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UR cover story for this issue is American softball ace, Jennie Finch. The towering blonde pitcher, not surprisingly, caught my attention – even if my knowledge of softball was way off the mark! She can shatter reinforced glass with a softball pitch and break hearts at the same time. Tennis World No.1 Rafael Nadal finally lost for the first time ever at the French Open after an unbeaten run of 31 matches at Roland Garros in an epic match with Robin Soderling. With World No.2 Roger Federer making history by beating Soderling in the final to win his first French Open, equalling Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles and becoming only the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam events, it sets up the fascinating prospect of another Nadal-Federer final at Wimbledon. Nadal will be fired up to defend his Wimbledon crown against a revitalised Federer. Whoever emerges victorious will make history by becoming the first men’s champion to win under the cover of the new roof. Yep, the home of the Lawn Tennis Association has finally figured out that it might rain in England in mid-summer. The days of the ground crew furiously pulling the covers over Centre Court are over as the multimillion pound retractable roof has put and end to the rain delays and singer Cliff Richard’s spontaneous outbursts to keep the crowds entertained! Having played in all the Six Nations games for England this season scrum-half Harry Ellis missed out on club glory when he had to watch from the bench as Leicester Tigers beat London Irish to win the Guinness Premiership final. The following week Harry came off the bench to replace Frenchman Julien Dupuy in the closing stages of the Tigers’ Heneiken Cup defeat by Leinster. But he’d received the ultimate honour with his call-up to the British and Irish Lions on their Tour of South Africa and their forthcoming 3-match Test series against the World Champion Springboks. As the temperatures soar this summer we’ll be diving into cool waters in an attempt to work on our stamina and there are few in the world better when it comes to distance swimming than Britain’s double Olympic gold medal winner Rebecca Adlington, who talks candidly about life at the top of her sport and how her world has gone topsy turvy since Beijing. Back on dry land we talk to the fastest man on the planet – Usain Bolt – who tells us how he manages to run so damn fast! Our Features Editor Richard Bevan has been up to his old tricks again, bagging all the best jobs by scoring himself an invite to the Manchester United Player of the Year Awards Dinner, where he chewed the fat with double-award winning centre back Nemanja Vidic. Finally, our features finish on an icy note as world explorer Tom Avery tells us why he ditched a life of number crunching to live the dream in the great outdoors. Now’s the time of year when all that hard work in the gym has started to pay off but that last little push is always the hardest. As we drop weight there’s a tendency to lose shape. The team at Fitness First have put together a great shoulder workout and nutritional tips to help you on the way to the perfect ‘beach physique.’ As a cyclist, a couple of health issues surprised me, so as of this month my training’s going to change. I’ve just bought a serious pair of cushioned running shoes and I’m going to make a conscious attempt not to walk past the weight section in the gym. As a competitive amateur cyclist I’ve always focused on endurance, active recovery and body weight during the season. I’m going to keep a training diary and in the next issue I’ll let you know how I’ve gone on. It would be great to hear how you are all doing and let me know if there’s any area of your training that’s become a sticking point. With the team at Fitness First and the leading nutritionists at Maximuscle we’ve got the experience on hand to hopefully get you on the right track. alexg@sportingpublications.com

Alex Gallemore Editor

www.sportnfitnessme.com l Page1


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SUGAR AND SPICE Richard Bevan talks exclusively to American softball icon JENNIE FINCH, who has proved conclusively that she doesn’t need to sacrifice her femininity to match her male counterparts in every department.

SOFTBALL, it’s just a wimp’s version of baseball isn’t it? Wrong. If you ran that particular theory past America’s Jennie Finch you might find yourself getting thrown out of the door in the style and pace of one of her legendary pitches – hard and fast. Finch, arguably the most famous softball player of all time, is a pitcher of furious ability. She throws the ball so fast that even the bat tries to get out of the way. Her pitching power was tested against a Major League baseball pitcher on a U.S. television show and she not only came out on top, she smashed the forcemeasuring equipment used in the experiment! The sport may be dominated by women at the top level but make no mistake, softball is every bit as tough as baseball and it’s growing rapidly around the world,

helped in no small way by the publicity attracted by pinup idols like Finch. Having taken up the sport as a young tomboy desperate to be like her two older brothers, she went on to make such an impression during her collegiate career at the University of Arizona that they retired her famous No. 27 jersey when she left. Since then she’s gone right to the top, becoming a star of the USA national team and winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens before losing out in the final to Japan in Beijing last year. She’s hot property on the media merry-go-round with a string of lucrative modelling, television and magazine deals under her belt but it’s on the softball field that she’s most comfortable and it’s there that her true legacy will be felt.

www.sportingpublications.com l Page2

Published in the UAE by: Prographix, PO BOX 24677, Dubai, UAE

Cover story 20

Jennie Finch Exclusive Sport&Fitness magazine have a face-to-face chat with the American superstar of softball who has widened the interest of her sport to a worldwide public through the success at the Olympics.

Features

Events & Previews

44

Rebecca Adlington Swimming’s ‘girl-next-door’ whose world was turned upside down by her double Olympic gold talks exclusively about her life-changing experiences.

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Usain Bolt The fastest man on the planet, who took the Beijing Olympics by storm with three gold medals, gives an insight into his life.

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Wimbeldon With Rafa Nadal being KO’d at the French Open for the first time to end his 31-match unbeaten run at Roland Garos and with Roger Federer winning the tournament to equal Peter Sampras’s record of 18 Grand Slam titles and become only the sixth man to win all four Grand Slams, it sets up a fascinating prospect for Wimbledon.

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Nemanja Vidic Manchester United’s centre back tells Richard Bevan how honoured he is to be voted a double award winner by the Old Trafford fans and the players.

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Tom Avery The world explorer who gave up maths to devote his time to the great outdoors and to treading when no man has trod before, talks about his amazing expeditions.

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Harry Ellis – British and Irish Lions Tour England and Leicester Tigers scrum half Harry Ellis puts all his disappointments behind him in fulfilling his ultimate ambition to play for the Lions on their current Tour of South Africa and their 3-match Test series against the World Champion Springboks.

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Military Barbell Press The Military Barbell Press targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders. Additionally, it works the core and also the legs, as you must use them to help stabilise the weight.

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING

Deltoids, core and legs Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width. Position the bar in front of your neck. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and abdomen muscles firm. Exhale and press the bar upwards to an arm’s length over your head whilst standing to an upright position, straightening your legs. Pause for a few seconds then return to the start position as you inhale with control, lowering the bar to your upper chest or chin (depending on what is comfortable). This exercise can also be done with dumbbells as shown on the previous page.

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Seated Lateral Raise The dumbbell lateral raise is a good exercise for building width in your upper body, which gives you the “V” shape.

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Deltoids, core and lats Grab a set of dumbbells and sit on an exercise ball holding your abs in tight and holding your back straight with the dumbbells at your sides. Your palms should be facing your body. You should be holding the dumbbells slightly off your body, this keeps the tension on the side delts. This is your starting position for the exercise. Slowly raise the dumbbells up to shoulder height. It’s important that you do not let your wrists go above your elbows while raising the weight, this will take the work off the side delts and put it on the front delts. Pause at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Do not let the dumbbells touch your body to keep the tension, then repeat for the next rep. This exercise can also be done stood with feet shoulder width apart.

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FITNESS GUIDE 55

A Cut Above the Rest – Build Boulder Shoulders Whether you’ve got designs on becoming a top swimmer or you just want that much sought-after V-Shape to define your back you’ll need solid shoulders and our experts from Fitness First have delivered the two best exercises to make that happen.

Nutrition 64

Beach Body With summer finally upon us we’re all desperately trying to get rid of the belly, and slim down and tone up. These simple steps will help you get that perfect beach body profile.

Regulars 16

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Sports News A concise look at recent sporting events from around the globe.

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Sports Calendar A look ahead at what’s happening each month on the international and local sports scene.

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Gear With the Wimbledon Championships just around the corner we look at some of the best tennis gear on the market.

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The Knowledge Iron Mike Tyson’s training regime, top 5 fitness myths, top movie bods, triathlon tips and more...

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Style The luxury items indulged in by sport’s top earners.

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fIre A competitor runs through a burning field during a Tough Guy event in Perton central England.


Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features

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earth Competitors climb the Gavia Pass during the Giro d’Italia cycling race from Trento to Aprica.


Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features

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water Amateur triathletes start the swim of the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.


Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features

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BARCELONA enjoyed a phenomenal season in 2008-2009 winning a domestic and European Treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League, before being honoured with an open top bus parade through their Spanish home city.


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NEWS Al Fahim buys Portsmouth PORTSMOUTH are the latest English football club to have been acquired by Arab businessman Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim. Property tycoon Al Fahim was the main point of contact who brokered the deal on behalf of the Abu Dhabi United Group to take control of Manchester City last year but now acting on his own, he has completed the purchase of the English South Coast team. “I was involved in the Manchester City purchase, but this one is now mine,” said Al Fahim, who is planning to travel to Britain every weekend with a very hands-on role at the club as he bids to turn them into genuine Champions League contenders. “I will develop the football academy there to develop local talent, as well as try to bring in some new players and set up relationships with clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa.” Al Fahim has already announced plans to build a 50,000seater stadium for the club. Manchester City, meanwhile, will wear the name of Ethiad Airways on their shirts next season after signing a lucrative sponsorship deal thought to be worth around £8 million per year.

Germany thrash UAE team MARIO Gomez scored four goals as Germany handed out a 7-2 thrashing to the UAE team during a recent friendly in Dubai.

Another award for

FITNESS First was recognised for its commitment to excellence when it was awarded Best Health Club 2009 at the Best in Dubai awards – a glittering event held recently in Dubai. “With branches across Dubai, it’s pretty hard to avoid Fitness First,” one of the organisers commented after the ceremony, “but who would want to? Top of the range equipment, instructors, and convenient locations, make this gym the rightful winner of Best In Dubai”. Winners of these prestigious awards are determined, not by a panel of judges, but by public vote, and in accepting the award, Gary Knill, CEO, said: “To be recognised with this award by the public – our members – makes this a terrific honour, and is testament to the hard work of all our team in trying to ensure that the member experience is of the highest order”.


Shock exit for Nadal – record win for Federer KING of Clay Rafael Nadal was proved to be human after all when his astounding unbeaten run at Roland Garros came to an end when Robin Soderling dumped him out of the French Open at the fourth round stage. The Spaniard had won four French Open titles in a row and had compiled an incredible 31-match winning streak in the tournament, but a majestic Soderling triumphed 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 in the match of his life to oust the tournament favourite. “This is not a tragedy, losing here in Paris. It had to happen one day,” said Nadal, philosophically. “That’s the end of the road, and I have to accept it. I have to accept my defeat as I accepted my victories – with calm.” Soderling subsequently went out in three sets in the final to Roger Federer, who affirmed himself as, arguably, the greatest tennis player of all-time by equalling Peter Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles and becoming only the sixth man in history to win all four Grand Slam events. Ferderer’s win sets up a fascinating men’s singles at Wimbledon and perhaps a repeat of last year’s final.

Arsenal to open Soccer School in Dubai ARSENAL along with shirt sponsors Emirates Airline are said to be planning a Soccer School in Dubai. The school will be based at The Sevens stadium and will aim to teach youngsters to ‘play the Arsenal way.’ Teaching will take place in both English and Arabic.

Busaidi walks into history books AN Omani adventurer has become the first GCC national to reach the North Pole on foot. Nabil Al Busaidi and two teammates walked and skied more than 650km to complete the epic journey over frozen sea in 20 days. The 39-year-old was part of Team Oman competing in the Polar Race which pits competitors in a race from Resolute Bay in Nunavut, Canada, to the magnetic North Pole. London-born Busaidi’s team actually reached the Pole first but were placed third overall in the competition which uses a time trial system similar to the Tour de France.

KLITSCHKO-HAYE OFF – NOW IT’S KLITSCHKO-CHAGAEV DAVID Haye stunned the boxing world by dramatically withdrawing from his World Heavyweight title showdown with IBF, WBO and IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, due to take place on June 20 in Germany. Haye sustained a back injury during training and requested a three week postponement but the Ukrainian has opted to fight joint WBA Champion, Ruslan Chagaev instead at the same venue, Schakle 04 FC’s Veltins Arena, in a 60,000 sell-out, on the same date. The build up to the fight had been marred with controversy and bad blood with Haye continually trying to provoke Klitschko with outbursts and stunts including wearing a tee-shirt showing the severed heads of his opponent and his brother Vitali. “It’s unfortunate that David can’t compete but now I’m excited about this fight with Chagaev,” said Klitschko. Uzbekistan’s Chagaev, unbeaten in 26 fights, shares ownership of the WBA crown with Russia’s Nikolai Valuev. Klitschko’s coach, Bernd Boente claims the winner of the Klitschko-Chagaev fight will be regarded as the undisputed world champion. www.sportingpublications.com l Page17


June

June 5-21, 2009

Twenty20 World Cup England

THE Twenty20 World Cup is being staged in the UK this summer with 12 men’s teams and eight women’s teams battling it out in the fast, furious and utterly captivating 20 overs-a-side version of the game. The venues for the men’s competition is Lords, The Oval and Trent Bridge. The women’s tournament is being played at Taunton, Somerset, with the semi-finals at Trent Bridge and the Oval and the final of both the men’s and women’s at Lords on the same day.

June 11-20

RS:X European Championship Tel Aviv

RS:X windsurfing is the top level of this thrilling officially recognised Olympic sport. Windsurfers are the fasted mono-hulled sailing vessels in the world and it’s a joy to watch them skipping across the ocean waves. The European Championship moves around different venues and this year it’s the turn of Tel Aviv, Israel.

best of the rest June 6-21 World Cup qualifiers Various worldwide including Qatar v Australia (June 6); Iran v UAE, England v Andorra (June 10), Bahrain v Uzbekistan (June 17). (football)

Jun 6-13 Isle of Man TT Festival (motorcycling)

June 17-20 Royal Ascot, Ascot, Berkshire, England (equestrian)

June 22-Jul 5 The Wimbledon Championships, The All England Club, Wimbledon, England (tennis)

June 18-21 US Open, Farmingdale, USA (golf) June 20 Lions South Africa Tour 1st Test, ABSA Park, Durban (rugby) June 14 Golden League, Berlin (athletics) June 23-26 McDonalds LPGA Championship, Maryland, USA (golf)

June 14 MotoGP, Catalunya, Spain (motorcycling) June 7 Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul Park THE F1 circus rolls into Turkey on June 7 as the world’s best driver tackle the twists and turns of Istanbul Park.

June 23 Lions South Africa Tour 2nd Test, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria (rugby)

June 15-29 European Under-21 Championship, Sweden (football)

June 27-28 European Cup (athletics) June 21 World Superbikes, San Marino (motorcycling)

June 28 French Grand Prix (motor racing)


July The Ashes

July 8-12: First Test, Cardiff July 16-20: Second Test, Lord’s July 30-Aug 3: Third Test, Edgbaston July is a massive month for sport and it doesn’t come much bigger than cricket’s Ashes Series between England and Australia. The event returns to Britain this year with the home side desperate for a repeat of their 2005 performance when they won on home soil for the first time in 18 years. Their victory against the West Indies in the recent Test Series will have given them a much needed confidence boost but Ricky Pontin’s Australia remain strong favourites.

best of the rest Rome

July 5 World Touring Car Championship, Portugal (motor racing)

July 18 Floyd Mayweather Jnr v Juan Manuel Marquez, Las Vegas

Rebecca Adlington (featured on pg44 ) will look to add to the two gold medals she won at last year’s Beijing Olympics with more success in the 400 and 800m freestyle events during this summer’s prestigious FINA World Championships in Rome. Staged every two years, the championships include competitions in swimming, open water swimming, synchronised swimming, diving and water polo.

July 5 MotoGP, Laguna Seca, USA (motor cycling)

July 19 World Touring Cars, Brands Hatch, UK (motor racing)

July 9-12 Barclays Scottish Open, Loch Lomond, Scotland (golf)

July 19 Euroasian, Istanbul, Turkey (Asiato-Europe swimming, rowing and sailing)

July 18-Aug 2

FINA World Championships

July 10 Golden League, Rome, Italy (athletics) July 10-12 World Cup, Lucerne, Switzerland (rowing)

July 25 Istanbul Cup, Istanbul, Turkey (tennis) July 26 Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Hungary (motor racing)

July 16-19

The Open Championship Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland

The oldest Major in golf returns to the windswept shores of Turnberry on Scotland’s West Coast as Ireland’s Padraig Harrington bids to make it three Open Championships in a row. The Irishman has ruled the showpiece event for the past two years but he’ll have to be at his very best if he’s to retain the Auld Claret Jug this year. World No.1 Tiger Woods is back from injury and looks to be returning to his best form just in time for an assault on the tournament he has won three times as he goes in search of the 15th Major that will edge him ever closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record total of 18.

July 25 Tri-Nations: South Africa v New Zealand, Bloemfontein, South Africa (rugby)

July 26 MotoGP, Donnington Park, UK (motor racing)

July 18 Tri-Nations: New Zealand v Australia, Auckland, New Zealand (rugby)

July 26 World Superbikes, Brno, Czech Republic (motor cycling) July 30-August 2 Women’s British Open, Lytham St Annes, UK (golf) www.sportingpublications.com l Page19


SUGAR AND SPICE Richard Bevan talks exclusively to American softball icon Jennie Finch, who has proved conclusively that she doesn’t need to sacrifice her femininity to match her male counterparts in every department.

SOFTBALL, it’s just a wimp’s version of baseball isn’t it? Wrong. If you ran that particular theory past America’s Jennie Finch you might find yourself getting thrown out of the door in the style and pace of one of her legendary pitches – hard and fast. Finch, arguably the most famous softball player of all time, is a pitcher of furious ability. She throws the ball so fast that even the bat tries to get out of the way. Her pitching power was tested against a Major League baseball pitcher on a U.S. television show and she not only came out on top, she smashed the force-measuring equipment used in the experiment! The sport may be dominated by women at the top level but make no mistake, softball is every bit as tough as baseball and it’s growing rapidly around the world,

helped in no small way by the publicity attracted by pinup idols like Finch. Having taken up the sport as a young tomboy desperate to be like her two older brothers, she went on to make such an impression during her collegiate career at the University of Arizona that they retired her famous No. 27 jersey when she left. Since then she’s gone right to the top, becoming a star of the USA national team and winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens before losing out in the final to Japan in Beijing last year. She’s hot property on the media merry-go-round with a string of lucrative modelling, television and magazine deals under her belt but it’s on the softball field that she’s most comfortable and it’s there that her true legacy will be felt. 4

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Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features

SFME: You are regarded as perhaps the most famous softball player of all time – to what extent do you feel like a figurehead for the sport in terms of promoting it around the world? JF: I feel honoured to be in the position that I’m in and to be able to be a part of something so great. It’s such an incredible sport. To see how it’s grown over the past 10, 15, 20 years is absolutely incredible. I grew up watching Major League Baseball and now young girls all over the world are able to watch women’s softball on television. I would never have dreamed of our sport being where it is today. It’s great to be a small part of it and to think of all the many women who have gone before us who have worked so hard to get us to where we are today.

SFME: You have transcended the sport with all your other activities – modelling, TV etc – how pleasing is it to be in a position to do all these other things? JF: It’s amazing to have been able to do all the things that I’ve done and the opportunities that have arisen from this sport – and to see how it’s reached a world-class level and how the Olympics have grown our sport. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The opportunities that have arisen not just for me but for softball players all over the world is a testament to how much our sport has grown.

SFME: How do you balance all your other interests and still ensure that it doesn’t affect your performances on the softball field? JF: For me, I’ve always been an athlete and that’s always been my first priority. Everybody balances everything they have going on in their life – whether it’s family, job, sport,

whatever. From a young age my parents instilled in me that value of keeping your priorities right and being able to maintain that balance. It’s been an exciting road and I feel so blessed to have had all these opportunities but at the same time I’m dedicated to my team and dedicated to my sport. At times, it’s challenging. There have been times when great opportunities have arisen but I haven’t been able to take them due to training or playing. It’s tough because I know that our sport needs publicity and needs to be put in the public eye. It’s a balancing act but when it comes down to it my priority is always my performance on the playing field. I appreciate that all these opportunities have arisen from my athletic ability – that’s at the heart of everything.

SFME: Often in female sport there’s almost a denial of femininity but you seem to embrace yours with pride – is it important to you not to hide your femininity? JF: Absolutely. We need to celebrate our femininity. We need to show that we can be feminine yet still be a fierce competitor. I hate to lose as much as anyone out there but I feel it’s exciting to see how far we, as women, have come in sport that we can be very competitive and still be feminine. My line of apparel is pink and it’s a celebration of women.

SFME: Do you pay much attention to being something of a pin-up for the sport – I’m sure many a teenage boy has your poster on his bedroom wall. Do you enjoy that side of the attention you get? JF: I think it’s fun. It’s pretty amazing that you can go to a softball game and see males of all ages supporting us. It’s pretty neat to see that not all our fans are girls. It’s dads, granddads, young boys, teenage boys – all across the board you have guys who understand and know about our sport. 4

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Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features

SFME: I understand you turned down an approach from Playboy – do you set limits on what you will and won’t do? JF: Yes. I take the title of being a role model very seriously. I consider it an honour. In this day and age we need more role models and we need more ambassadors to show that while we’re proud of being women we don’t have to flaunt ourselves. I wouldn’t want a young girl going into a store and seeing me on the cover of a magazine and not being able to purchase that magazine. We need to set an example and I want to leave as much positivity out there as I can for young women because I think we’re searching for role models all across the board.

SFME: Do you feel that the Olympics is the primary reason for the worldwide growth of softball? JF: Definitely. Absolutely. It was in 1996 when softball first became an Olympic sport and that truly opened the door for our sport. We don’t have the Major Leagues like baseball, so for us the Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport. Our sport needs the Olympics and it’s really put it on the sporting map. In the United States we have a strong college game but the Olympics are definitely the key factor in growth all over the world. Last year in Beijing we saw Venezuela qualify for the first time and the Netherlands for the first time since 1996 so it shows how it’s growing all the time.

SFME: So if the Olympics is the pinnacle of your sport I guess the gold medal you won in Athens in 2004 is right up there at the top of your career achievements? JF: Definitely. Any time you have the opportunity to represent your country on a world stage like the Olympics – it really doesn’t get any higher than that. It’s the highest level you can achieve as an athlete in any sport representing your country and competing against the best in the entire world.

SFME: On that note then how much of a disappointment was it to lose out to Japan in Beijing? JF: It was very, very disappointing. The women before us had worked so hard to set the standard of USA softball, which was Olympic gold, so coming up short was heartbreaking. But I think it proved to the word how much our sport is growing. Parity is happening all over the world now. Everybody thought that we’d

just cruise it in Beijing but absolutely not – the rest of the world is right up there with us, competing all the way. The sport is really growing and it’s reached the point where we’re seeing other countries really invest in softball and they’re achieving parity with us. It’s not just an American sport anymore.

SFME: Why do you think that sports like baseball and softball haven’t taken hold as strongly around the world as they have in America? JF: I think for any sport it’s going to take time for the coaching to be established and for people to learn the game and really compete at the highest level. It’s always going to take time and it’s going to take development. But for softball, being an Olympic sport has meant that we’ve seen different federations all across the world begin to invest in our sport and truly give these women the opportunity to compete – whether it’s through coaching, facilities or equipment. We’re beginning to see these things being invested in different countries all across the world. If you think how far softball has come in the 12 years that it’s been an Olympic sport it’s pretty amazing.

SFME: What attracted to you the sport in the first place and when did you realise you had a special talent for it? JF: I have two older brothers who both played Little League Baseball and I wanted to be like them. I wanted to do everything they did. When I turned age five my parents signed me up for softball and I thought it was cool because it was what my big brothers did, except it was unique because women did it and I was playing with girls. I fell in love with the sport completely when I first starting pitching at eight years old. I started competing on a travelling team when I was nine and never looked back. Growing up in California I was a big LA Dodgers fan and I knew that softball was my ticket to getting as close as I could to becoming a Dodger.

SFME: The pitching motion is quite different from baseball – talk us through that. I watched some footage where you smashed the force-reader and proved that it’s actually harder to return a softball pitch than it is a baseball pitch? JF: We throw from 43 feet, whereas in baseball they throw from 60 feet and 6 inches. They’re overhand and we’re underhand. When I stride out, my stride is about seven feet long so by the 4

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Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features

time I release the ball I’m about 35 or 36 feet from the hitter so as far as reaction time goes it’s pretty intense. The ball travels between the high 60s and 75 mph. The motion of the arm is one-and-a-half circles before releasing the ball from the hip.

SFME: Does the fact that the ball is released from the hip and is rising towards the bat make it harder to spot and harder to hit? JF: When we’re facing baseball players that’s definitely to our advantage because they’re used to looking for the release point over the top. Softball players are used to it because it’s what they do but when we’re faced with baseball players, they’re not used to the ball going in an upwards direction.

SFME: Tell us about the significance of the number 27 shirt? JF: My parents started dating on the 27th of May and it’s been their number all along so I took that on. It’s always been the number I wear. I wouldn’t call myself superstitious but I really don’t change! It’s more of a routine!

SFME: I understand it was retired by the University of Arizona after you left due to your achievements there? JF: Yes they did. It was a huge honour. Those are the moments you dream of. To see it on television and to be up there as part of the stadium on that field wall with all the other fantastic athletes who have gone to U of A is something I’m proud of. I feel blessed to be honoured like that.

SFME: Tell us about smashing the plates? SFME: What do you ldo when you’re not playing softball? JF: It was a programme called Sports Science. I was completely shocked to smash the force plates. I thought I’d ruined the whole experiment! They’d spent so much time setting up all the scientific equipment and technology and then I go and smash it with my first pitch. But it ended up being really good for television and it was actually real so it turned out really good.

JF: I’m a mom so that’s my first priority now, being around my son and watching him grow up and just hanging out with family. We’re on the road 300+ days of the year so having time with each other is something I cherish. We have this thing where we try to go to the zoo in every city we go to! I also like going out on the lake and things like that, being close to nature.

SFME: What are the other differences? SFME: Tell us something people don’t know about you? JF: The field in softball is a lot smaller than in baseball. In baseball you can lead off before the pitch but in softball you have to wait until the ball is released from the pitcher before you lead off. A lot of it is pretty similar, to be honest, it’s just faster paced. We play seven innings versus nine in baseball. It’s very quick. There’s more running as the bases are closer together so there’s less time to get someone out. One of the great advantages of our sport is that’s it’s an hour and a half to two hours long and it’s action packed and quick. But we do all the same things as the baseball players – we do headfirst dives, we hit home runs, all of that sort of stuff, just on a smaller field. SFME: What kind of work do you do in the gym to get yourself in peak condition to be a pitcher? JF: I lift weights three days a week and do a lot of fast twitch muscle training, lots of agility work like ladders and jumping and that kind of thing. I do a lot of explosiveness training to help with my pitching and also do cardio conditioning six days per week – short sprints, bike riding etc.

JF: As fierce as I am on the softball field I credit my brothers with my competitiveness because I didn’t get to win much around our household when I was growing up. I also have a much softer side. I’m a true softy!

SFME: What are your goals for the future? JF: Just to continue competing at the highest level with Team USA and helping to continue to grow our sport. I run my own softball camps across America. It would be great to go global and run international camps. In the short term my main focus is getting it back in the Olympics for 2016. But it’s very rewarding just to be part of something positive and opening doors for young women not just in sport but right across the board. Obesity rates and teen pregnancy rates are at an all time high. As women, we’re faced with so many pressures and if I can help young women fight those pressures and live healthy active lifestyles that’s one of my main missions. n www.sportingpublications.com l Page 27


strawberries and cream time

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"It's impossible to explain what I felt in that moment but I'm very, very happy. It's a dream to play on this court, my favourite tournament, but to win I never imagined." - Rafa Nadal IF the 2009 Wimbledon Championships are even a patch on last year’s tournament then we’re in for a treat this summer. Last year had everything. First there was the entrée of the third final in seven years between the Williams sisters. Serena had taken the spoils in 2002 and 2003 but this time it was big sister Venus’s turn as she got her own back with her fifth Wimbledon title this century, winning 7-5, 6-4 as the sun shone on Centre Court. But the main event was undoubtedly Sunday’s Clash of the Titans as five-time reigning All England Club Champion Roger Federer took on the King of Clay Rafa Nadal in the longest and arguably the greatest Gentleman’s Final the tournament has ever witnessed. Unlike the previous day, the English rain made a familiar appearance – twice. The delays and the refusal of either half of the game’s greatest rivalry to yield, led to an epic 4-hour -48-minute slugfest with the Spaniard finally settling the issue in near darkness to become the first from his country to lift the trophy since Manolo Santana in 1966. The 22-year-old’s 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 victory also made him the first player since Björn Borg in 1980 to complete the gruelling task of winning the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back. “It’s impossible to explain what I felt in that moment but I’m very, very happy,” said Nadal after finally winning the tournament he always said he coveted above all others. “It’s a dream to play on this court, my favourite tournament, but to win I never imagined.” This year sees the introduction of a retractable roof on Centre Court for the first time. The multi-million pound construction has been three years in the making and will finally put an end to the rain delays which have been a feature of so many previous tournaments. That’s good news on one hand but it also means that we’ll never see a dusk final like last year, and who could forget Cliff Richard’s

impromptu performance in 1996 as he kept the crowd entertained during one of the many watery interludes. On second thoughts, maybe the roof is a cracking idea! The players certainly think so. Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Tim Henman and Kim Clijsters tested it out in an exhibition match on Centre Court last month and gave it a unanimous ‘thumbs up’. “We quickly settled in and just enjoyed it – I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed myself so much on a tennis court,” said Agassi. “This was amazing. The way the ball sounds in here is going to add so much intensity for the players.” The watching Federer was also impressed. “So often we just wait around (during rain delays),” he said. “I know that can be fun, too, but maybe after a few days you want to see a match. For me it’s nice to see that Wimbledon is taking such a big step in the right direction.” Unlike last year when Federer was the man to beat, having gone 65 matches without defeat on grass, Nadal is now firmly in the driving seat. The man from Majorca usurped the Swiss as

World No.1 shortly after his Wimbledon win and this year has proved a master of yet another surface by again triumphing against Federer on the hard courts of Melbourne Park in the Australian Open for his sixth Grand Slam. The big-hitting powerhouse, who has four consecutive French Open titles, looks the complete player and it will take a herculean effort for anyone to stop him making it two Wimbledon titles in a row this year. But Nadal’s shock defeat by Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the fourth round of this year’s French Open, ending his amazing unbeaten run of 31 matches at Roland Garros, proved that he is beatable, even on his favourite surface. However, Federer’s straight sets dismissal of Soderling in the final made the Swiss arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, equalling Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles. The World No.2’s first French Open also made him only the sixth man to have won each of the Grand Slam events. Federer also managed to turn the tables 4

Roger Federer proudly holds the trophy in the locker room at Roland Garros in Paris after winning the French Open for the first time, completing the set of all four Grand Slam titles and equalling Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam events.

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Venus Williams shows the Wimbledon trophy to the Centre Court fans last year after winning her fifth Wimbledon final this century, in the third final in seven years between the two sisters, beating Serena 7-5, 6-4.

on Nadal for ending his supremacy on grass by halting his rival’s 33-match unbeaten run on clay with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph at the Madrid Open last month and he will be in bullish mood ahead of his return to SW19 as he looks to regain the crown he previously wore so comfortably. “Clearly I’m very happy to win,” said Federer after his success in Madrid. When Federer follwoed up by winning the French Open it was one of the most emotional moments of his illustrious career. “It was probably my greatest victory,” he said. “I was under big pressure but I did it and it was phenomenal. It was great to be on the podium as a winner again.” With a revitalised Federer and a determined Nadal hell-bent on successfully defending his Wimbledon title we could see another epic final encounter that really would decide who is the best in the world. Scotsman Andy Murray will undoubtedly attract some of the biggest crowds at Wimbledon but unlike previous years, when British ambitions were more hope than expectation – despite Tiger Tim’s best efforts – this boy actually has a very realistic chance of taking the title. Murray’s rise through the ranks since turning pro in 2005 has been meteoric and he is now a genuine contender on every surface. He’s got 11 ATP titles under his belt and he reached his first Grand Slam final last year, beating Nadal in the semi-final of the U.S. Open before losing out to Federer. But some strong results this year, including the successful defence of his Qatar Open title in Doha, have seen him rise to World No.3. One of the smartest players in the game, he’s beaten Federer outside the Grand Slams and has proved he can outdo Nadal on his day. Murray advanced as far as the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the first time last year before being ousted by Nadal but a lot has happened since then and with the

partisan home crowd behind him this could well be Murray’s year. Serbian Novak Djokovic is another strong contender. The former World No.3 and current No.4 shone in Dubai earlier this year when he took the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships title for his 12th career win, beating David Ferrer in the final. Djokovic has tasted Grand Slam success once already having claimed the 2008 Australian Open, and the talented 22-year-old aims to go one better than 2007 when he made it to the Wimbledon semi-final before being beaten by eventual runner-up Nadal. With rising stars like Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilifried Tsonga and Fernando Verdasco all close to claiming their first Grand Slam success and established players like the big-serving Andy Roddick always a threat, the men’s tournament looks set to serve up a real treat for tennis fans. Success of Williams sisters The ladies contest also promises to be an intriguing one. We’ve already mentioned the phenomenal success the Williams sisters have enjoyed on Centre Court, with seven Wimbledon titles between them. Both have grabbed headlines again this year. World No.2 and reigning U.S. Open champion Serena scooped her fourth Australian Open title, taking her Grand Slam haul to 10 while seventime Slam winner Venus, victor in last season’s prestigious Sony Ericsson Championships, defeated Virginie Razzano in straight sets to win the big-money Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships for her 40th career title. The sisters will once again be tough nuts to crack. One player more than capable of stopping the Williams juggernaut in its tracks is Russian ace Maria Sharapova. The Siberian siren has finally completed her long-awaited and much delayed return from injury and the cobwebs will be dusted off just in time for Wimbledon with a

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few tournaments under her belt. Sharapova gave Serena a shock when as a 17-year-old in 2004, playing in only her second singles Grand Slam event, she walked away with the title after a straight sets victory. Sharapova’s powerful baseline game is well suited to the fast grass of Wimbledon and if her shoulder injury has fully recovered, she will prove dangerous proposition. World No.1 Dinara Safina is in the strange position of never having won a Grand Slam despite her lofty ranking and she’s desperate to put that right, particularly after finishing runner-up to Svetlan Kuznetslova in the French Open. The Russian has eight WTA titles to her name and finished runner-up to the talented Ana Ivanovic in the 2008 French Open before being defeated in straight sets by that girl Serena again in this year’s Australian Open. She’s never made it beyond the third round at Wimbledon but she’s proved more than a match for most of the big names at various points of her career and if she’s on her game there’s no reason why she can’t go the distance. Eastern European domination Former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic is another player searching for her first Grand Slam victory. She reached two semi-finals last year at the Australian and French Opens and she’s got a decent record at Wimbledon, winning the Mixed Doubles title with Jamie Murray in 2007. Eastern European women dominate the top 10 in the World Rankings with the likes of Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Kuznetsova and Ivanovic all capable of taking the Ladies title while France’s Amélie Mauresmo, World No.16, has already proved that she can do it by beating Justine Henin in the 2006 final. With such close competition the Ladies Championship promises to produce one of the most captivating spectacles of the 2009 season.

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the Pride of lion harry Mike Gallemore talks to England and Leicester Tigers scrum-half Harry Ellis who has achieved his dream of being a British and Irish Lion on the Tour of South Africa. 4


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"It's true that the southern-hemisphere teams can be credited with raising the bar in the game but there's no doubt that the northern-hemisphere has closed the gap significantly." - Harry Ellis HARRY Ellis has had more disappointments than most international rugby players in his career but he’s now finally fulfilled his ultimate ambition. The England and Leicester Tigers scrum half has joined a galaxy of home countries stars on the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa. It’s an encounter of epic proportions that could be described as the Lions going headfirst into the Lions’ Den in facing the mighty Springboks, the reigning World Champions. Harry is up for the challenge, along with one of the strongest Lions squads assembled in recent years. “It’s the pinnacle of any player’s career to be a British Lion and it’s a great honour to be part of this hugely talented set-up – it makes up for all the disappointments,” says Harry, who had to sit out Leicester’s Guinness Championship-winning final with London Irish and also missed out on starting in the Tiger’s defeat to Leinster in the Heineken Cup final. “Being on the bench has been frustrating but with Toby Flood out injured we had to have a front-line kicker on the pitch and scrum half Julien Dupuy is one of the best in the business. It made absolute sense for him to be on instead of me in such a tight game. “It was also a big disappointment for Toby to be out injured. It’s one of the things you have to live with as a rugby player. I’d been away from Leicester in the England team for

six weeks during the Six Nations while Julien had been playing really well for the Tigers. “It doesn’t matter who you are but it’s always difficult to get back into your club team after being away on international duty, particularly for me with Julien playing so well. I accept that nobody has a god-given right to a place in the team. “In rugby you learn to take the good with the bad and now it’s great to be in South Africa. It’s a massively exciting prospect to have so many outstanding players from the four home countries coming together as one force. When you look around and see the strength and calibre of players combining in the same team, it’s quite inspiring. “I’ve always accepted that playing rugby is a roller-coaster of a career but this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Harry has taken more than his fair share of knocks since playing his way into the England set-up in 2005. He was first choice scrum half in the Six Nations tournament up to 2007 when a knee injury and subsequent ligament surgery denied him the opportunity of playing in the World Cup. He battled his way back and started every England match in this year’s Six Nations series but finished the Championship suffering a knock-out blow just 16 minutes into the match with Scotland. But he’s now fit and well and hoping to prove himself all over again with the British

Lions in South Africa. “The knee will never really be the same again but with rehab and physio I’ve learned to live with it,” says Harry. “I know what I can and can’t do and I’ve learned over the years how to look after myself. “I do a lot of hamstring and quad work and I appreciate that it’s during the pre-season period when you’ve really got to develop your strength and get yourself into peak condition so you can hit the ground running. “After a game I always give myself a day off to chill out. I understand the importance of winding down. I’ll go swimming or walking, see some friends and just let my body relax and get the right amount of sleep. The problem is that you don’t get many days off. “These days our bodies are monitored all the time so you can gauge the right amount of rest and recovery your body needs. “In this sport you tend to get stronger as you get older. When I was 17 and 18 I was nowhere near as strong as I am now. I suppose you mature, physically and mentally with age. The game today is all about power, strength, speed and endurance and the quality of the rugby is fantastic. Every game you play throughout the season is so close – there are no easy matches. “It’s true that the southern-hemisphere teams can be credited with raising the bar in the game but there’s no doubt that the 4

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        JOSH LEWSEY Wasps, England & British and Irish Lions

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"I had visited South Africa in the Leicester Grammar School tour in 1999 so it's a fortuitous coincidence that here I am again 10 years later playing for the British Lions." - Harry Ellis

northern-hemisphere has closed the gap significantly.” Harry has enjoyed playing in the England set-up this season under Martin Johnson, a Leicester Tigers and England legend. “I played with Johno at Leicester and, like everyone else in the game, had a huge respect for him. He’s a giant of the game in every sense. He’s got great presence and he’s an inspirational figure and an inspirational leader. “As England coach he can talk to the players from the standpoint of having done everything in the game. The way the England squad has developed under Johno this season shows that his influence is beginning to take effect. “We’ve got so many quality up-and-coming youngsters combined with a number of great experienced players it’s an exciting squad that could be at its best for the World Cup.” Harry is a product of the Leicester Tigers Academy. He was educated at Leicester Grammar School and then the De Montfort University and represented the region at all

age group levels before playing for England at Under-16s, 18s, 19s and 21s. He was also a formidable sevens player for England. He made his debut for Leicester Tigers in 2001 and was voted Young Player of the Year in the 2001-2002 season and made the No.9 shirt his own two seasons later. “I had visited South Africa in the Leicester Grammar School tour in 1999 so it’s a fortuitous coincidence that here I am again 10 years later playing for the British Lions. Harry’s father, Bob, played for Leicester in the back row and Harry’s two brothers, Mark and Robert, were both forwards. Harry is an all-round sports fan with a penchant for whiteknuckle activities like sky-diving. “As a boy I always dreamed of playing for the Tigers and I’m fortunate in enjoying such a fascinating career with Leicester and at international level,” says Harry. Whatever happens in South Africa in the coming weeks it’s guaranteed that Harry Ellis will be totally committed to the Lions’ cause. n

British Lions Tour Preview The British and Irish Lions got off to a somewhat sticky start in South Africa with a less than convincing 37-25 opening match victory over the Royal XV on May 30. In their second match on Tour, against the Golden Lions they were simply unstoppable running up a 74-10 win. The Free State Cheetahs proved tougher opposition. The Lions roared into a 20-point lead in the first quarter but were pegged back to a final score of 26-24 as they hung on grimly to their third successive win. The run-up to the first Test against the Springboks on June 20 gets increasingly formidable with the Sharks and then Western Province and Southern Kings lining up against them before their opening encounter in the three-Test series at The ABSA Stadium. This is followed by a match with the ‘Emerging Springboks’at Newlands on June 23 before the second Test at Loftus Versfeld on June 27 and the final Test at Coca-Cola Park on July 4.

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Sheffield

GOLD Iain Richardson talks exclusively to double Olympic gold winner Rebecca Adlington about the effect her achievements in Beijing last year had on her and how she’s putting it all behind her to focus on a repeat performance at the World Championships in Rome this summer.

HALF the charm of British swimming sensation Rebecca Adlington is that she’s so wonderfully down-to-earth and totally unaffected. The 20-year-old from Mansfield is the archetypal ‘girl-next-door’ who loves shopping (mainly for shoes!), hanging out with friends, and eating double helpings of her mum’s home cooking. She’s unerringly modest and still can’t quite get her head around what all the fuss is about and yet her achievements in the pool are anything but ordinary. Making her Olympics debut in Beijing last year, Adlington set a new Commonwealth record of 4:02:24 in the 400m freestyle heats before beating America’s Katie Hoff in the final to become the first British woman to win Olympic gold since Anita Lonsbrough in 1960. That phenomenal achievement proved only to be the appetiser to the main event as she went on to smash the 800m world record, finishing an astounding six seconds ahead of silver medallist Alessia Filippi, and making Rebecca the first female double gold winner in the pool for 100 years. Her time of 8:14:10 knocked two seconds

off the previous record set by Janet Evans in 1988, when Adlington was six months old – the longest-standing world record in swimming. An OBE, a BBC Sports Personality of the Year nomination and a sponsorship deal with Speedo followed. She instantly became a national icon in the UK with the affection felt particularly strongly in her home town where her local swimming centre and a local pub have been renamed in her honour. It’s a newfound celebrity status that the young swimmer has struggled to come to terms with, but she’s getting there and with the World Championships in Rome around the corner Adlington is determined to give her full attention to the pursuit of more gold. She set a personal best time of 4:00:66 in the 400m freestyle British trials in Sheffield in March, beating the previous world record and finishing just 0.23 seconds behind winner Joanne Jackson to all but guarantee a place in Italy. Her favourite event, the 800m, proved much more of a formality as she booked her spot in the finals by beating second placed Cassie Patten by more than nine seconds.

4

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SFME: How much of a relief and even surprise was it to secure your place for the World Championships having said that you were slightly behind schedule due to media commitments? RA: It was a huge relief because I was able to come back to training and just focus on that event. But also to do the times that I did was unbelievable considering everything that has happened to me since Beijing and how it affected my schedule. It was my first big race back and I didn’t really know how it was going to go so it was brilliant. It gave me a lot of confidence and now I can really push on.

SFME: Describe the culture shock of going from a relatively unknown swimmer to a national hero in the space of a few weeks? RA: It was definitely a shock to the system. That’s why it had such a big life-changing affect on me. I was such an unknown before Beijing. Most people build up their coverage over years and then when they do something big they’re at least used to a bit of media attention. I went from nothing to a lot. It was a big relief when I got agents and things like that on board – it became easier. It’s still very bizarre to me, though, if someone recognises me and says, “hello” or “well done”. When people want to take my photograph I think “why?” In my head, models and people like that get their photos taken, not me. I’m only 20 so I still find it all very strange. I’m getting used to it a little bit, definitely the interviews and stuff. But I’m good at talking, like most women, so that side of things is fine.

SFME: Do you spend much time thinking about things like the fact that you’re the first British swimmer to win double Olympic gold for 100 years or would that overwhelm you somewhat? RA: A bit of both. After the Olympics when I came home and saw my stats and had

time to reflect I was a bit taken aback and overwhelmed by it all. But at the same time I’ve had to move on. I’ve not really had time for it to properly sink in. Within the swimming world, although you might have had an amazing experience, you have to move on quite quickly. With the World Championships coming I’ll obviously take everything I got from Beijing to Rome. But there’s always somebody coming through – someone having a fantastic year, or a younger swimmer coming up. With all these new challenges from different people you have to move on and not reflect too much. When I come to retire and look back on my career, hopefully it’ll sink in a bit more.

SFME: How are you coming to terms with that mental aspect of having to block all that kind of stuff out? Would you ever consider using a Sports psycholigist? RA: I wouldn’t rule it out. I’m honest and open enough to know that if I ever get to a stage where I feel like I need someone to talk to about that stuff, I’ll do it. I’ve not closed my mind off to it but at the moment I feel like I’m dealing with it quite well. It is extremely hard and it’s been the most difficult aspect of what’s happened to me. If I’d retired after Beijing it wouldn’t have been a problem. I’d have just done lots of media stuff and gone down a different route. But because I’m still swimming, people expect me to break world records every time I get in the pool but that just doesn’t happen. So the expectation and pressure is something that I’ve had to get used to dealing with. At first it was getting to me and I broke down a couple of times and had to talk to my coach Bill about it. It’s hard to deal with and nobody else is in a position where they can really talk to me about it. When we went to the World trials, knowing what Bill and I expected, that was the main thing. Just relating it back to our goals rather than worrying about what anyone else wants us to do helped me massively.

SFME: There’s a perception of you as ‘the girl next door,’ which increases the public’s affection for you but that’s really due to your down-to-earth personality and lack of an ego. Is it really a misconception because people perhaps don’t realise the sacrifice and effort you need to win gold? RA: Swimming is such a hard sport. You have to do the work and it takes so much time and energy to do what I do. There are so many competitors and all it takes is for you to have one bad week or a cycle where you might have got ill or injured that puts you a bit behind someone else. It takes the smallest thing for you to fall behind. It’s a case of doing everything you possibly can. Everyone at the World trials was coming up to me after the 400m saying “hard luck for coming second.” But I was thinking, ‘what? I’ve just done my best time by over a second, I’m over the moon!’ I can’t control what anyone else in the pool does, I can only control what I do, and if I’ve given it my best and done a personal best time, I really can’t complain.

SFME: Your training routine is rigidly scheduled to ensure that you hit your peak at exactly the right time for the big events – how does that process work? RA: In a year we tend to have three blocks that we work in. We work from September to December, December to March or April and then April to summer. So those are our three seasons. We tend to have a cycle of about 15 weeks within those periods that is pure hard training. From the trials to the World Championships for instance is about 15 weeks, so that is the period when you work really hard to try and peak at the right time. The first two weeks you work on your endurance, the second two weeks speed, and so on. But on a day-to-day basis the routine stays the same. You still do four hours of swimming per day, three hours of gym work, doing the same sort of stuff every day. Within 4

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those 15 weeks the intensity really changes, although you’re still giving it your all every day – if that makes sense!

SFME: It must take dedication to keep putting yourself through all that every day? RA: It does take dedication but at the same time I love what I do and I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t. You know that everybody else in the sport is doing exactly the same so you’ve just got to try and do it a little bit better!

SFME: You’re blessed genetically with a great body shape for a swimmer but you must have to do a lot of work in the gym to maintain and develop that condition. RA: I don’t do that much every day. On a Monday and Friday we do a lot more. In the morning we’ll run for half and hour, do gym for half an hour, then do a two-hour swim session. In the evening we’ll do another hour gym session and two-hour swim again. But on a Tuesday and Thursday I don’t do any gym and on a Wednesday I only do an hour. I don’t do much weights because I’m a distance swimmer, sprinters need the power and strength for speed but I need to work on aerobic fitness and core stability. So we do circuit training and things like that rather than working with weights, which kind of make your muscles big, but over 800 metres they would fatigue so much that I don’t think I’d be able to move my arms!

SFME: What about nutrition – what do swimmers eat and drink when training for a competition and also during a big competition? RA: I eat pretty much the same as anyone else. I still eat what my parents eat, I just eat more, so I’ll have twice the portion they have. We still have lots of takeaways and stuff!

SFME: With such a hectic training schedule and media commitments do you find time to do anything normal? RA: Yes, of course! We have to train once on a Saturday morning and then have the rest of Saturday and Sunday off. So I go shopping, I go to the cinema, I go out for meals with friends – I just do all the normal stuff like anybody else.

SFME: You recently signed a deal with Speedo, what does that do for you in terms of allowing you to prepare better and have everything you need? RA: You’ve really just said it. It does exactly that! It’s just so nice not having to worry about things like getting hold of swimsuits before competitions and stuff like that. It’s nice that it’s there on my doorstep and I’m able to have such great equipment and great facilities made available to me. The Speedo factory is Nottingham-based and I live in Nottingham so it’s perfect.

SFME: How important is it for you to win more gold in Rome? RA: It’s very much in my mind now. I want to push on from what I achieved in Beijing and improve on it. Hopefully, I will.

SFME: Will you do more endorsements in to try and make a really good living from swimming or would that conflict with the hunt for success in the pool? RA: I will do some endorsements but it’s all about finding the right balance between that and my training routine. I will do some but I’ll make sure I keep a limit on it.

SFME: Tell us about your shoe fetish. I believe you were promised a couple nice pairs if you won in Beijing last year? RA: That’s right! My mum and dad promised me some Christian Louboutin heels and the Mayor in my hometown, Mansfield, promised me some Jimmy Choos so of course I had to win! I just love shoes. I’ve got over 30 pairs in my wardrobe!

SFME: Dubai is hosting more big sporting events. Would you like to compete there? They have a lot of great shoe shops! RA: I haven’t been to Dubai but I’d love to. Especially if they have lots of shoe shops! 4 www.sportingpublications.com l Page 49


lightning

bolt The fastest man on earth, Jamaican Usain Bolt, who took the Beijing Olympics by storm with three gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres and the 4 x 100 metres relay in record time, talks about the challenges of training, his love of cars and Manchester United! SFME: It is widely assumed that Jamaican sprinters are born wearing track spikes, but you played other sports first.

SFME: You came up as a 200m runner. Why do you think you’ve become so good in the 100m all of a sudden?

UB: I played cricket first and my cricket coach introduced me to track and field. I made the switch because I was actually good at it. I was a good cricketer but track and field was bigger – there were more competitions to do. When I was younger, cricket was just one tournament.

UB: I used to do the 100 when I was younger but my start was awful for me. I could never make it to the finals because my start was so bad. But I’ve been working hard on it. I had a passion for running the 100 metres because I never wanted to do the 400. I wanted to go down so my coach said, ‘You got to do well in the 100 to stay there. If you don’t do good, you have to go back to 400.’ I guess mentally, that kind of helped. I worked hard and pushed hard so I could stay in the 100 metres.

SFME: You were injured quite often early in your career. Were they developmental injuries related to your growth? UB: I think so. I was doing a lot of work and maybe it was too much while I was still growing. It messed me up a little bit, but it wasn’t that bad.

SFME: How frustrating was it to battle injuries year in and year out and are you doing anything differently now to keep yourself healthy? UB: Yeah, it was frustrating. But in track and field you learn that injuries comes with the game. You’ve just got to try and do the right things all of the time to stay as injury free as you can. I worked hard on doing just that after 2005 and I’ve been healthy for quite a while now. I’ve been doing a lot of back exercises. I go to the doctor a lot to make sure that I’m in good health and he tells me that as long as I keep doing my back exercises I’ll be OK.

SFME: During the winter, you and other Jamaican runners train on grass fields. Why is that? UB: In the early part of the season, when we are back home, we do our training on the grass. I think it helps because it provides resistance. You train most of that time in track shoes so it pushes you to work harder to run the times your coach says you have to run.

SFME: How can someone standing 6’5”be so good in the 100m? UB: I think my acceleration is very good. That’s the key for me. My start is not perfect, but it’s good, and I’ve got power. I’ve got a lot of things working for me, so I think if I get my start right it’s going to be hard to beat me. It’s all about putting the perfect race together.

SFME: When you were younger you ran the 200m and the 400m but you don’t run the 400m any more. How come? UB: The training is really hard. I don’t like to do anything over 350m. When you run the 400m, you’ve got to do 600s and 500s. I don’t really like the distance.

SFME: What is your relationship like with Asafa Powell and with the Jamaican track federation? UB: My relationship with everyone in Jamaica is good. Asafa and I are good friends. We talk sometimes. We both like cars, so we talk about that a lot. He’s got a lot of cars. We hang out together. SFME: How many cars do you have in comparison to Asafa?

UB: I just have two cars, which is OK. But Asafa’s got tons of cars. He’s got a Skyline, he’s got a BMW, he’s got a Hummer, he’s got a GMC Yukon. He’s got a lot of cars. He’s really into cars in a big way . SFME: So after you broke his World Record what did you treat yourself to? UB: I got a new BMW M3. I’m not a collector like Asafa. But I’ve always wanted an M3, it’s a great ride with lots of pace.

SFME: You visited Manchester in the UK recently and broke another World Record, tell us about that? UB: Yeah – I ran the 150m through the streets of Manchester in the rain! It was great to break the World Record again.

SFME: You’re a big Manchester United fan. How did that come about? UB: It started when I was younger. About 10 years back I started watching football, when Ruud Van Nistelroy was playing for Manchester United. I really respected Van Nistelroy but when he left I continued supporting them because they’re such a great team.

SFME: Is it true you’ve been giving Cristiano Ronaldo tips with his running? UB: I was trying to give Cristiano some pointers but he already had it down to be honest! He’s fast, he doesn’t need much help from me!

SFME: He might be quicker than you with a ball at his feet as well? UB: I don’t think so!


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the

red destroyer

Richard Bevan catches up with Manchester United’s Serbian defensive rock, Nemanja Vidic, at the club’s end of season Gala Awards Dinner.

NEMANJA Vidic was named both the fans’ and players’ favourite as he made a clean sweep at the Manchester United Player of the Year Awards, sponsored by official timekeeper Hublot. The Red Devils enjoyed another wonderful season despite coming up short in their bid to become the first team ever to retain the Champions League title when a brilliant Barcelona defeated them in the final in Rome. But they still managed to end their campaign with four trophies in the bag. Their first came way back in August, 2008 with victory over Portsmouth in the Community Shield. Then came December’s World Club Championship and March’s Carling Cup win before May saw them clinch their third Premier League title in a row to equal Liverpool’s English record of 18. It was an outstanding team performance but Vidic proved to be the stand-out individual with a remarkable show of consistency that saw him play more games than anyone else (53) helping goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar create a new clean sheet record of 1,311 minutes without conceding. a goal. Vidic is a fearless, rock solid centre back in the traditional mould, who’ll put his head through anything and chips in with his fair share of goals. He may strike fear into his opponents on the pitch but, as I found out, he’s a humble gentleman off it.


Nutrition Training Tips Equipment Style News / Calendar Events Adventure Features Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic poses with the Players’ Player of the Year Award and a special edition Hublot watch with Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver (left) and United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson (right).

SFME’s Features Editor Richard Bevan gets up close and personal with Neanja Vidic at Manchester United’s end of season Gala Awards Dinner.

SFME: How important was it for you to be voted the Player’s Player of the Year?

it even more of an achievement to win this award at a team like Manchester United?

and how have you settled to life in the Premier League?

NV: It’s an important award for me because it‘s the best accolade you can get, as it comes from my team mates. I’m very pleased and honoured. I have shown progression each year I have been here and I’m happy with the coaching staff and the playing staff.

NV: Definitely. As a defender it is a surprise to win, especially when we have so many good attacking players. I’m seriously very honoured to have this award – it’s one of the best I’ve had in my career.

NV: I am from Serbia but I moved to Russia which was difficult for me because of the changes in lifestyle and food. Now I’m in England one of the main differences is the food! Meats are cooked differently here but I can still enjoy going to Spanish and Italian restaurants and I like fish and chips – an English tradition. I’m used to it now and I feel really happy in England.

SFME: Why do you think the other players voted for you ? NV: I don’t know (laughs)! I played some good football this year and maybe that is why they voted for me. I am a defender – my job as a defender is to stop attackers and stop them scoring and if I do that then I do a good job. SFME: How special was it to also win the Sir Matt Busby Award voted for by the fans who watch the team week-in, week-out? NV: From the beginning when I came to the club I’ve had the support from the fans, which means a lot to me. When I have a bad game they help me and support me and that helps me to improve. This award definitely shows that we have a good relationship. SFME: With the number of world class players in the squad do you think it makes

SFME: Could you single out your best performance of the season? NV: It’s hard to pick one performance – every performance when we don’t concede a goal is a good performance. We had a lot of clean sheets last season so it’s hard to choose just one match. SFME: How has your life changed since joining Manchester United, arguably the biggest football club in the world? NV: My life has changed a lot. I think more about football now because I am at the biggest club in the world and I want to improve myself and show everybody that I deserve to wear the shirt. I wake up each morning and go to training to learn something. If I train well then I am happy and if this happens every day then I will improve. I need to train well if I am to continue to play well in the Premier League. SFME: How are things different in England

SFME: Your partnership with Rio Ferdinand in defence has become one of the best centreback pairings in club football. Do you feel you work especially well with Ferdinand? NV: I feel comfortable playing with Rio. He has a lot of experience and is a great player. He helped me settle down at the club when I arrived in Manchester. SFME: Gary Neville has described you as ‘the new Steve Bruce’ – that’s a big complement isn’t it? NV: Yes it is. Although I never watched Steve Bruce play in his time I have heard a lot about him and he was an important player in Manchester United’s recent history. I want to help improve Manchester United’s history and, as I said, show everybody that I deserve to wear the shirt.

www.sportingpublications.com l Page 53


Protein. It’s like going to the gym twice as often. Being toned. Getting in shape. Losing weight. Goals that drive you to the gym and make you work hard when you’re there. But much of that sweat and effort will go to waste if you don’t feed your body with the nutrients it needs to get toned, fit and in shape. Trust nature to have the perfect answer. Protein. The finest nutrient for naturally toning and repairing our muscles. This is where Promax Diet comes in. It’s packed with 37g whey protein, for developing your muscle tone and making your hard work in the gym more effective. Best of all whey protein makes you feel fuller for longer, helping to avoid those cravings that ruin your diet. A couple of servings a day as a shake or in a fruit smoothie will make a noticeable difference to your gym programme.

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a cut above

the rest

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Two moves that will increase the size of your shoulders

SWIMMERS like Rebecca Adlington (featured on page44) rely on the strength in their shoulders to generate their awesome power through the water. But whether, like Adlington, you’re naturally blessed with a naturally broad shouldered physique or not, there are some simple exercises you can do to greatly increase your strength and build in this area. www.sportnfitnessme.com l Page 55


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Military Barbell Press The Military Barbell Press targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders. Additionally, it works the core and also the legs, as you must use them to help stabilise the weight.

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING

Deltoids, core and legs Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width. Position the bar in front of your neck. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and abdomen muscles firm. Exhale and press the bar upwards to an arm’s length over your head whilst standing to an upright position, straightening your legs. Pause for a few seconds then return to the start position as you inhale with control, lowering the bar to your upper chest or chin (depending on what is comfortable). This exercise can also be done with dumbbells as shown on the previous page.

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Seated Lateral Raise The dumbbell lateral raise is a good exercise for building width in your upper body, which gives you the “V” shape.

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Deltoids, core and lats Grab a set of dumbbells and sit on an exercise ball holding your abs in tight and holding your back straight with the dumbbells at your sides. Your palms should be facing your body. You should be holding the dumbbells slightly off your body, this keeps the tension on the side delts. This is your starting position for the exercise. Slowly raise the dumbbells up to shoulder height. It’s important that you do not let your wrists go above your elbows while raising the weight, this will take the work off the side delts and put it on the front delts. Pause at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Do not let the dumbbells touch your body to keep the tension, then repeat for the next rep. This exercise can also be done stood with feet shoulder width apart.

www.sportingpublications.com l Page 57


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IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING

5 fItness MYTHS REVEALED top

Tough as Tyson Iron Mike Tyson was one of the most feared heavy weight boxers of all time. At 5’ 11” he was always going to be outreached but his trainer worked on adding more ‘horse power’ and endurance to the supercharged Pit Bull – the theory being, to destroy anything that got in his way. We take a look at the programme that built the real Iron Man, no computer graphics, just blood sweat and tears. Walking, jogging, and running Tyson did a lot of walking, jogging and running early in the morning in order to develop his stamina and his speed. Incorporated in this were a few abdominal exercises to strengthen and build the abdominal muscles and some stretching exercises to encourage flexibility. Weight lifting routine After the early morning cardio session, he hit the gym for a couple of hours of weight training to strengthen his arms, back, chest and shoulders. This was the trade mark physique Tyson built that brought fear into the ring. He worked on power movements in the 6-8 reps range but with little rest between sets. Sparring session He sparred for six rounds every day just an hour after completing his weight training session. Rest and recreation Tyson trained hard and then rested and took his break enjoyably. Despite the hard training, his coach said that there was never a time that Tyson went home beyond midnight when he was training for a fight. Mind you, would you have confronted him if he had broken the curfew?

Myth 1: No pain, no gain! Pain is not an indicator of physical success. The only way to tell if you’re working at the right intensity is to listen to your body so you know how often and how hard to train.

adjustments to better cope with the challenges next time you train.

Myth 2: If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself and is not an accurate indicator of how hard you are working. It is possible to work out successfully without breaking a sweat. Myth 3: The best time to train is early in the morning The best time to train is one that is right for your body and one that fits your routine. You need to do the right training at the right intensity to achieve the results you want. Myth 4: Muscle weighs more than fat A kilo of muscle weighs the same as a kilo of fat, but muscle is much more dense than body fat meaning the same weight of muscle takes up less room in your body than fat. Myth 5: You get stronger and fitter while you train You actually get stronger and fitter while you rest from training. It is during rest that your body makes

Myth 1: No pain no gain!


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TOP FACTS

AND STATS ON HEART RATE AND FITNESS When it comes to fitness, whether you just want to be more active, are looking to get fit or want to take your training to the next level, understanding your body is the key to achieving your goals. Stress, illness, overtraining, medication, time of day, food and drink (caffeine), altitude, temperature, hydration levels and weather conditions can all affect your heart rate. Your morning resting heart rate is one of the indicators of overtraining. If this heart rate is five or more beats per minute higher than usual, there’s cause for concern. Your maximum heart rate (HRmax) is the highest number of heartbeats per minute during maximum physical exertion. 60–70% of your HRmax is the Light Intensity Zone. Exercising in this zone helps weight control, improves endurance and improves aerobic fitness. 70–80% of your HRmax is the Moderate Intensity Zone. Exercising in this zone improves aerobic fitness and endurance, helps weight control, and helps to accustom your body to exercising at a faster pace. 80–90% of your HRmax is the Hard Intensity Zone. This intensity is recommended occasionally for fit people because it increases the muscles’ tolerance to lactic acid and improves hard, short effort ability.

Heart rate training is one of the most effective means of making your training most effective. Ask your PT today about how you can incorporate heart rate training into your workout.

www.sportingpublications.com l Page 59


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5 movie bods

no1 Brad Pitt

The ladies loved it and the men were green with envy when Brad Pitt revealed his super-toned body for his role as Tyler Durden in 1999’s Fight Club.

Fitness First Member - Sydney

no2 no3 no4 no5 Daniel Craig

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Will Smith

Hugh Jackman

James Bond has been getting the female of the species hot and bothered for years but Daniel Craig brought a new mean, moody and ultra-sexy edge to the role when he stripped off for his debut in Casino Royale.

A long time before he was Governor of California former Mr Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger was setting new standards for movie muscle men. His role as John Matrix in 1985’s Commando saw him at his ripped, bulging best.

Will Smith reportedly dropped his body fat to just 7.5% to play detective Del Spooner in 2004’s i-Robot and as you can see here, the result was some super-cut definition.

Wolverine’s retractable claws and healing powers might be his main weapons in his fight against crime but judging by Hugh Jackman’s body in this year’s X-Men Origins, he could get by with muscle power alone.


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Cycling can lower bone density CYCLING IS terrific exercise, hitting the cardiovascular system and major muscle groups simultaneously, but it may not be the best thing for building strong bones. Compared with male runners, male cyclists appear more likely to have lower-thannormal bone density. “You would think that cyclists are very healthy, because they spend all those hours training,” says Pam Hinton, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia and co-author of the study accepted for publication in the eminent journal Metabolism. “In other aspects they are -cardiovascular health and body composition. But in this one aspect, they’re not doing so well.” Related Results The study tested the bone mineral density of 27 cyclists and 16 runners ages 20 to 59 who had engaged in their sport a minimum of six hours a week for at least two years. Hinton considered diet, past exercise and weight training. Whole body scans and blood tests showed that 63 percent of cyclists had osteopenia of the spine or hip, compared with 19 percent of the runners. Osteopenia is bone mineral density that’s lower than normal but not so low to be considered osteoporosis, or very low bone mineral density. Not all who have osteopenia will develop osteoporosis, and treatment isn’t always required. Some of those with osteopenia were in their 20s and 30s, “and that was pretty alarming to me,” Hinton says. “I thought I’d just see it in guys who were older and had been riding for years.”

3 ways to strengthen your bones 1. Get running Pounding the roads on foot has proved more effective than weight training for increasing bone mass. Weight training develops bone strength but running builds bone density.

2. Lower caffine intake Tea, coffee and fizzy soft drinks can block the body’s absorption of calcium, which is essential to bone strength. Exchange these for green or herbal teas and low fat milk.

3. Eat more silicon Including more silicon in your diet helps to increase mineralisation in your bones. Vegetables, rice, oats, still mineral water and beer all contain silicon. However be careful where beer is concerned as too much alcohol can also lead to an increase in bone fractures.

Don’t panic and start banging in the miles Cycling isn’t a compounding movement so it doesn’t agrivate the joints and ligaments compared to running. Cycling might lower bone density but there are pros and cons for all exercises!

www.sportingpublications.com l Page 61


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Novice Triathlon Training Tips By learning from the experience of hardened triathletes you will be able to save minutes off your time. l Wear socks in your first triathlon. l You can save a lot of time rehearsing your transitions, putting sock, shoes and helmet on. l Always do things in the same order. Helmet on socks on cycle/run shoes on. l Make your routine become second nature so you’re on automatic pilot. Swim l Learn to swim non-stop and breathe both sides. l Avoid continually removing your goggles, keep them on for the whole duration of your swimming session. Bike l Always carry a drink and practise drinking while cycling. l Read the road. l Keep your head up and look forward at least 25 metres to anticipate problems like obstructions, pot holes and rough surfaces. l Avoid looking ahead only 5 feet – you will NOT be able to react in time! l Holes in the road at the very least slow you down and in the worse case scenario cause a puncture, wheel damage or a crash as you try to swerve at the last minute. l Cycle shorts should be worn without

underwear. If you put on underpants the seams will rub and create sores. Run l Learn to first run before cycling to keep good form and prevent injury. l Swim the same day as cycling and the following week run the same day as cycling. l As your body gets used to swimming, cycling and running start completing two sessions in the same day. l Try to run shortly after cycling but even within 90 minutes will still have a cross training backto-back effect. Learn to shuffle run directly after cycling to stop your legs seizing up. Transition Tips l Practise and organise your transition. l Firstly visualise what you plan to do, then practise this. l Do what comes naturally, not what others are doing. l When it becomes natural and automatic you can focus on the many other parts of the total picture. l Lay out your equipment in reverse order so as you pick up what you need it’s in the correct order. l Put your cycle glasses inside your helmet. Put the glasses on, then the cycle helmet.

If all else fails you could always splash out $15,000 on a top of the range Lite Speed blade with a full carbon group set.


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Geologists call it Pangea. We call it Emirates. Fly Emirates. Keep discovering.

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Quickest WAY TO A

beach body WITH the summer months fast approaching, now is the perfect time to take your training and diet programme up a few notches so you can build a leaner, more muscular body that turns heads on the beach. But if you’re seeing too much flab and not enough muscle when you look down at your abs – or where they should be – don’t despair. There’s still time to get in shape.

FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL First of all, you need to make a plan. Before you pick up a dumbbell or sit on a bike, you need to know why you are doing it and what you hope to achieve. Do you want to build muscle or gain weight? Do you want to lose weight and tone up? Once you’ve decided on your goal, write it down. Tear out a picture of the way you want to look from a magazine and stick it on your bathroom mirror so you see it every day. Keep a basic monthly eating and exercise calendar on your fridge. Studies show that people who keep a written record of what they do are more successful at getting in shape. The next step is to sort out your diet. Packing on inches of new muscle and getting those ‘killer’ six-pack abs isn’t about working out for hours each day. You could spend all day in the gym, but if you don’t let the right nutrients pass your lips you’ll never get the body you want.

TIME TO GET MOVING

WHAT NUTRITION DO I NEED?

When it comes to exercise, you’ll get the best results with a combination of weight training and aerobic exercise. Aim to train with weights 2-3 days each week. Each workout should last 45-60 minutes and include compound exercises.

Firstly, eat smaller, more frequent meals, preferably five or six per day. If you’re only eating 2-3 meals per day, work on raising it to four one week and then five the week after. That’s when products such as protein bars and shakes are effective. They give you instant access to high-quality nutrition if you don’t have the time to cook and prepare healthy meals. Just eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and a convenience protein source in the middle of the morning and afternoon to keep you feeling full until your next meal.

Cardio plays an important role in helping you lose fat, but don’t overdo it. Doing 30-45 minutes of intense cardio 2-3 times a week – combined with a good diet and a proper weight training routine – is a better choice than doing endless hours of lowintensity cardio, which can lead to a loss of muscle as well as fat. But the most important step is simply to get started. Don’t put this off and decide that you’re going to “start fresh” next week or next month. Start today and don’t give up until you’ve achieved your goal. With hard work, persistence, you’ll be surprised at what your body is capable of.

Include protein in as many of your meals as possible. Foods high in protein include chicken, fish, milk, lean beef and eggs. Vegetarians can accomplish this by eating egg whites, low-fat dairy products and tofu or soy meat substitutes. The protein serving should be roughly the same size as your clenched fist or the palm of your hand. What about carbs? You don’t need to cut them out altogether. Fruits and vegetables provide vital antioxidants, are low in calories, and help to fill you up so you don’t feel hungry. It’s best to cut down on the high carb foods (i.e. pasta, bread, cereal) and replace them with fruits and vegetables. At breakfast, for example, rather than filling your bowl with cereal, cut the serving size in half and replace it with fruit such as blueberries or strawberries. You can also add berries and bananas to yogurt. For lunch, add grapes and sliced apples to chicken salad, or tomatoes, radishes and peppers to a beef salad. Fat should make up 20-30% of your daily calorie intake, with the majority coming from monounsaturated sources (such as olive oil, peanuts, hazelnuts, avocados, macadamia nuts or pecans). Your diet should also provide 1-2 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids daily, which you can get from fish such as salmon or mackerel, or a high-quality essential fatty acid products.

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Photo : Stéphane MOUNET www.agence mbcom .com

20, avenue Franklin Roosevelt 75008 Paris

Tél. : 01 53 96 06 06 www.edouardnahum.com


PREMIERE

LEAGUE STYLE

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HUBLOT RED DEVIL BIG BANG MANCHESTER United fans and players alike have been clambering to get their hands on one of these limited edition Hublot Red Devil Big Bang watches. Hublot are the official timekeeper for United, who recently celebrated their third consecutive English Premier League. Only 500 pieces were made, with each one individually numbered, and they proved so popular with the players that many of them refused the offer of a free watch in favour of paying for the one that corresponds with their squad number! The watch uses red and black colours alluding to those used in the club’s home strip while there is a ‘Red Devil’ emblem on the dial signifying the team’s nickname. The case is crafted from satin-polished black ceramic, measuring 44.5 mm in diameter. The satin black ceramic bezel features six titanium

H-screws, a signature detail of the Big Bang watch collection. The Red Devil Big Bang accommodates a self-winding mechanical movement – the HUB45 calibre. The movement comprises 252 components, providing a two-counter chronograph and an easy-toadjust date display. The mechanism operates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, so the chronograph is able to record independent time intervals with a precision of 1/8th second. One more advantage is a 42-hour power reserve. Many of the 500 pieces have already been sold so if you want one, you’d better be quick. A portion of the proceeds from each sale is donated to the Manchester United Foundation. www.hublot.com

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The Sunseeker

Predator

108

HIGH performance and impressive speeds with superb handling are the defining qualities of any Sunseeker craft labelled with the Predator name. This well-deserved reputation for comfort, style and flexibility is further supported by the newest and largest Predator yet to be released by Sunseeker International, the Predator 108. A newcomer to the Sunseeker Yacht range, the Predator 108 is a truly inspirational achievement in modern shipbuilding and design. Immaculately finished and meticulously crafted, the essence of a legendary heritage is retained whilst proudly and confidently setting new benchmarks for excellence in performance, style and luxury. With a supremely sumptuous interior and spacious, comfortable accommodation, this craft offers all the flexibility of choice you could hope for, from layout configurations, to finishes and soft furnishing. The enormous interior offers facilities for guests and crew and hosts two massive VIP Staterooms, both enjoying panoramic views. Above deck there is Jacuzzi, ample space for sunbathing on individually adjusted sunloungers and a double garage to house a 4ft tender and jetbike. Performance systems of either twin shaft tunnel drives, or triple Arneson surface drives deliver an impressive top speed whilst providing a good cruising range. A global leader in the design and build of luxury motor yachts, Sunseeker International exports 99% of its product range and employs over 1,400 highly trained staff in their shipyards on Britain’s South Coast. Sunseeker International is widely recognised as the pre-eminent marine brand in the world today.


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Mercedes-Benz slr mclaren

722 Edition OVER 50 years ago, the SLR was already the object of dreams. On May 2, 1955, Stirling Moss went down in motorsport history by recording the fastest time ever for the Mille Miglia event in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing car. His start number 722 stood for his starting time of 7.22 a.m. The SLR has become a legend. Featuring the latest technology, it is once again unique: blending the performance of a super sports car with all the comfort and cruising qualities of a classic Gran Tourismo on the other. This philosophy and the legend of the SLR continues with the SLR 722 Edition. The SLR 722 Edition features weight-optimised components, an engine that has been uprated by 24 PS and a specifically tuned chassis and airbrake improve the overall dynamics of the car. Individual details and exclusive colour and material combinations create a new, breathtaking interior. In the SLR 722 Edition technology and design go hand in hand: everything on show makes sound technical sense. The distinctive SLR 722 Edition sets new standards in terms of trim and chassis design. Painted exposed carbon, as seen at the front end and on the rear diffuser, blends perfectly with the exclusive crystal antimon grey paint finish and the darkened design of the front and rear light clusters. Together with the 10 mm lower body and “722� insignia on the wings, these features create a unique aura which signals an abundance of power. In keeping with this theme, the light-alloy wheels sport an all-new design.


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SLR Stirling Moss

slr

Stirling Moss THE latest addition to the SLR family is the super-limited edition SLR Stirling Moss. Only 75 of these beauties were made and they’ve all sold out already! There is neither a roof nor a windscreen to separate the driver and passenger from the outside world; they enjoy unadulterated high-speed excitement with all the attributes of a speedster. The SLR Stirling Moss is also characterised by the most sophisticated technology and a breathtaking design which reinterprets the SLR legend. With 478 kW/650 hp the SLR Stirling Moss accelerates its V8 supercharged engine from standstill to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 350 km/h – no other seriesproduction car is at the same time so open and so fast. This extreme concept makes the new high-performance sports car a legitimate bearer of the name of the British motor racing legend.

The original Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR as driven by Stirling Moss.


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McLaren Steinmetz Diamond Emblazoned Helmet AS the youngest World Champion in the history of F1 Britain’s Lewis Hamilton is becoming accustomed to the finer things in life and the helmet that was custom made for him by renowned diamond maker Steinmetz is the height of luxury. The customized Steinmetz helmet was crafted by experts to proudly display Hamilton’s cherished No. 1 ranking with exquisite Steinmetz diamonds, which were inscribed with the Forevermark icon and unique identification number. Unfortunately even the wealthiest among you won’t be able to rush out and purchase a replica of Hamilton’s helmet as his is the only one in existence!

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Iain Richardson talks to internationally renowned world explorer Tom Avery about the thrill of setting foot in unchartered lands and the constant desire to take on new challenges that keeps him going back for more.

WHEN Tom Avery left University he went straight into a career in accountancy, but as thrilling as that may sound, he managed only 19 months in the high octane world of spreadsheets and VAT returns before the call of the great outdoors became too much to bear. He ditched the City and headed for Verbier in the Swiss Alps where he bagged a job as a ski guide and he hasn’t looked back since. Fast forward 11 years and Avery is the rock ‘n roll pin-up of the exploration world. Young, good looking, and daring enough to boldly go where no man has been before, the 33-year-old is one of only 41 people throughout history to have reached both the North and South Poles on foot. In 2002 at the age of 27, he became the youngest Briton to make the journey to the South Pole, breaking the speed record to boot with a time of 45 days and six hours. His 2005 expedition saw him take on the particularly gruelling challenge of the North Pole as he used archaic techniques and equipment to finally solve one of the exploration world’s greatest mysteries. Avery, whose other achievements include the scaling of nine previously unclimbed and unnamed summits in the Eastern Zaalay Mountains in Kyrgyzstan has even found time to detail his adventures in two books – 2004’s Pole Dance and this year’s To The End of The Earth. He’s an ambassador for the 2010 Olympic Games, a member of the acclaimed Explorers Club in New York and a highly sought after motivational speaker. But as he tells SFME in this Q&A, it’s the thrill of discovery that gets him most excited.

DANCER

ULTIMATE

POLE

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SFME: Describe the planning that goes into expeditions such as those you’ve done to the North and South Poles. How long does the process take and what sorts of considerations have to be looked at? TA: The big polar expeditions took two years to organise. I had to choose my team, organise all the logistics, raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship to make the trip a reality, and to get into shape. There was just so much to do that by the time we eventually took our first footsteps, it felt as though we were already halfway there.

SFME: Your life as an explorer obviously takes you into some of the harshest environments on the planet. From a fitness perspective, what work do you do in terms of training, nutrition, etc to get your body ready for that challenge? TA: Before any really tough expedition I make sure I do plenty of running, swimming and gym work. I also like to head off into the mountains and go ski mountaineering as I’m more likely to build up the muscles I’ll need most to ski across an ice cap. It’s also great fun, too!


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SFME: Describe some of the highs and lows of the South Pole trip? I believe you used kites to power your skis along? TA: Kite skiing enabled us to become the fastest team in history to reach the South Pole on foot. It’s one of the most adrenalinepumping dangerous sports ever invented because you’re travelling across very uneven ground, with a 100 kilo sled rattling along behind you. One false move and you’ll fall, with the sled ramming you in the backside! The Antarctic is the windiest continent on Earth, so it’s the perfect place to kite ski.

TA: The aim of the expedition was to recreate the American explorer Robert Peary’s disputed expedition to the North Pole. In 1909 he claimed to have been the first man to reach the North Pole, but people didn’t believe him as he got there in just 37 days, an incredibly fast time. So we set out to retrace his route, using the same equipment as he did – teams of Eskimo dogs and wooden sleds lashed together with rope – to find out if it was possible. Astonishingly, we not only managed to reach the North Pole, but we beat Peary’s time by five hours, showing that it would have been very easy for Peary to have reached the Pole after all in the time he claimed. I’m convinced he did it.

SFME: I believe you also got a phone call from the Prince of Wales. Tell us about that? TA: He was our patron, and wanted to be kept fully abreast of our progress. Having His Royal Highness’s support was an incredible honour, as was meeting him in the flesh for the first time. His knowledge of the polar regions is quite incredible.

SFME: To become the youngest Briton to complete the expedition must have made you proud – did that figure in your motivation or were you merely thinking about the trip for its own sake? TA: Not at all! I do expeditions for the love of the great outdoors. I didn’t do these expeditions in order to become the youngest Briton to get there.

SFME: There’s a story behind your motivation to complete the 2005 expedition to the North Pole – tell us about that and the way you recreated the methods of that original expedition and what was the outcome?

SFME: Among your many accomplishments is scaling nine previously unclimbed summits. Describe the thrill of being the first person in unchartered territory? TA: It’s just the best feeling ever. It’s like going back in time because there are no maps or guidebooks – you’re just following your instincts and your nose to the top. It means it’s inevitable that you make a few mistakes and wrong turns along the way, but the rewards of reaching the top of a new mountain is pretty wild. You know you’re looking at views that nobody has ever seen before. And if the mountain doesn’t have a name, you get the honour of naming it yourself. I named one after my Mum once!

as they had. Having now been on dozens of expeditions myself, that passion for the outdoors hasn’t gone away and I’m always looking to where the next trip might take me.

SFME: You worked as an accountant for a while which is pretty different from exploring. How did it come about and what was it that prompted you to pack it in and get serious about exploration? TA: I just fell into it, when I was looking to get a job after university. I was pretty good at maths, so I thought why not give it a go. But it just wasn’t for me, so after 18 months I decided to quit and become a ski guide instead.

SFME: You do mountaineering, ski touring, polar exploring etc – which is your favourite and why? TA: If I had to choose only one discipline, it would definitely be ski mountaineering. You can’t beat the feeling of skiing down a mountain at speed, you just feel so free. And if you’ve got that mountain all to yourself, because you’ve left the confines of a ski resort, and climbed up to the summit of some inaccessible mountain yourself, that satisfaction is all the more rewarding.

SFME: Which Pole is the most gruelling – North or South and why? SFME: Where did your yearning to become an explorer come from and what keeps you seeking out new challenges? TA: It came from reading about the famous explorers of the past – Scott, Shackleton, Columbus, Marco Polo. I was just mesmerised by their journeys and wanted to explore, just

TA: Definitely the North. Because the terrain is a frozen sea (the South Pole is located on land), you are at the mercy of the winds and currents. You can be carried way off course, the ice can split apart leaving wide lanes of open water blocking your path or the ice can also be crushed together, leaving 40-foot ridges of

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jumbled-up ice to cross. The best time to travel is in March, the depth of the Arctic winter, when temperatures struggle to reach -40oC and the ice is more likely to be locked in frigid suspension. Then there are the polar bears, who can kill a man with one swipe of a paw.

human body is an incredible thing, and capable of pushing so much further than you would ever imagine. But you’ve got to will your body to keep going!

SFME: You give motivational speeches to businesses etc, and your expeditions mean you must be pretty strong mentally. Is this something you’ve always had or have you developed it as you’ve gone along? What tips can you give to improve our mental toughness and our positive thinking?

TA: Definitely the North Pole. Over 80% of expeditions attempting to complete the journey from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to the Pole don’t make it, so the odds of us getting there were stacked against us. Pulling it off, and in record time, is something that gives me enormous personal satisfaction.

TA: There have been so many low moments during my expedition career, be it sponsorship not coming in, getting lost in blizzards, running out of food, it would have been very easy to throw in the towel. But no matter how tough things get, I always tell myself never give in as your luck will change eventually. I’ve learnt is that the

SFME: Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of and why?

SFME: What’s your next big challenge? TA: I can’t tell you! We’re heading back to the snow and ice again early next year. But nobody’s ever attempted what we’re going to do, so we want to keep it quiet, just in case somebody else gets any ideas!


Sport & Fitness Middle East  

Sport & Fitness Middle East will interview the leading names from the world of sport to find out more about the athletes, their accomplishme...

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