Tour of Oman 2018 route: stage by stage

For the eighth consecutive edition, the Tour of Oman will feature a summit finish on Green Mountain

The queen stage of the Tour of Oman will once again feature a summit finish on Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain).

The six stage race will consist of the climber’s delight, plus two sprint days and three hilly routes to ensure a mixed bag of racing.

The race – which takes place between February 13-18 in 2018 – will revisit the 5.7km climb for the eighth consecutive year, with the eventual winner likely to be decided on the slopes of the 10.5 per cent average gradient.

Climbers and Grand Tour winners have indeed graced the podium in previous years, and past winners of the race include Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome – the latter having taken the win twice, in 2013 and 2014.


Here’s a look at the individual stages of the race:

Stage 1 February 13 Nizwa > Sultan Qaboos University 162.5km
Stage 2 February 14 Sultan Qaboos University > Al Bustan 167.5km
Stage 3 February 15 German University of Technology > Wadi Dayqah Dam 179.5km
Stage 4 February 16 Yiti (Al Sifah) > Ministry of Tourism 117.5km
Stage 5 February 17 Sama’il > Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) 152km
Stage 6 February 18 Al Mouj Muscat > Matrah Corniche 135.5km

The opening stage of the 914.5 kilometre desert run will give the sprinters a chance to battle it out for the leaders jersey, with a fast finish in front of Sultan Qaboos University.

Setting off from the same place, stage two’s 167.5km route covers hillier terrain well suited to the punchers, finishing 165.7km away at Al-Bustan.

Tour of Oman

The peloton negotiate the Tour of Oman 2017

Not dissimilar in profile, stage three –  from the German University of Technology to Wadi Dayqah Dam –  will includes an 800 metre climb with a gradient of around 10 per cent, the total distance sitting at 179.5km through the desert.

Stage four will be the shortest day at 117km, the start line hosted by Yiti (Al Sifah) and the finish outside the Ministry of Tourism.

En route to the finish line, riders will need to negotiate a triple climb up Al-Jabal Street. The 3.4km stretch averages at 8.8 per cent and could split the peloton.

The queen stage of the Tour of Oman has finished with an ascent of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) for the last seven editions – and this tradition will continue into the eighth. The 5.7km climb averages at 10.5 per cent, and the eventual winner could well be decided.

The sprinters will be treated to a fast finish on the final day, with a high speed finale at Matrah Corniche after 135.5km to finish the race.


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Cate Campbell Blasts 52.37 100 Free at New South Wales Championships

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Cate Campbell did not compete at this summer’s World Championships in Budapest, but she was in town to watch as Sarah Sjostrom took down Campbell’s world record in the 100 free. Refreshed and re-focused after a disappointing performance at the 2016 Olympics, Campbell returned in the fall and took down the world record in the short course 100 free, and now she appears to be back in form in long course.

At the New South Wales State Championships Friday, Campbell recorded a time of 52.37 in the 100 free, the 11th-fastest performance in history. Only Sjostrom, Campbell, Britta Steffen and Simone Manuel have ever swum quicker..

Campbell was followed in that race by younger sister Bronte Campbell, who finished second in 53.81, while Emma McKeon took third in 53.98.

  1 CAMPBELL, CATE   25 CHAND               54.66      52.37@QT     
    r:+0.81  25.19        52.37 (27.18)
  2 CAMPBELL, BRONT  23 CHAND               54.50      53.81 QT     
    r:+0.67  25.78        53.81 (28.03)
  3 MCKEON, EMMA     23 GUSC                55.38      53.98 QT     
    r:+0.70  26.30        53.98 (27.68)
  4 JACK, SHAYNA     19 CHAND               55.79      54.61 QT     
    r:+0.72  26.32        54.61 (28.29)
  5 WILSON, MADISON  23 BOND                54.65      54.84 QT     
    r:+0.74  26.72        54.84 (28.12)
  6 ELMSLIE, BRITTA  23 BGRAM               55.50      55.80 QT     
    r:+0.70  26.81        55.80 (28.99)
  7 COONEY, GEMMA    18 BGRAM               56.45      56.11 QT     
    r:+0.72  27.16        56.11 (28.95)
  8 BUCHANAN, CARLA  22 ACACI               56.42      56.19 QT     
    r:+0.69  27.12        56.19 (29.07)
  9 OUCHI, SAYUKI    16 JAPAN               56.81      56.72 QT     
    r:+0.64  27.17        56.72 (29.55)
 10 NGAWATI, KOTUKU  23 MVC                 56.49      56.85 QT     
    r:+0.68  27.59        56.85 (29.26)

Cate Campbell also picked up a win in the 50 fly on day one of the Sydney meet, touching in 25.68. That’s two tenths short of Marieke Guehrer’s Australian record of 25.48, and that’s in an event Campbell has never raced internationally. McKeon finished second in this one, tying with South Korea’s An Seyheon at 26.72.

  1 CAMPBELL, CATE   25 CHAND               26.16      25.68@QT     
         r:+0.81                       
  2 AN, SEYHEON      22 KOREA               26.97      26.72 QT     
         r:+0.65                       
  2 MCKEON, EMMA     23 GUSC                26.52      26.72 QT     
         r:+0.70                       
  4 OUCHI, SAYUKI    16 JAPAN               27.31      26.96 QT     
         r:+0.62                       
  5 SHINNO, ANNA     18 JAPAN               27.19      27.27 QT     
         r:+0.68                       
  6 LICCIARDI, CHRI  22 SOSC                27.49      27.58 QT     
         r:+0.62                       
  7 FYDLER, CLAUDIA  16 KNXP                27.77      27.74 QT     
         r:+0.71                       
  7 WASHER, EMILY    21 CARL                27.80      27.74 QT     
         r:+0.71                       
  7 RAMSDEN, NATASH  17 ABBT                27.80      27.74 QT     
         r:+0.73                       
 10 WALLACE, TESSA   24 PWCAL               27.65      28.13 QT     
         r:+0.67

16-year-old Kaylee McKeown recorded a strong effort in the women’s 200 back, leading the field with a time of 2:08.57. That’s about two seconds short of her own world junior record (2:06.76), which she set on her way to a fourth-place finish in the event at the World Championships. Sian Whittaker (2:09.76) and Hayley Baker (2:11.30) took second and third, respectively.

  1 MCKEOWN, KAYLEE  16 SPRTN             2:12.13    2:08.57*QT     
    r:+0.60  31.26      1:04.74 (33.48)
        1:37.26 (32.52)     2:08.57 (31.31)
  2 WHITTAKER, SIAN  20 MVC               2:13.94    2:09.76 QT     
    r:+0.59  30.73      1:03.40 (32.67)
        1:36.98 (33.58)     2:09.76 (32.78)
  3 BAKER, HAYLEY    22 MVC               2:16.24    2:11.30 QT     
    r:+0.47  30.72      1:04.27 (33.55)
        1:38.27 (34.00)     2:11.30 (33.03)
  4 CALDWELL, HILAR  26 CAN               2:13.78    2:11.71 QT     
    r:+0.62  31.53      1:04.94 (33.41)
        1:38.59 (33.65)     2:11.71 (33.12)
  5 ATHERTON, MINNA  17 BGRAM             2:14.71    2:13.23 QT     
    r:+0.60  30.47      1:04.31 (33.84)
        1:39.22 (34.91)     2:13.23 (34.01)
  6 SHIRAI, RIO      18 JAPAN             2:14.50    2:13.46 QT     
    r:+0.55  30.77      1:04.56 (33.79)
        1:38.80 (34.24)     2:13.46 (34.66)
  7 FORRESTER, AMY   19 BOND              2:13.21    2:13.58 QT     
    r:+0.69  31.82      1:04.30 (32.48)
        1:38.50 (34.20)     2:13.58 (35.08)
  8 WHITE, JORDAN    24 SLCA              2:18.22    2:17.52 QT     
    r:+0.61  31.87      1:06.41 (34.54)
        1:42.27 (35.86)     2:17.52 (35.25)
  9 KOBORI, WAKA     17 JAPAN             2:17.13    2:19.82 QT     
    r:+0.58  32.48      1:07.54 (35.06)
        1:43.68 (36.14)     2:19.82 (36.14)
 10 WOODS, ELYSE     19 MVC               2:19.05    2:20.88 QT     
    r:+0.64  33.24      1:08.15 (34.91)
        1:44.44 (36.29)     2:20.88 (36.44)

Cameron McEvoy swam under 49 seconds as he posted a win in the men’s 100 free. He touched in 48.99, holding off late charges from 2011/2013 World Champion James Magnussen (49.11) and two-time Olympian James Roberts (49.24).

  1 MCEVOY, CAMERON  23 BOND                49.12      48.99 QT     
    r:+0.61  23.19        48.99 (25.80)
  2 MAGNUSSEN, JAME  26 RAVN                49.98      49.11 QT     
    r:+0.70  23.68        49.11 (25.43)
  3 ROBERTS, JAMES   26 SOMGC               49.90      49.24 QT     
    r:+0.66  23.84        49.24 (25.40)
  4 TOWNSEND, LOUIS  20 RACKL               50.29      50.39 QT     
    r:+0.63  24.39        50.39 (26.00)
  5 JONES, BLAKE     22 SOMGC               50.90      50.44 QT     
    r:+0.63  24.25        50.44 (26.19)
  6 ITO, HAYATA      18 JAPAN               50.88      50.61 QT     
    r:+0.65  24.35        50.61 (26.26)
 11 SEKI, KAIYA      18 JAPAN               50.91      50.94 QT     
    r:+0.62  24.13        50.94 (26.81)
 12 GRABICH, FEDERI  27 ARGE                50.75      51.00 QT     
    r:+0.65  24.24        51.00 (26.76)
 13 WINNINGTON, ELI  17 BOND                50.99      51.08 QT     
    r:+0.67  24.83        51.08 (26.25)
 14 GERRARD, JACK    23 MVC                 50.97      51.26 QT     
    r:+0.60  24.95        51.26 (26.31)

17-year-old Elijah Winnington got the better of two Olympic gold medalists in the men’s 400 free, winning the race in 3:49.96. Mack Horton, the 400 free gold medalist in Rio, took second in 3:50.93, while Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, the 1500 gold medalist, touched third in 3:51.04.

  1 WINNINGTON, ELI  17 BOND              3:54.65    3:49.96 QT     
    r:+0.68  26.51        55.05 (28.54)
        1:24.63 (29.58)     1:53.87 (29.24)
        2:23.57 (29.70)     2:53.14 (29.57)
        3:22.15 (29.01)     3:49.96 (27.81)
  2 HORTON, MACK     21 MVC               3:50.88    3:50.93 QT     
    r:+0.74  26.63        55.64 (29.01)
        1:24.74 (29.10)     1:54.19 (29.45)
        2:23.66 (29.47)     2:53.27 (29.61)
        3:22.82 (29.55)     3:50.93 (28.11)
  3 PALTRINIERI, GR  23 ITALY             3:56.39    3:51.04 QT     
    r:+0.74  26.82        55.84 (29.02)
        1:24.97 (29.13)     1:54.48 (29.51)
        2:23.89 (29.41)     2:53.16 (29.27)
        3:22.38 (29.22)     3:51.04 (28.66)
  4 MCLOUGHLIN, JAC  22 CHAND             3:52.58    3:51.52 QT     
    r:+0.69  26.84        55.61 (28.77)
        1:24.91 (29.30)     1:54.35 (29.44)
        2:23.70 (29.35)     2:53.05 (29.35)
        3:22.69 (29.64)     3:51.52 (28.83)
  5 MCKEON, DAVID    25 GUSC              3:56.23    3:52.44 QT     
    r:+0.69  26.37        55.34 (28.97)
        1:24.62 (29.28)     1:54.53 (29.91)
        2:24.15 (29.62)     2:54.17 (30.02)
        3:23.67 (29.50)     3:52.44 (28.77)
  6 SMITH, DANIEL    26 GUSC              3:53.58    3:53.43 QT     
    r:+0.69  26.05        54.95 (28.90)
        1:24.39 (29.44)     1:54.14 (29.75)
        2:23.87 (29.73)     2:53.90 (30.03)
        3:24.16 (30.26)     3:53.43 (29.27)
  7 ROBINSON, NATHA  18 CHAND             3:56.28    3:54.47 QT     
    r:+0.66  27.01        56.34 (29.33)
        1:26.00 (29.66)     1:55.72 (29.72)
        2:25.22 (29.50)     2:54.67 (29.45)
        3:24.56 (29.89)     3:54.47 (29.91)
 11 ATTARD, ZACHARY  18 CARL              3:57.61    3:58.82 QT     
    r:+0.73  27.14        56.57 (29.43)
        1:26.15 (29.58)     1:56.16 (30.01)
        2:26.10 (29.94)     2:56.73 (30.63)
        3:28.10 (31.37)     3:58.82 (30.72)
 15 SHOIKE, TATSUKI  17 JAPAN             3:58.41    4:00.68 QT     
    r:+0.67  26.67        55.62 (28.95)
        1:24.73 (29.11)     1:54.88 (30.15)
        2:25.45 (30.57)     2:56.84 (31.39)
        3:28.90 (32.06)     4:00.68 (31.78)
 18 HANSFORD, JACOB  22 SOSC              3:58.64    4:03.23 QT     
    r:+0.66  27.00        56.76 (29.76)
        1:27.22 (30.46)     1:58.03 (30.81)
        2:29.49 (31.46)     3:00.53 (31.04)
        3:32.17 (31.64)     4:03.23 (31.06)

Japan’s Yuka Sakamoto dominated the men’s 200 fly finals, finishing in a time of 1:58.05. Brodie Cook took second in 2:01.06, and Shaun Burnett was third in 2:02.02.

  1 SAKAMOTO, YUYA   18 JAPAN             1:59.73    1:58.05 QT     
    r:+0.68  26.17        55.54 (29.37)
        1:26.26 (30.72)     1:58.05 (31.79)
  2 COOK, BRODIE     21 HELEN             2:03.90    2:01.06 QT     
    r:+0.73  26.84        57.72 (30.88)
        1:29.34 (31.62)     2:01.06 (31.72)
  3 BURNETT, SHAUN   27 TSS               2:01.69    2:02.02 QT     
    r:+0.64  27.53        59.05 (31.52)
        1:30.23 (31.18)     2:02.02 (31.79)
  4 BENEHOUTSOS, TH  19 MVC               2:00.84    2:02.49 QT     
    r:+0.67  26.36        56.85 (30.49)
        1:28.97 (32.12)     2:02.49 (33.52)
  5 SHERINGTON, CAL  20 CARL              2:03.79    2:02.67 QT     
    r:+0.65  27.56        59.22 (31.66)
        1:30.47 (31.25)     2:02.67 (32.20)
  6 ELLIOTT, TOMAS   23 SOSC              2:04.50    2:03.23 QT     
    r:+0.67  27.19        58.32 (31.13)
        1:30.16 (31.84)     2:03.23 (33.07)
  7 IRVINE, GRANT    26 GUSC              2:03.05    2:03.52 QT     
    r:+0.70  26.72        57.57 (30.85)
        1:30.19 (32.62)     2:03.52 (33.33)
  8 PENDER, MATTHEW  20 VAQC              2:05.55    2:04.72 QT     
    r:+0.65  27.32        58.83 (31.51)
        1:31.09 (32.26)     2:04.72 (33.63)
  9 GILLILAND, JARE  23 BGRAM             2:05.50    2:06.43 QT     
    r:+0.69  27.59        58.90 (31.31)
        1:32.21 (33.31)     2:06.43 (34.22)
 10 QUACH, ALEX      16 AUBN              2:05.89    2:08.09 QT     
    r:+0.69  28.85      1:01.80 (32.95)
        1:34.93 (33.13)     2:08.09 (33.16)

In the women’s 100 breast, Jessica Hansen topped Kaylee McKeown, 1:07.19 to 1:07.80. Tessa Wallace grabbed third in 1:09.57.

  1 HANSEN, JESSICA  22 NUN               1:09.32    1:07.19 QT     
    r:+0.66  31.91      1:07.19 (35.28)
  2 MCKEOWN, TAYLOR  22 SPRTN             1:09.05    1:07.80 QT     
    r:+0.71  32.42      1:07.80 (35.38)
  3 WALLACE, TESSA   24 PWCAL             1:10.52    1:09.57 QT     
    r:+0.67  32.93      1:09.57 (36.64)
  4 ASABA, SHIORI    17 JAPAN             1:10.19    1:09.83 QT     
    r:+0.75  32.96      1:09.83 (36.87)
  5 STRAUCH, JENNA   20 BOND              1:11.10    1:10.52 QT     
    r:+0.73  32.93      1:10.52 (37.59)
  6 ERIKSSON, JESSI  24 SWED              1:11.28    1:10.66 QT     
    r:+0.75  33.39      1:10.66 (37.27)
  7 VAN BREUGEL, CA  23 WOYW              1:11.45    1:11.78 QT     
    r:+0.73  32.89      1:11.78 (38.89)
  8 BEALE, SARAH     17 ACACI             1:11.76    1:12.00 QT     
    r:+0.70  33.98      1:12.00 (38.02)
  9 SMITH, MIKAYLA   19 NUN               1:13.59    1:12.69 QT     
    r:+0.65  34.17      1:12.69 (38.52)
 10 EVERINGHAM, MEK  20 TRGR              1:12.54    1:12.84 QT     
    r:+0.70  34.63      1:12.84 (38.21)

Jake Packard touched out Moon Jaekwon for the men’s 50 breast title, 27.88 to 27.90, while Matthew Hunter was a close third (28.10).

  1 PACKARD, JAKE    23 SPRTN               27.88      27.88 QT     
         r:+0.62                       
  2 MOON, JAEKWON    19 KOREA               27.69      27.90 QT     
         r:+0.66                       
  3 WILSON, MATTHEW  19 SOSC                28.08      28.10 QT     
         r:+0.62                       
  4 HUNTER, LIAM     20 CHAND               28.43      28.12 QT     
         r:+0.62                       
  5 CAVE, DANIEL     18 MVC                 28.46      28.54 QT     
         r:+0.66                       
  6 BELL, GRAYSON    20 TSS                 28.49      28.89 QT     
         r:+0.71                       
  7 TRELOAR, MATTHE  23 TRGR                29.06      28.95 QT     
         r:+0.74                       
  8 OSAKI, IKUMA     18 JAPAN               29.10      29.18 QT     
         r:+0.68                       
  9 MIYAMOTO, IPPEI  18 JAPAN               29.23      29.26 QT     
         r:+0.61                       
 10 HEMSWORTH, ANDR  19 KNXP                29.03      29.53 QT     
         r:+0.62

The women’s 400 IM had a bit of an international flavor, as the Czech Republic’s Barbora Zavadova won the race in 4:42.58 and Japan’s Mana Irisawa took second in 4:43.87. Third went to Aussie Keryn McMaster in 4:46.77.

  1 ZÁVADOVÁ, BARBO  24 CZECH             4:47.82    4:42.58@QT     
    r:+0.71  30.35      1:04.60 (34.25)
        1:41.00 (36.40)     2:17.01 (36.01)
        2:56.83 (39.82)     3:37.87 (41.04)
        4:11.14 (33.27)     4:42.58 (31.44)
  2 IRISAWA, MANA    18 JAPAN             4:49.02    4:43.87*QT     
    r:+0.73  30.57      1:04.85 (34.28)
        1:41.69 (36.84)     2:18.24 (36.55)
        2:58.26 (40.02)     3:38.28 (40.02)
        4:11.53 (33.25)     4:43.87 (32.34)
  3 MCMASTER, KERYN  24 TRINI             4:49.52    4:46.77 QT     
    r:+0.80  30.65      1:05.02 (34.37)
        1:41.64 (36.62)     2:17.43 (35.79)
        2:59.95 (42.52)     3:42.21 (42.26)
        4:15.36 (33.15)     4:46.77 (31.41)
  4 SASAKI, ANNA     16 JAPAN             4:53.83    4:46.93 QT     
    r:+0.64  29.09      1:03.00 (33.91)
        1:41.23 (38.23)     2:19.12 (37.89)
        2:59.35 (40.23)     3:40.99 (41.64)
        4:14.64 (33.65)     4:46.93 (32.29)
  5 SHINNO, ANNA     18 JAPAN             4:52.79    4:47.08 QT     
    r:+0.75  29.65      1:03.78 (34.13)
        1:42.40 (38.62)     2:19.34 (36.94)
        3:01.10 (41.76)     3:41.78 (40.68)
        4:15.04 (33.26)     4:47.08 (32.04)
  6 GILMOUR, TIANNI  21 SPRTN             4:52.59    4:49.46 QT     
    r:+0.80  30.04      1:04.58 (34.54)
        1:41.72 (37.14)     2:18.43 (36.71)
        2:59.84 (41.41)     3:42.22 (42.38)
        4:16.30 (34.08)     4:49.46 (33.16)
  7 KOBORI, WAKA     17 JAPAN             4:51.76    4:51.60 QT     
    r:+0.71  31.32      1:06.88 (35.56)
        1:44.11 (37.23)     2:20.32 (36.21)
        3:03.14 (42.82)     3:45.27 (42.13)
        4:18.66 (33.39)     4:51.60 (32.94)
  8 FITZHENRY, FRAN  18 TRGR              4:54.80    4:52.60 QT     
    r:+0.69  30.63      1:05.92 (35.29)
        1:43.94 (38.02)     2:21.38 (37.44)
        3:03.18 (41.80)     3:44.85 (41.67)
        4:19.19 (34.34)     4:52.60 (33.41)
  9 TREWAVIS, KEILA  16 NUN               4:58.96    4:56.89 QT     
    r:+0.78  31.20      1:06.34 (35.14)
        1:45.98 (39.64)     2:24.82 (38.84)
        3:06.90 (42.08)     3:48.23 (41.33)
        4:23.41 (35.18)     4:56.89 (33.48)
 10 CALDWELL, SOPHI  18 NUN               4:55.92    5:00.26 QT     
    r:+0.77  30.86      1:07.48 (36.62)
        1:45.60 (38.12)     2:24.09 (38.49)
        3:06.94 (42.85)     3:50.70 (43.76)
        4:25.64 (34.94)     5:00.26 (34.62)

Veteran Ben Treffers scored a win in the men’s 50 back with a time of 25.45, and he was followed by Bradley Woodward (25.65) and Will Stockwell (25.82).

  1 TREFFERS, BENJA  26 SOMGC               25.16      25.45 QT     
         r:+0.59                       
  2 WOODWARD, BRADL  19 MING                26.13      25.65 QT     
         r:+0.63                       
  3 STOCKWELL, WILL  22 CHAND               26.02      25.82 QT     
         r:+0.62                       
  4 HURLEY, BOBBY    29 WRAQ                26.36      26.21 QT     
         r:+0.59                       
  5 SELMAN, JACK     23 SPRTN               26.26      26.30 QT     
         r:+0.61                       
  6 MILLS, PETER     21 BGRAM               26.41      26.47 QT     
         r:+0.60                       
  7 DEJAGER, JASPER  18 ALLSA               26.49      26.52 QT     
         r:+0.50                       
  8 LUDLOW, TRISTAN  20 RACKL               26.94      26.78 QT     
         r:+0.60                       
  9 MACALISTER, LEO  17 CARL                26.49      26.81 QT     
         r:+0.55                       
 -- TRAIFOROS, JAME  21 TRGR                26.33         DQ        
         r:+0.55

Jessica Ashwood dominated the women’s 800 free, as she finished with a time of 8:28.73. Completing the top three were Japan’s Chinatsu Sato (8:37.96) and Kiah Melverton (8:39.97).

  1 ASHWOOD, JESSIC  24 CHAND             8:25.61    8:28.73*QT     
    r:+0.76  29.28      1:00.87 (31.59)
        1:32.66 (31.79)     2:04.35 (31.69)
        2:36.28 (31.93)     3:08.27 (31.99)
        3:40.36 (32.09)     4:12.55 (32.19)
        4:44.43 (31.88)     5:16.30 (31.87)
        5:48.41 (32.11)     6:20.75 (32.34)
        6:52.93 (32.18)     7:25.35 (32.42)
        7:57.72 (32.37)     8:28.73 (31.01)
  2 SATO, CHINATSU   18 JAPAN             8:32.52    8:37.96 QT     
    r:+0.75  29.66      1:01.48 (31.82)
        1:33.87 (32.39)     2:06.41 (32.54)
        2:38.92 (32.51)     3:11.71 (32.79)
        3:44.36 (32.65)     4:17.19 (32.83)
        4:49.69 (32.50)     5:22.62 (32.93)
        5:55.48 (32.86)     6:28.66 (33.18)
        7:01.54 (32.88)     7:34.80 (33.26)
        8:07.15 (32.35)     8:37.96 (30.81)
  3 MELVERTON, KIAH  21 TSS               8:30.97    8:39.97 QT     
    r:+0.76  29.71      1:01.52 (31.81)
        1:34.01 (32.49)     2:06.70 (32.69)
        2:39.66 (32.96)     3:12.43 (32.77)
        3:45.41 (32.98)     4:18.14 (32.73)
        4:51.06 (32.92)     5:23.74 (32.68)
        5:56.72 (32.98)     6:29.24 (32.52)
        7:02.50 (33.26)     7:35.14 (32.64)
        8:08.09 (32.95)     8:39.97 (31.88)
  4 ROGERS, DAHLAS   22 GSAQU             8:41.29    8:41.78 QT     
    r:+0.70  29.85      1:02.37 (32.52)
        1:34.87 (32.50)     2:07.82 (32.95)
        2:40.63 (32.81)     3:13.49 (32.86)
        3:46.41 (32.92)     4:19.40 (32.99)
        4:52.31 (32.91)     5:25.54 (33.23)
        5:58.46 (32.92)     6:31.64 (33.18)
        7:04.41 (32.77)     7:37.34 (32.93)
        8:10.24 (32.90)     8:41.78 (31.54)
  5 MESSER, MIKAYLA  18 CHAND             8:36.25    8:43.39 QT     
    r:+0.69  30.33      1:02.51 (32.18)
        1:35.32 (32.81)     2:08.03 (32.71)
        2:40.64 (32.61)     3:13.66 (33.02)
        3:46.71 (33.05)     4:19.65 (32.94)
        4:52.27 (32.62)     5:25.32 (33.05)
        5:58.72 (33.40)     6:31.99 (33.27)
        7:05.24 (33.25)     7:38.60 (33.36)
        8:11.36 (32.76)     8:43.39 (32.03)

The Japanese squad of Rio ShiraiShiori AsabaAnna Shinno and Sayuki Ouchi scored a win in the women’s 400 medley relay, finishing in 4:08.27. The men’s 400 medley relay also went to Japan, with Masayuki OtakeIppei MiyamotoYuya Sakamoto and Hayata Ito clocking 3:42.92.

Multi-class winners included Simone Barlaam in the men’s 50 free (25.45), Emily Beecroft in the women’s 50 free (29.79), Matthew Levy in the men’s 200 IM (2:38.10) and Madeline Scott in the women’s 200 IM (2:40.43).

Full results

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Cyclist awarded £55,000 following head-on collision with 4×4 during time trial

Graeme Daly given compensation following crash in 2015

A cyclist from Argyll and Bute has been awarded £55,000 in compensation following a head-on crash with a vehicle during a team time trial in 2015.

Graeme Daly was competing in a 10-mile three-up team time trial organised by Kinross Cycling Club with fellow Lomond Road Club members Gordon Dick and David Barclay when he was struck by a Ford Explorer 4×4 driven by David Heeps on August 23, 2015.

A personal injury court heard how event marshals and signs were in place to warn other road users about the race, attributing half of the blame to Mr Heeps for failing to slow down and keep to the left-hand side of the road, and half the blame to Mr Daly for failing to concentrate on the road.

>>> Van driver who assaulted cyclist leaving her with serious injuries ordered to pay £5000 compensation

“The defender [Mr Heeps] was not concentrating on the road but on the verge, so too was the pursuer’s [Mr Daly] concentration elsewhere,” was the assessment of Sheriff Peter Braid, as reported by the Evening Telegraph. “He was not looking at the road but at the rear wheel of the bike in front.”

“Just as the defender maintained his speed, because he was unable to stop, so too did the pursuer, because he was participating in what was, in effect, a race. Neither party was as close to his nearside verge as he might have been had he been travelling at a lower speed, because of the need to avoid potholes.

“The accident occurred because the parties approached each other at approximately the same speed, neither hard up against his verge, leaving a very small gap to be negotiated by each of them at a closing speed of 50mph.”

Mr Daly suffered months without being able to ride his bike after the crash, only returning to riding outside after six months off.


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FINA Announces World Aquatics Convention in Hangzhou

FINA today announced the 5th FINA World Aquatics Convention (FWAC) will take place in Hangzhou, China from 8-10 December 2018.

“We are particularly excited to bring the Convention to Hangzhou!” says FINA President, Dr. Julio Maglione. “The Chinese government expects the value of its Aquatics industry to reach $30bn by 2020, and FWAC 2018 provides the perfect platform for international businesses to learn more about the unprecedented opportunities in China.”

FWAC 2018 brings together once again the great and the good from the world of Aquatics: 209 National Federations, Organising Committees, Host Cities, athletes, coaches, and team doctors.  It includes a 3-day exhibition; panel discussions; one-on-one interviews; Coaches Clinics; social activities; lunches; and dinners.

Furthermore, all Convention delegates are invited to attend the Opening Ceremony of the FINA Swimming World Championships (25m) which takes place 11-16 December, also in Hangzhou.

The timing and location of both events ensure FWAC remains Aquatics’ most important industry event, and confirms the vibrant City of Hangzhou as the Aquatics capital of China in 2018.

To learn more about the 5th FWAC edition, visit www.worldaquaticsconvention.com.

Press release courtesy of FINA.

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JLT Condor’s Matthew Gibson takes Britain’s first road win of 2018

JLT Condor take Britain’s first victory for third time in three years

While the Tour Down Under is going on in Australia, on the other side of the Tasman Sea Matthew Gibson has chalked up the first victory by a British rider in a UCI race in 2018.

The JLT Condor rider took victory on stage three of the New Zealand Cycle Classic on Friday, narrowly out-sprinting Toby Orchard (Australian Cycling Academy-Ride Sunshine Coast) and Ryan Thomas (Brisbane Continental Cycling Team) at the end of the flat 126km stage to Martinborough.

A photo finish was needed to separate the riders on the line, with Gibson having to wait a few minutes for the race commissaires to confirm his victory, the 21-year-old’s first in a senior UCI-level race.

>>> British riders in the 2018 WorldTour: who they are and who they ride for

“I obviously tried to keep relaxed and stay not too close during the first few laps [of the 8.1km finishing circuit, which was covered nine times at the end of the stage],” Gibson said after the race.

“The boys in the team did a great job getting me to the front and keeping me in a good spot to sprint in the last few hundred metres and take the win – I was pretty happy with that.”

Gibson’s victory moves him up to 11th overall in the general classification after he finished 14th and fifth on the opening two stages, with Nicholas Reddish (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) in the leader’s yellow jersey.

>>> Watch: Highlights from 2018 Tour Down Under stage four (video)

Saturday’s stage four covers 152km and is the queen stage of the race, featuring a summit finish to Admiral Hill that is likely to decide the race’s final victor.

The final stage on Sunday is a 120km circuit race around Masterton, which Gibson will presumably be targetting to take his second win of the 2018 season.

This is the third time in as many years that JLT-Condor have provided Britain’s first win of the year, with Jon Mould winning stage four of the New Zealand Cycle Classic in 2017, while Chris Lawless went even better by winning the first stage of the event in 2016.


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Pieters leads in Abu Dhabi with Fleetwood & McIlroy in contention

Rory McIlroy presented Tommy Fleetwood with a cake on his 27th birthday

Abu Dhabi Championship – Second round (US unless stated)
-12: Pieters (Bel); -11: Campillo (Spa) -10: Fisher (Eng), Fleetwood (Eng), Levy (Fra); -9: Casey (Eng), McIlroy (NI), Wiesberger (Aut), Brazel (Aus), Sullivan (Eng)
Selected others: -8: Grace (SA), A Johnston (Eng), D Johnson; -6: M Fitzpatrick (Eng), P Dunne (Ire), R Ramsay (Sco); -1: L Westwood (Eng), I Poulter (Eng)

English trio Ross Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey produced fine rounds to be in contention after round two of the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Fisher’s bogey-free five-under 67 saw him reach 10 under, the same mark as defending champion Fleetwood.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters chipped in for a birdie on his last hole to lead on 12 under, one clear of Jorge Campillo.

Casey carded a 65 for nine under overall, among a group including Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy – who has finished second in this event on four occasions – appeared to be slipping out of contention but was helped when he converted a lengthy eagle putt on his final hole of the day to move within three of the lead.

The four-time major winner is playing for the first time since ending his 2017 season early because of a rib injury and he is yet to drop a shot in 36 holes.

Neither Casey or Fisher have won on the European Tour since 2014.

But like many in the 125-strong field, they took advantage of conditions made for low scoring in round two. Spain’s Campillo, South Africa’s Branden Grace and world-number-one Dustin Johnson all shot rounds of eight under.

“The conditions are perfect, no wind,” said leader Pieters, who produced seven birdies in his bogey-free 65 on day two.

“It’s nice out there so you need to take advantage. We have a decent game plan. I’ve done well here in the past with fourth in 2015 and second in 2016. It suits me.”

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It would be easier for everyone if Team Sky suspended Froome, says UCI boss

David Lappartient says he expects Chris Froome’s salbutamol case to drag on throughout 2018

Team Sky should stop Chris Froome from beginning his 2018 campaign next month, says UCI boss David Lappartient.

Froome tested for twice the legal limit of asthma drug salbutamol after the 18th stage of the Vuelta a España. The case, leaked to the media, is still being examined and could drag on for a year.

Both Chris Froome and Team Sky deny any wrongdoing. Froome immediately commented on the case when it emerged in the Guardian and Le Monde newspapers. He said that his asthma problems are “well-known” and that he and the team would “provide whatever information it requires.”

>>> Chris Froome anti-doping investigation should not have been made public, says British Cycling boss

“Team Sky should suspend Froome,” Lappartient told newspaper Le Telegramme.

“It’s not up to me to interfere. Without wishing to comment on the rider’s guilt, it would be easier for everyone [for Team Sky to suspend Froome].”

Froome’s urine read 2000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), twice the 1000 limit. He will reportedly argue a kidney problem led to the high reading.

He won the Vuelta a España overall on the heels of a fourth Tour de France title. Froome is due to start his season next month, perhaps in the Ruta del Sol stage race in spain, and compete in the Giro d’Italia in May and the Tour in July.

Already in December after the anti-doping test result emerged, the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) asked Team Sky to voluntarily suspend the 32-year-old Brit while the medical and legal experts work.

Less than half of the WorldTour teams, including Dimension Data, follow the MPCC’s stricter guidelines. Those rules would see a rider benched in such cases, but Team Sky is not one of the WorldTour teams part of the group.

Frenchman Lappartient, elected in September, puts greater pressure on Team Sky’s management, including boss David Brailsford, and Froome to take action.



“It’s up to Brailsford to take his responsibilities,” Lappartient added. “Quite apart from that, I think that’s what the other riders want. They’re fed up with the general image.”

Froome’s group is preparing the documents to show its case to the Cycling Anti-doping Foundation (CADF). Any outcome could be appealed to sport’s high court CAS by either Froome or the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which said it would act if Froome escaped sanction.

“It’s going to be a judicial battle that will last a long time,” added Lappartient. “This affair won’t be sorted out in two minutes, it could last at least a year.”

“We’re in the hands of the experts. It’s up to Froome to demonstrate the reasons for such a high level of salbutamol, it’s up to him to prove his innocence.”


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Kontaveit knocks Ostapenko out of Australian Open

Jelena Ostapenko

2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

World number seven Jelena Ostapenko was stunned by Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in the third round of the Australian Open.

The French Open champion was beaten 6-3 1-6 6-3 by world number 33 Kontaveit in one hour and 53 minutes.

Kontaveit drew a series of errors out of her former junior doubles partner, but Ostapenko recovered to force a deciding final set.

However she was overpowered by Kontaveit, who will play Spain’s world number 39 Carla Suarez Navarro next.

Ostapenko’s exit means that Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – who play each other on Saturday – are the only two Grand Slam champions remaining in the women’s draw.

There were 11 double faults in a scrappy affair on Rod Laver Arena, with Latvia’s Ostapenko losing all five of her service games in the first set.

Ostapenko took a medical timeout before the second set for treatment on her thigh and she found enough rhythm to take the game into a third set.

Despite some solid defence from Ostapenko, Kontaveit got the decisive break before winning eight of the final ten points of the match to reach the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time.

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‘I finally had a real job to do’: Peter Sagan helps to pack away flamme rouge at Tour Down Under

As if winning the stage and moving into the race lead wasn’t enough…

As if winning stage four of the Tour Down Under wasn’t enough, Peter Sagan decided to wind down from his victory on Friday by helping race workers to pack away the inflatable flamme rouge.

Still wearing the motocross goggles that he’d worn on the podium in Uraidla as he celebrated the stage win and moved into the ochre jersey, Sagan appears to have been being driven back from the stage finish when he got out to lend a hand to the race workers.

Sagan posted video of his manual labour on Twitter and Instagram showing him helping the orange-clad workers to haul the deflated flamme rouge into a trailer to be reinflated on Willunga Hill on Saturday.

>>> Peloton reacts to sweltering temperatures of up to 48ºC at Tour Down Under

Unsurprisingly, the man wearing the rainbow jersey rather than the orange t-shirt is quickly spotted by fans, who interrupt his work to ask for photos and autographs, with Sagan duly obliging.

Sagan then helps to pick up a last few electrical cables, before heading back towards the car having finished his hard work for the day.

A little earlier, Sagan had been racing underneath the flamme rouge on his way to victory on stage four of the Tour Down Under, out-sprinting Daryl Impey and Luis Leon Sanchez at the finish in Uraidla, a result that was enough to put him into the leader’s ochre jersey with two stages remaining.

>>> ‘A wheel ain’t gonna cut it’: Riders borrowing fans’ bikes and other stories from the Tour Down Under through the years

Sagan looked to have decent climbing legs on the climb towards the finish on stage four, but will have a tough task to hold on to his lead on stage five, which finishes on the three kilometres climb of Willunga Hill where Riche Porte has claimed victory for the last four years.

However there will be a further chance for Sagan to chase victory on Sunday, with the final stage being a circuit race around the streets of Adelaide.


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Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to make last 16

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios kept home hopes very much alive in the men’s singles at the Australian Open with victory over France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The 22-year-old 17th seed beat 15th seed Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) in the third round.

Kyrgios goes on to face Bulgarian third seed Grigor Dimitrov in the last 16.

On a day when temperatures peaked in the afternoon at 40.2C, Kyrgios benefited from playing in the cooler night session.

Tsonga, 32, was one of the Australian’s childhood heroes and a finalist in Melbourne 10 years ago.

The Frenchman gave a serious examination of the man most likely to end Australia’s 32-year wait for a male champion, but Kyrgios held his nerve impressively in three tie-breaks.

“He is a great guy, a champion of the game, someone I looked up to as a kid,” said Kyrgios of his opponent afterwards.

“To be in the locker room with these guys, the first year especially, was surreal.

“Grigor Dimitrov is an amazing athlete who finished the year strongly last year, and the best-of-five sets might suit him. It will be a tough match.”

The margins were slim between two of the game’s bigger servers – both men finished with 28 aces – a Tsonga double-fault handing over the first set, before a delicate drop shot earned him the only break of the second.

Both had their chances in the crucial third set tie-break but it was Kyrgios who took his first opportunity with a backhand return.

Break points went begging early in the fourth, with Kyrgios finding a superb second serve under pressure at 30-30, 4-5, before Tsonga looked to be forcing a fifth set when he led 5-2 in the third tie-break.

A knee issue then looked to disrupt him and Kyrgios took full advantage, reeling off five points in a row to seal victory.

Grigor Dimitrov cools down

Dimitrov earlier came through a tough match against 30th seed Andrey Rublev in the heat of the afternoon.

The Bulgarian needed over three hours to win 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

“These are most important matches when things are not working and I am able to find a way,” Dimitrov, 26, said.

“Physically I am feeling good and the heat didn’t scare me. That is a good sign.”

Asked about the prospect of facing Kyrgios, and the majority of the crowd, Dimitrov said: “I’ve done it many times before.

“I’ve played against the local, so to speak. That’s part of the game.”

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