEC Swimmers of the Week

Photo Courtesy: Reagan Lunn/Georgia Tech Athletics

The SEC has announced its top performers of the week for the middle week of October. Kentucky’s Isaac Jones and Texas A&M’s Beryl Gastaldello were the top honorees. Read more about all award-getters below.

Male Swimmer of the Week
Isaac Jones • Kentucky
Senior • Allansford, Australia

Jones led the Wildcats in a 1-2-3 sweep of both the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events vs. Eastern Michigan. He posted a nation-leading swim in the mile with his time of 15:32.35. The Kentucky record-holder in the event, Jones won the mile by more than 30 full seconds as the second-place finished came in at 16:02.67. He won the 500 free by more than four full seconds. Jones also helped Kentucky’s relay team to a first-place finish in the 200 free relay, swimming the second leg with a 20.93 split.


Male Diver of the Week
Colin Zeng • Tennessee
Junior • Fujian, China

Zeng recorded his first diving sweep of his Tennessee career, earning the top spot in the 1-meter (377.50) and 3-meter (410.35) events as No. 18 Tennessee defeated No. 10 Auburn and No. 25 Wisconsin. His efforts on the 3-meter marked the first time he cleared 400 points on the boards this season. The win was UT men’s first dual meet victory against Auburn since 2008 and the first on the road since 1995 as part of a perfect 7-0 season.


Male Freshman of the Week
Hugo Gonzalez • Auburn
Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain

Gonzalez won all four of his individual events, sweeping the backstroke and IM events in a double dual meet with No. 18 Tennessee and No. 25 Wisconsin. His winning time in the 400 IM (3:47.78) is currently the fastest in the nation, while his top time is the 200 IM (1:47.15) ranks second. Gonzalez posted a winning time in the 200 back (1:45.53), the fourth fastest in the nation. He also swam on the winning 400 medley relay, with his 100 back split of 47.45 ranked as the second-fastest 100 back in the country.


Female Swimmer of the Week
Béryl Gastaldello • Texas A&M
Senior • Miramas, France

Gastaldello won three individual events and was a part of three winning relays as No. 5 Texas A&M took first place against Michigan State and No. 25 Notre Dame. She took first place in the 50 free (22.40) and 100 free (48.68), good for fifth place in the national rankings. Gastaldello also earned a first-place finish in the 100 fly (53.43), the sixth-fastest time in the nation. She was a part of the winning 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay and 200 free relay.


Female Diver of the Week
Brooke Schultz • Arkansas
Freshman • Fayetteville, Ark.

Schultz claimed the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard titles as Arkansas split its first two conference meets, defeating No. 11 Missouri and narrowly falling to South Carolina. She won the 1-meter with a score of 331.75 and the 3-meter with a score of 360.20.


Female Freshman of the Week
Bailey Bonnett • Kentucky
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Bonnett recorded two NCAA ‘B’ cut times in the dual meet against Eastern Michigan. She won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:01.43, and posted her second ‘B’ cut in the 400 IM, coming in second with a time of 4:19.38. Bonnett swam the fastest split of any athlete in the event in the 200 free relay at 23.58, helping Kentucky’s relay team win the event.

Press release courtesy of the SEC.

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Rafael Nadal pulls out of Swiss Indoors Basel with knee injury

Rafael Nadal

World number one Rafael Nadal has pulled out of next week’s Swiss Indoors Basel tournament with a knee injury.

The Spaniard, 31, says he is suffering from an “over-stressing of the knee”, and has been advised by his doctor to take time off.

He says he was carrying the injury when he played in Sunday’s Shanghai Masters final, where he lost to Roger Federer.

“It is time for some rest,” said Nadal, who has won six titles this season and played 75 matches.

His absence gives Switzerland’s Federer the chance to make up ground in the battle for the world number one position.

Nadal’s return to the top of the rankings in August was the first time he had been there since 2014, having had a series of knee and wrist injuries.

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova has been knocked out of the Kremlin Cup in the first round.

The 30-year-old Russian was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 by Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova in her fifth match in seven days.

It was the former world number one’s first Tour appearance in Moscow in a decade and came after she won the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

The win in China was her first title since serving a 15-month doping ban and lifted her 29 places in the world rankings to 57th.

Sharapova was picked as a wildcard for the Kremlin Cup, which was her eighth event since returning to the Tour in April.

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The Week That Was: Comerford Shines At SMU Classic

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week gave NCAA fans one of their first big weekends of college racing, with Louisville’s Mallory Comerford putting on a show at the SMU Classic. Read about her strong performances at that meet and the biggest stories of the week below in The Week That Was!

The Week That Was #5 – Adam Peaty Receives Queen’s Honors

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

World record-holder and Olympic gold medalist Adam Peaty was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) honor this week from the Queen. The news Peaty would be awarded the MBE was announced back in December of 2016, and it was officially bestowed on the swimmer on October 11. The honor is bestowed on individuals who have made “an outstanding achievement or service to the community. This will have had a long-term, significant impact and stand out as an example to others.” Peaty followed up his impressive 2016 with a successful 2017, breaking the 26-second barrier in the 50 breaststroke and winning two golds at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest and has become a leader for a resurgent British national team. Peaty will be diving back into competition next year for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Week That Was #4 – Petition To Name 2024 Aquatic Center After Muffat

camille-muffat (2)

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This week a change.org petition began to name the 2024 Olympic aquatic center after the late French Olympic gold medalist Camille Muffat. Muffat was the second French woman after Laure Manaudou to win an Olympic gold medal when she won the 400 free at the 2012 Olympic Games. Muffat also won the first relay Olympic medal for the French women in London as part of the 800 free relay, which earned a bronze. The swimmer retired back in 2014, just one year before she died in a helicopter crash while filming a reality TV show. The petition, which can be signed here, is currently aiming to get 25,000 signatures to get her name on the wall of the Olympic aquatics center.

The Week That Was #3 – Leah Smith Moving To Tucson

leah-smith-usa-2017-world-champs

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Olympic medalist Leah Smith announced this week a move to Tucson, Arizona to continue training with longtime coach Cory Chitwood. Smith explained her decision to move with a statement to Swimming World: “While Charlottesville will always have a piece of my heart, I can’t wait to begin a new chapter in my life in Tucson, Arizona as I continue to train with my long-time coach, Cory Chitwood. I would like to thank the team and staff at the University of Arizona for being so kind and welcoming to me. Bear down and Wahoowa!” Chitwood was the assistant at Virginia from 2013-2017 and is following Augie Busch to Tucson after he took the head coaching job at Arizona in July. Smith was NCAA champion in the 500 and 1650 in 2015 and 2016 while competing for Virginia, and most recently won three medals at this summer’s World Championships in Budapest.

The Week That Was #2 – Despite Fundraising, Wright State Swim & Dive To Be Cut

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Photo Courtesy: Wright State University

Despite a successful fundraising campaign that had seemingly saved the Wright State University swimming & diving teams, it was announced this week that the school will be cutting both programs following the 2017-18 season. Wright State was initially planning to cut the team last May before a campaign was started to raise $85,000 to save the programs. While that did secure the team another season, Athletc Director Bob Grant stated “…it is clear we are not able to fund operations of these programs after this season. And counting on external funding alone to pay for operations is not sustainable nor is it fair to the student-athletes and their families because of the uncertainty it creates year-to-year.” Following the completion of the 2017-18 season student-athletes will be able to transfer without penalty and any student-athletes who choose to stay will have their existing athletic scholarships honored. You can read the full announcement from Wright State University by clicking here.

The Week That Was #1 – USC Edges Louisville By Half A Point At SMU Classic

mallory-comerford-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The always-exciting SMU Classic came down to the narrowest of margins this week, with the USC women emerging victorious over Louisville by just half a point, 331 to 330.5. Michigan was not far behind in third with 322. While Louise Hansson, Riley Scott and Maddie Wright all helped to lead the Trojans to victory, Mallory Comerford was the star of the meet, winning three individual events that included several epic showdowns with Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey. The first came on day one in the 200 free, when Comerford threw down an incredible 1:41.70 to Haughey’s 1:42.44. The sprinter from Louisville would go on to edge the Michigan swimmer in the 100 free (47.00 to 47.22), with Comerford adding in a win in the 500 free (4:39.24) to close out the meet. You can see full results from Day One and Day Two to see all the swims from the meet.

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