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Feb 22 17

De Jager eyes River Mile gold

by ZwemZa
Woodridge pupil Amica de Jager (left) will be one of the favourites for the SPAR River Mile women’s title at Cannonville on Sunday. She was runner-up last year in the race won by Jessica Canter (centre) of PEA, with Jessica Beukes third. (Full Stop Communications)

Woodridge pupil Amica de Jager (left) will be one of the favourites for the SPAR River Mile women’s title at Cannonville on Sunday. She was runner-up last year in the race won by Jessica Canter (centre) of PEA, with Jessica Beukes third. (Full Stop Communications)

Having been runner-up in the past two years, 17-year-old Amica de Jager is going for gold in the 93rd River Mile in Cannonville just outside Port Elizabeth this weekend.

 
Part of the two-day SPAR Summer Festival, the feature men’s and women’s mile events will anchor Sunday’s programme in Africa’s oldest open water swimming event.
 
Having twice been pipped at the post, De Jager is hoping to secure a first place this year.
 
“I’ve come painfully close two years in a row so hopefully it will be third time lucky,” she said.
 
In her final year at Woodridge College, she is feeling confident as she has been training for the South African nationals in open water, pool and lifesaving – all of which take place over the next two months.
 
The teenage star has had a successful season, having won the 5km and 10km Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics Championship titles. She is also the 3km leader in the Aquelle Ocean Racing Series.
 
De Jager has adopted a determined attitude towards the race and feels her achievements this season are evidence that she is good enough to win.
 
Full of challenges, the River Mile is an event which keeps the swimmers on their toes, but De Jager felt this worked to her advantage.
 
“In open water, everything is unpredictable. The weather, current and layout are always different and changing continuously.
 
“I feel as though I can adapt to most situations and am motivated and determined. As an open water swimmer, you need to be adaptable and prepared for anything.
 
“In open water, swimmers are constantly jostling, each fighting to get in the best position to win. Strategies and tactics are always at play.”
 
Having represented South Africa at the lifesaving world championships, De Jager felt her hard work had paid off in achieving some of her goals.
 
She added that she owed much to her coach, Haydn Holmes.
 
“A previous winner of the River Mile, Haydn is my role model. He has helped me with every aspect of swimming and I hope that I can make him proud.
 
“My goal is to finally win it to become part of the history surrounding this epic race.”
 
Although defending champion Jess Canter is not swimming this year, De Jager said there would be several swimmers to watch, especially Kirsten Marriot.
 
Looking ahead to the race, she said her strategy would be simple.
 
“I want to put myself in the best possible position to win.”
 
Apart from swimming, the festival, which starts on Saturday morning, will include mountain biking and fun run events.
Full Stop Communications
Feb 22 17

Hottie Chinese swimming star Ning Zetao kicked off national team

by ZwemZa

Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to inform you that swimming star hottie Ning Zetao has been kicked off China’s national swimming team.

Earlier today a memo leaked online from the State General Administration of Sports Management Center of Swimming stating that Ning had been charged with making three violations, and had been expelled from the national team and sent back to the gulags Chinese Navy swimming team. The notice was dated October 18th, 2016, after the Rio Olympics which Ning took part in.

Ning was charged with failing to obey national team competition rules, refusing to participate in a relay event, and, perhaps most significantly, working as an unauthorized spokesman.

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Last year, Ning was nearly kept from participating in the Rio Olympics because of his sponsorship deal with Chinese dairy brand Yili which is a competitor to the national swimming team’s official milk sponsor, China Mengniu Dairy.

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Chinese national athletes are not allowed to sign advertising agreements without team approval. In a documentary about Ning’s preparation for the Olympics, the 23-year-old swimmer said that he was suddenly ordered to move out of his apartment in Beiing, had his meal card at the training facility blocked, and had his coach disappear on him, according to a report from Sixth Tone.

Things only got worse in January of this year when he signed yet another unauthorized sponsorship deal, a 10 million yuan one with Adidas, again putting himself in direct conflict with the national swimming team whose official apparel sponsor is 361 Degrees, a domestic competitor of Adidas.

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Ning catapulted himself to stardom in 2015 by winning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle at the world swimming championships in Kazan, Russia. The historic win for the Chinese nation led many to discover that Ning is ridiculously good-looking, resulting in numerous promotional opportunities for the young swimmer.

Unfortunately, Ning disappointed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finishing in 30th place in the men’s 50m freestyle and 12th place in the men’s 100 meter freestyle.

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Sadly, it’s not clear if our boyfriend will ever get a chance to redeem himself.

Alex Linder | Shanghiist

 

 

Feb 22 17

Phelps: Rematch with Le Clos WON’T happen

by ZwemZa
 Michael Phelps, left, of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the men's 200m butterfly final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Adam Pretty / GETTY


Michael Phelps, left, of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the men’s 200m butterfly final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Adam Pretty / GETTY

American swimming superstar Michael Phelps has squashed notions of a rematch against Chad le Clos after the South African star said he was eager for ‘Round 3’ of their 200m butterfly battle.

In 2012, Le Clos stunned the world by defeating Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, in the 200m ‘fly at the London Olympics.

Phelps, who received the Comeback of the Year award at the Laureus Sports awards last week, credited his loss to Le Clos in 2012 as the main reason for his return to competitive swimming.

“I think about that a lot,” Phelps told Sport24 last week.

“If I win the 200m ‘fly in London I probably don’t come back.”

Phelps returned one final time at the Rio 2016 Olympics and won five gold medals and silver – and won back his 200m fly crown from Le Clos, who didn’t medal in the race.

Le Clos took to Twitter after Phelps received his Laureus award to say he’s eager for a rematch: “Congrats @MichaelPhelps let’s do round 3 in stadium, South Africa and in USA, would love to race the goat again.

Le Clos told the Independent Online website on Sunday that he still has nightmares over the Rio 200m ‘fly race and wants the American to come out of retirement one more time.

“I want it that bad. I just want Phelps to come back,” said the South African Olympic gold medalist.

“I’ve had nightmares about that. I wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat over that race.”

However, Phelps responded on Twitter on Monday saying a rematch is out of the question.

It won’t happen… but it was a good race and wish @chadleclos all of the best in the future!.”

 

Feb 22 17

Swim fitness trackers work well enough for recreational swimmers

by ZwemZa

fitness-trackers

Popular fitness trackers made for swimmers are accurate enough for recreational use to track and improve performance, but not for use in training by competitive swimmers, a recent study concludes.

Researchers tested two products, the Finis Swimsense and Garmin Swim, and found them to be comparable to each other and pretty good at tracking distance, laps and different types of swimming strokes.

Stroke counts were not as consistent, however. And the devices’ ability to recognize different stroke types is likely to vary more widely with amateur swimmers than with competitive athletes, the researchers note.

“As part of the so-called ‘quantified self’ movement, individuals who swim as part of a recreational health and fitness program can benefit from monitoring some basic indices of their performance,” said senior study author Gearoid O Laighin of the Center for Research in Medical Devices at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

“Swimming ranks amongst the most popular leisure activities worldwide,” O Laighin told Reuters Health by email. “The general health benefits of regular swimming are well established and swimming is one of the few sports that can be enjoyed during all stages of life.”

O Laighin and colleagues tested the two swim fitness trackers by following 10 national competitive swimmers — five men and five women — during 60 laps of swimming. The swimmers wore both activity monitors while doing intervals of the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and frontcrawl. The devices identified stroke type, swim distance, lap time, stroke count, stroke rate, stroke length and average speed. The data was compared against underwater video recordings for accuracy.

Both devices accurately identified the four swim strokes and accurately counted swim distance and laps during the middle of an interval. However, laps performed at the beginning and end of an interval weren’t always accurate, and stroke count measurements were off by a few counts in all but two occasions. These small errors also affect the stroke rate, stroke length and average speed numbers since they’re based on lap times and stroke counts, the study authors write in PLoS ONE.

The Garmin Swim correctly identified the four swimming strokes with 95.4 percent overall sensitivity, and the Finis Swimsense was slightly more sensitive at 96.4 percent. With total distance, the Garmin tracker was three laps short, all for the frontcrawl stroke. The Finis tracker registered the correct number of laps but showed variations within the strokes. Both devices showed errors in lap times at the beginning of lap intervals.

“It’s great to see researchers dive into the details of the devices, and the numbers came out well across the board,” said C.J. Fiala, spokesperson for Finis Swimsense in Livermore, California. “When creating the product, we wouldn’t accept a large margin of error, and we believe this is the most accurate it can get.”

In general, both devices overestimated stroke counts in all intervals except with the butterfly, which the trackers tended to underestimate. Overall, accuracy was lowest with the breaststroke.

The varying accuracy may be related to stroke technique and how individual swimmers perform, O Laighin said. The error margin may likely increase when the trackers are used by recreational swimmers rather than elite swimmers.

 

“These two swimming sensors are highly influenced by technique and stroke mechanics, so the results should be interpreted with caution by a recreational swimmer whose technique may be unrefined,” Sanders told Reuters Health by email.

The Garmin Swim sells for $149.99 and the Finis Swimsense sells for $179.99. There was no financial assistance from either company for the study.

Garmin media representatives didn’t return calls or emails requesting comment.

“Understanding what you’re doing in the water gives you the opportunity to improve your skills,” Fiala said. “If you have inaccurate results, you’re not getting a real picture of what you’re doing and won’t know how to improve.”

Reuters Health

Feb 22 17

Kyle Chalmers’ coach Peter Bishop named head swim coach of South Australia Sports Institute

by ZwemZa
Swimming coach Peter Bishop.(Dean Martin)

Swimming coach Peter Bishop.(Dean Martin)

Peter Bishop, the coach of Olympic sensation Kyle Chalmers, has been named the head swimming coach of the South Australian Sports Institute.

Bishop, 48, is one of the country’s most respected swimming coaches and has had a large hand in the success of Chalmers, Haydn Stoeckel, Sally Hunter, Josh Palmer and Paralympic champion Matthew Cowdrey.

He moves across to SASI as part of a national restructuring of the elite swimming programs and has been appointed for the Toyky Olympics Cycle.

Bishop said the role would allow him to spend even more time with the elite of the sport.

“This new role will allow me to be 100 per cent focused on developing our most talented

swimmers to be world class and world’s best,” Peter Bishop said. “I have really enjoyed working with the YMCA and the Marion Club, however bringing the elite squad into a dedicated program with SASI is really exciting.”

SASI director Wes Battams said Bishop had been a standout for the role.

He is considered one of the Australia’s best kept secrets when it comes to coaching.

“Peter’s appointment to SASI will give him greater capacity to sharpen his focus with

existing and future South Australians aspiring for international success,” Battams said. “Swimming Australia is really upping the ante and want to increase the quantity and quality

of the support and effort put into developing world-class swimmers. We support this new initiative of Swimming Australia to create more targeted and specialised high performance training centres.”

Jesper Fjeldstad | The Advertsiser

Feb 22 17

‘Mentally disturbed’ Hackett to seek help abroad

by ZwemZa
Grant Hackett (Ausswim)

Grant Hackett (Ausswim)

Australian Olympic swimming great Grant Hackett says he will seek treatment overseas for mental health problems after what he called “the toughest week of my life”.

The 36-year-old, who went into hiding after his brief arrest last week following a family bust-up, released a statement thanking “mum and dad for helping me through the toughest week of my life”.

“I know I have some mental health issues and I am seeking help here in Australia and I will be also going overseas,” he said in the statement released late on Tuesday.

In 2014, he checked into a US rehabilitation clinic to treat an addiction to sleeping pills.

Hackett’s father Neville had reported the former 1500m world record-holder missing, sparking fears for his safety.

The retired swimmer posted a picture on social media showing himself with a black eye, and accused his brother Craig of beating him up.

But Hackett said in the statement he had resolved those differences.

“My brother and I have reconnected and love each other very much – our family has always been our priority,” he said.

Police released the double Olympic gold medallist last Wednesday without charge just hours after his family had him arrested following a bout of heavy drinking which led to “uncontrollable rage”.

Hackett came out of six years of troubled retirement in 2014 in a bid to make the Rio Games.

But he narrowly missed out on a berth and after the Olympic trials in Adelaide last April, hit the headlines again with a public meltdown on a plane.

Hackett was accused of drunkenly squeezing the nipple of a fellow business-class passenger in an embarrassing incident which prompted him to vow to quit drinking.

He retired after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, having won the 1500m freestyle at both the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games. He also claimed four world titles in the 30-length event.

But Hackett quickly ran into problems with a messy divorce and allegations he smashed up his Melbourne home in 2011.

Feb 22 17

New approach to measure fluid drag on the body during swimming

by ZwemZa
University of Tsukuba-led researchers develop a method for accurately determining drag during front-crawl swimming. (University of Tsukuba)

University of Tsukuba-led researchers develop a method for accurately determining drag during front-crawl swimming. (University of Tsukuba)

A key factor to improve swimming performance is reducing resistance that water exerts on the moving body. This resistance, known as drag, is influenced by factors including the stroke rate, swimmer’s size, and swimming speed. The range of factors, along with the motion of the swimmer, have made it difficult to measure drag accurately.

In an advance that could help modify training practices in the swimming world, a research team centered at the University of Tsukuba (Japan) has developed a new method and apparatus to measure drag in a water flume. The method overcomes the disadvantages of earlier approaches, such as their not being applicable to different swimming strokes or only being functional at full speed, and showed good reliability in applied tests.

The new approach involves connecting a swimmer in a water flume to load cells at the front and back of the flume. This allows the force in each direction to be calculated relative to maintaining a fixed position by swimming at the same speed as the flow in the flume, thereby allowing the residual thrust to be determined. This can then be compared to a passive state when being towed motionless through the water.

“We set six swimmers up in the apparatus and applied different water flow rates to them, while using an underwater metronome to ensure they maintained the required stroke rate,” study corresponding author Hideki Takagi says. “We were also able to compare the active drag they were subjected to with passive drag when they were pulled through the water while adopting streamlined positions.”

The results for active drag showed low variability, suggesting the approach’s reliability. The finding that active drag exceeded passive drag also suggests the study’s validity, despite this finding not being made in some previous work, because the area of the front of the body when moving through the water is larger when a swimming stroke is being performed.

“We expect this methodology to be greatly beneficial in reducing drag and improving swimming times among elite swimmers,” lead author Kenzo Narita says. “The effects of minor adjustments in swimming posture can now be precisely determined.”

The team hopes to build on this study by clarifying the factors that influence active drag and by applying this methodology alongside measurements of swimming efficiency, such as by measuring oxygen intake.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Tsukuba. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Kenzo Narita, Motomu Nakashima, Hideki Takagi. Developing a methodology for estimating the drag in front-crawl swimming at various velocities. Journal of Biomechanics, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.01.037

Science Daily

Feb 21 17

A is for Anxiety

by ZwemZa

coughlin82263769If you want to swim fast, you’ve got to prepare yourself mentally. That’s not always an easy process. Beginning this week, Sport psychologist Aimee Kimball, PhD., introduced a series of articles on usaswimming.org that makes mental training as easy as A-B-C.

The ABCs of mental training will run every week for the next 10 weeks. This week’s topic is Anxiety

Why do I have anxiety?
Many athletes have anxiety before they compete, whether it’s a pounding heart, difficulty breathing, tight muscles, or worried thoughts. All animals have what’s called the fight-or-flight response in which our bodies prepare to either fight a challenge or to run away from it. These symptoms of anxiety aren’t always bad, as they can signal a readiness to compete. Think of a race you were involved in that wasn’t important to you or where you knew you would win it easily. You probably didn’t have the same signs of anxiety because you didn’t see this event as being as threatening. The perception of a challenge/threat is what makes athletes feel anxious.

Changing the Perceived Threat
If situational factors (event importance, your opponents) cause you anxiety, focus on controllable factors that help you to swim well- a smooth stroke, a strong kick, and a well-timed start. When you start to add “uncontrollables” to your focus, you are adding thoughts to your head that don’t need to be there and are making it a lot harder to swim to your potential.

Physically Relaxing
To release anxiety, take some long, deep breaths and picture all the physical and mental stress leaving your body. You can also take a few minutes each day to go through your muscle groups, tightening them and then relaxing them. By doing this progressive relaxation, you can recognize when and where you are carrying physical tension and learn to physically loosen your muscles so that you can perform your b

Therefore
Anxiety as you know it doesn’t have to exist. You may have some physical activation (faster heart rate, quicker breathing) but you can control this. Simply think how you want to think and leave some time for a pre-race routine that allows you to physically relax. While it requires training, you can regain control of your body by taking control of your mind.

Make it Great!

For more information contact: 412-432-3777; kimballac@upmc.edu

About Aimee C. Kimball, PhD:
Dr. Aimee C. Kimball is the Director of Mental Training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Sports Medicine. She received a PhD from the University of Tennessee where she specialized in sport psychology. She is an Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology Certified Consultant, and is a member of the American Psychological Association, the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology Registry, the USA Swimming Sports Medicine Network, and the NCAA Speakers Bureau. As a Mental Training Consultant, Dr. Kimball has worked with professional, collegiate, high school, recreational, and youth athletes in a variety of sports, and assists the Pittsburgh Steelers in analyzing potential draft picks. She has been a featured speaker at conferences across the nation and has appeared in Men’s Health Magazine, Runner’s World, Athletic Management Magazine, various local and national newspapers, and has appeared on ESPN, NPR, and news broadcasts across the country. She is a Clinical Faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Orthopaedics and an adjunct faulty member in the Sports Marketing Department at Duquesne University. Currently, Dr. Kimball works with athletes and other performers to assist them in achieving success in sport and life.

USA Swimming

Feb 20 17

Phelps to head to 2020 Olympics – as a “smous”

by ZwemZa
Mannequins model new Michael Phelps swimsuits at Arizona State's Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex April18, 2016. (Photo: Matt Mauro/12 News)

Mannequins model new Michael Phelps swimsuits at Arizona State’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex April18, 2016. (Photo: Matt Mauro/12 News)

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, will take part in the 2020 Games in Tokyo, but as an entrepreneur, selling his own-brand swimwear, and not competing in the pool.

The legendary American swimmer, who has captured a record 28 Olympic medals, retired after the 2016 Rio Games.

Now he has set his sights on success as a businessman, hoping to see the stars of the 2020 Olympics and beyond opt for his swimwear in what is a cut-throat commercial environment.

“I am finished (as a competitor),” 31-year-old Phelps said on Thursday in Paris where he was launching his designs.

In a partnership with US manufacturer Aqua Sphere, which started in 2014, Phelps said he felt reinvigorated by his new career.

“It has become a passion in which I invest a lot of time and energy. I enjoy being around sports and swimming. It will be like this for the rest of my life and I love that.”

In Rio, Phelps swam in his own self-designed gear as he won five more golds and a silver medal to confirm his status as a legend of the Olympics.

“I was more confident in my swimming by wearing my own gear,” he explained having originally retired from competitive swimming after the 2012 London Olympics.

His 20 years’ experience of the sport will be key to business success, he added.

“I sit around a table and have meetings with designers and engineers – it’s a crazy experience.

“I didn’t have this possibility before of someone listening to what I have to say about a product.”

Phelps claims that some of Australia’s highly-rated swimmers were interested in his designs last year but were unable to use them so as to avoid a conflict of interest with an existing sponsor.

“Technology and sport will continue to grow,” added the American. “For me the dream will become the reality by having some of the best swimmers in the world wearing our suits.”

Meanwhile, Phelps said that Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics “would be very special” but admitted that his heart naturally was with the Los Angeles bid.

The two cities as well as Budapest are vying to host the Games in seven years’ time with a decision to be made by the International Olympic Committee in September.

“Having the Games in Paris would be very special, but I cannot lie. I am a little biased.

“The US is my country so I support Los Angeles for 2024.”

Feb 20 17

Ho and Twichell claim Cape Mile titles

by ZwemZa
Chad Ho

Chad Ho

South African 5k world open water swimming champion Chad Ho and Ashley Twichell from the United States had the crowd on their feet at Eikenhof Dam at the Grabouw Country Club on Sunday as they claimed the titles third annual Cape Mile open water swimming event.

The Cape Mile is not a Swimming South Africa Approved Open Water Swimming event and is regarded as a recreational event.

The men’s race came down to a nail-biting sprint finish, between Ho and Chip Peterson of the United States.

Both competed at last week’s Midmar Mile in KwaZulu-Natal where they finished second and third respectively.

‘Third time’s the charm’ said a delighted Ho, who for the past two years has been runner-up to Danie Marais and Myles Brown. ‘I really wanted to have a good race and impress today. I knew that it would be fast. I just kept an eye out and stuck with Chip.

‘I’m over the moon with the victory. The Cape Mile is an awesome event and I’ll definitely be back next year.’

Ho claimed gold in an impressive time of 17min 48sec. Peterson came in second, while Danie Marais finished third.

Ashley Twichell

Ashley Twichell

Crossing the finish line in an overall fifth place on the day, Ashley Twichell’s finishing time of 18:19 secured her the top spot on the podium in the women’s race.

‘The venue is awesome,’ said a delighted Twichell who won the 14 – 30 women’s race at the Midmar Mile. ‘It’s unlike any other event that we’ve competed in. We don’t have mountains like these in the States.

‘The race was really fun. The first straight section was tough. I couldn’t really see who was in front of me. I just followed the splashes. Once we made our first turn the visibility got better and I got into a groove.’

‘I’m really happy to come away with the win. The event seemed so seamless. It’s well organised and great fun.’

Michelle Weber came in second, while Carmen Le Roux finished third.

‘We’re overwhelmed by the support that we received for the 2017 Cape Mile,’ said event orgniser Michael Meyer. ‘Close to 2000 swimmers lined up today. That’s an impressive achievement for an event that is only in its third year.

‘We’re thankful both to the participants and the spectators for making the 2017 event a memorable experience.  We look forward to welcoming everybody back in 2018.’

Top 10 Results

Men

1 Chad Ho 17:48, 2 Chip Peterson 17:49, 3 Danie Marais 18:01, 4 Myles Brown 18:15, 5 Nick Quenet 18:54, 6 Stephano Roodt 19:30, 7 Dylan Wright 19:37, 8 Reino Von Wielligh 19:42, 9 Andrew Ritchie 19:46, 10 Gary Albertyn 20:01

Women

1 Ashley Twichell 18:19, 2 Michelle Weber 19:02, 3 Carmen Le Roux 19:46, 4 Caitlin Kat 19:48, 5 Jodie Swallow 19:51, 6 Carli Antonopoulos 20:22, 7 Kiara Noades 20:23, 8 Flora Duffy 20:34, 9 Alexandra Quenet 20:39, 10 Mari Rabie 21:04

Supplied & edited by ZwemZa

 

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