Fitness Official magazine of
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2012 Olympic ISSUE 1591-Bella-Concept-Wellbox-juillet-2012.indd 1
The tickets are sold, the flights are booked. Let the Games begin
RAMADAN YOGA SPECIAL
The fastest man on earth
SUMMER OF SPORTING LOVE THERE’S barley a moment to catch our collective breath this summer as one huge sporting spectacle merges seamlessly into another and I for one am loving every minute of it! Mario Balotelli’s tears hadn’t even dried after the Italians were casually brushed aside in the final of Euro 2012 by a rampant history making Spanish team when the covers were pulled off at SW19 for the start of Wimbledon. It was pleasing to see that my Midas Touch was working at full power once again as just a matter of weeks after my interview, or as I like to call it ‘pep talk’ with Andy Murray the Scot became the first British man to reach the final of the famous English Grand Slam since Bunny Austin in 1938. Obviously I can’t take ALL the credit but the experience of our chinwag, along with the thrill of seeing his picture adorned on the front cover of the last issue of Sport&Fitness, clearly flushed the lad with confidence. It was just a shame he couldn’t finish the job off against Roger Federer but when the Fed Express hits reaches full speed like it did in the Wimbledon final there isn’t a player in the world who can keep up. From Wimbledon it’s a quick stop off at Royal Lytham and St Annes for The 141st Open Championship before the big one. The Daddy of all sporting occasions. The Greatest Show On Earth. OK, you get the picture but as you’ve probably guessed, we’re a little bit excited about the London 2012 Olympics. Will Usain Bolt ‘stun the world’ by running the 100m in 9.4s? The big Jamaican could make history in London this summer but he’ll have to be at the very top of his game if he’s to avoid being humiliated by The Beast. Bolt’s 22-year-old teammate Yohan Blake is getting stronger all the time. He beat Bolt in both the 100m and 200m trials for the Jamaican Olympic team so the towering sprinter knows he needs to be at his best if he’s to even win his races. You can find out what Bolt thinks of Blake in our exclusive interview on pg 42 while we’ve got everything you need to know about the London showpiece in our preview starting on pg 25. With such a deluge of sporting revelry for us to feast our eyes on there’s hardly been time to plan this year’s summer holiday but after much nagging from the wife our tickets are booked and the beaches of Spain’s Costa Del Sol await. Many of you will be following suit and jetting off around the world in search of a more bearable climate. Sun, sea and sand are the order of the day and there’s much to look forward to except for one thing…the prospect of unleashing the flab on the beach! No sooner have we sorted the flights and hotel than thoughts turn with horror to the impending doom of having to unveil the blubber alongside hundreds of bronzed sun Gods and Goddesses whose only purpose for being at the beach is to make us feel bad about ourselves. Panic stations. Commence operation rapid beach body. We’ve all been there and the good news is – the situation is fixable. Follow our guide to obtaining the perfect beach body on pg 64 and you’ll be strutting your stuff on the sand in no time. I’m following my own advice on this one as the late nights in the office sustaining myself via the biscuit tin have caught up with me so we’re in it together but I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel for us all.
We hope you have as much fun reading the magazine as we’ve had creating it.
Richard Bevan Editor
CONTENTS REgulars P8-13 Scene spectacular images from the sporting landscape p17-21 fitness first news a round up of what’s been happening in the region’s no.1 gym network p23-23 sports calendar a look at wHAT’S AHEAD ON THE SPORTING HORIZON p51-65 health and fitness HISEM HAGRAS REVEALS HOW TO TRAIN SAFELY WHILE PREGNANT, PEEWEE SANCHEZ
EXPLAINS THE BENEFIT OF PRACTICING YOGA DURING RAMADAN, TAREK AHMED DELIVERS A PLAN FOR THE PERFECT BEACH BODY AND MUCH MORE
p72 candy shop Lolo jones USED TO LIVE IN A CHURCH BASEMENT NOW SHE’S FAVOURITE FOR THE 100M HURDLES IN LONDON...oh, and she’s smokin’ hot
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Features P06-07 wellbox the latest fat fighting device that’s taking the celebrity world by storm P25-33 LET THE GAMES BEGIN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH – THE OLYMPIC GAMES
P34-37 COOL BRITANNIA WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FLOCKING TO ENGLAND’S CAPITAL CITY THIS SUMMER WE BRING YOU THE BEST LONDON HAS TO OFFER IN THE WAY OF ACCOMMODATION
P38-41 DIVE IN DIVING’S LATEST PIN UP TOM DALEY TALKS ABOUT HIS DESIRE TO WIN GOLD IN HIS OWN BACKYARD BEFORE FLYING OFF INTO THE SUNSET WITH POP STAR CHERYL COLE
P42 - 49 cover story: GET SET FOR THE LIGHTNING EXCLUSIVE: SPRINT LEGEND USAIN BOLT reveals his PLANS TO ‘STUN THE WORLD’ AT LONDON 2012
P66-71 ZAMORA TARGETS UFL SWANSONG EXCLUSIVE: QUEENS PARK RANGERS STRIKER BOBBY ZAMORA TALKS ABOUT HIS ROUGH ROAD TO THE TOP AND HIS DESIRE TO END HIS CAREER IN THE UAE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Treatments for the face and body
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atented technologies of LPG professional equipment. These technologies ped fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Thanks to cell stimulation, m the skin. It also helps to redensify andMINUTES rejuvenate the skin, define facial PER DAY
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el: +971 The 4 44Wellbox 56 862 is/ not +971 5 29 29 It’s 25 a07slimming, body-contouring, cellulite-fighting, anti-aging device that celebrities a gadget. lpgsystems.com www.wellbox-mea.com Slimmer body around the•world are now swearing by to keep their bodies in tip top condition.
Designed for use at home, this box of tricks combines all of the techniquesأﻧﺤﻒ developed ﺟﺴﻢby the experts at LPG WellboxMiddleEast
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White, sleek and attractively curved, Wellbox is a compact collection of intelligent accessories designed to allow easy and natural stimulation of your skin every day, at home or on holiday, in complete freedom.
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The Wellbox is designed to stimulate the skin’s surface and generate effects. The micro-pulsations created by the Self-Liftmassage treatment heads encourage your body to produce more collagen and elastin, helping your skin to maintain its density, firmness and youth for longer.
اﻟﻘﻀﺎء ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺴﻴﻠﻴﻮﻟﻴﺖ
What the Science says: The skin is a living organ that holds its firmness, softness, and glow due to intense cellular activity. From age 25, the fibroblasts, or “youth cells”, begin to slow down the production of collagen and elastin and the signs of aging start to show. Self-Liftmassage The Wellbox stimulates the skin’s surface, generating deep biological responses. The treatment heads are equipped with flaps set in a rhythmic mode to allow micropulsations that will boost the fibroblasts’ activity, smoothing out lines, firming skin, and stimulating microcirculation. This is a painless procedure that does not require heat, laser or gels.
The Wellbox also allows you to perform Lipomassage, which is the first FDA cleared technique proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s 100% natural and noninvasive, and targets the fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. Despite a perfectly healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity, the process of storing fat tends to increase over time. This results in the appearance of excess volume and cellulite. Lipomassage reactivates lipolysis (removal of fat) to erase localized fat and imperfections. Wellbox’s mechanical roll stimulation reactivates fat release and the production of collagen and elastin. Microcirculation is also stimulated, resulting in smoother, suppler skin.
› What’s inside my Wellbox? › FOR THE FACE:
Three little Lift Treatment heads designed to stimulate all areas of the face, neck and neckline.
› FOR THE BODY:
Two Roll Treatment heads designed to smooth cellulite and firm the skin. The widest is fitted with two rollers for an effective mechanical massage. The second smaller treatment head is designed to firm smaller areas of the body, such as the inner arms.
ForU.A.E. more information visit:+971 www.wellbox-mea.com Dubai, - Head Offiplease ce, Tel: 4 38 04 123 / +971 5 29 29 25 07 Or call LPG systems +971 4 38 04 123
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Treatments for the face and body ﻟـــــــﻠـــــــﻮﺟــــــــﻪ و اﻟـــــــــﺠـــــــــﺴــــــــﻢ
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Younger face وﺟﻪ أﻛﺜﺮ ﺷﺒﺎﺑﺎ
Get rid of stubborn fat اﻟﺘﺨﻠﺺ ﻣﻦ اﻟﺪﻫﻮن اﻟﻌﻨﻴﺪة
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Dubai, U.A.E. - Head Office, Tel: +971 4 38 04 123 / +971 5 29 29 25 07
FIrE Sparks fly as the electrifying new Red Bull Racing Stock car is unveiled at the Brazilian Championships.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
ice Frijof Saether showcases a backside doublecork 1080 in Folgefonna, Norway. Radical!
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
earth Elliott Banks-Browne shows off his skills in Nottinghamshire, England.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
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Fitness First Thrills Fans at Dubai Mall
HE Burj Steps, overlooking Burj Khalifa, came alive recently to a resounding dance spectacle – the Downtown Dubai Dance Extravaganza – featuring over 1,000 professional dancers and rank amateurs. Set against the scintillating performance of the Dubai Fountain, the flash mob was organised by Fitness First in collaboration with Emaar. Fitness First choreographed the routine to the beats of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ and drew the involvement of its club members. In the run up to the event, a video of the dance steps was uploaded on the fitness chain’s social networks and YouTube and to help the community across Dubai pick up the routines ahead of their participation. Mark Botha, Sales and Marketing Director, Fitness First Middle East, said: “The whole point of the event was to encourage fitness as a community event and inspire individuals to see keeping fit as a fun activity. Through such events, we tell people that fitness isn’t necessarily about walks on the treadmill or lifting weights; it can be
a lot of fun and involve all the family outdoors in the sunshine. We look forward to hosting more events of this kind in the future.” Organised under Fitness First’s new ‘Community Club’ initiative, the largest-of-itskind dance gala in Downtown Dubai brought together performers from all age groups and nationalities. Building on the success of the flash mob initiative, Community Club aims to host a series of events, which educate the wider community that getting fit and staying healthy can be a funfilled family activity. Complementing its mantra of ‘making the world a fitter place’, the Downtown Dubai Dance Extravaganza validated Fitness First’s priority to extend beyond the conventional parameters of a fitness centre to include group activities that are less intimidating and tedious.
Log onto www.youtube.com/fitnessfirstME1 to watch the event highlights video.
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Fitness First Launches Health First at Selected Clubs FITNESS First will be launching ‘Health First’ – a health product which includes a package of nutritional advice, combined with personal training and weekly seminars to help educate members on the importance of a combination of sound nutrition and fitness to produce greater results. Health First is a 13-week programme which educates users on a variety of nutritional topics related to the GI diet (healthy eating plan). Members have the option to purchase their pack with 12 Personal Training sessions in addition to the one free consultation which is included. Through the Personal Training, two thirds of each session will be spent on actual physical training and the latter focused on nutritional guidance and educating the participants on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to eating for a healthy lifestyle. Weekly support seminars will be held for members where each topic will be explained in great detail by the expert trainers and staff. They will also act as a support group where members can share their hardships, downfalls and also their motivations George Flooks, COO, Fitness First Middle East, said: “Health First is being offered to our members as an added benefit to enhance the member experience. We have realised through member feedback that a large proportion of our members would like support
in the area of nutrition and to help educate them in the importance of good nutrition in combination with a regular exercise. Now we are bringing nutritional education to our members. We want to show them that fitness is only one part of a healthy lifestyle – nutrition is also key.” In an effort to show progression, members who purchase the product will have their body analysis tested before they start which records body fat, weight to fat ratio, water retention, BMI and many other key statistics which highlight their overall health and fitness. After 13 weeks these statistics will be measured again to evaluate the programme. This will be done in conjunction with a before and after picture. For the interim, Health First will be available at the Abu Dhabi Marina Mall (Ladies Club), Uptown Mirdif (Ladies club), Oasis Centre and newly opened Beach Park Plaza
Health First by Fitness First
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
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Fitness First portfolio grows to 31 across the Middle East and crosses 23 mark in the UAE
ITNESS First Middle East recently announced the opening of the Beach Park Plaza and Dalma Mall taking the total number of gyms across the Middle East to 31. In the UAE alone the world’s biggest gym network has now crossed the 23 mark with the opening of two mixed clubs. A 900 sq. metre facility that boasts dedicated freestyle, free weights, strength, and cardio sections as well as group exercise (GX) studios, stretch zones and personal training areas, the Beach Park Plaza also features the ever-popular members’ lounge and sauna-equipped changing rooms. It offers a set of innovative programmes such as Swing Yoga (featured in the last issue of Sport&Fitness), TRX, and Suspension training. The Dalma Mall club is an impressive 2000 sq. metre mixed offering which will also feature a dedicated ‘ladies only’ training area. The second club to open
in Abu Dhabi, it offers free Group Exercise classes with certified instructors. Like Beach Park Plaza, it will have dedicated freestyle, free weights, strength, and cardio sections as well as a group exercise (GX) studio, stretch zones and internationally qualified personal trainers. Group exercise with over 100 certified instructors affiliated with the world famous Les Mills programmes including: BodyPump®, BodyCombat®, BodyBalance®, BodyAttack®, BodyStep® BodyJam® and the popular Zumba fitness routine will continue to draw members to the club. Members also have the option to take one-on-one training with internationally accredited leading fitness professionals. George Flooks, Chief Operations Officer, Fitness First Middle East, said: “Fitness First was envisioned to help the society adopt a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The opening of our Beach Park Plaza and Dalma Mall
branch reaffirms our commitment in this direction. Establishing new outlets and upgrading facilities at our existing locations are in line with our plans for 2012. Through leveraging these developments, we look forward to offering our existing and potential customers with an all-round fitness experience.” The members’ lounge will serve as a great place to unwind and meet friends after a vigorous routine. Complimentary drinks and seamless Wi-Fi access are some of the features that will make each visit to the club a worthwhile trip.
For further details on Fitness First visit the new website www.fitnessfirst-me.com or log on to the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/fitnessfirstme
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
Fitness First members ‘Step for the Children of Africa’
ITNESS First recently rolled out its first Middle East wide charity event for 2012 in aid of Amani Children’s Home, an organisation dedicated to protecting the street children and AIDS orphans in Tanzania. Titled ‘Step up for the Children of Africa’, the initiative ran throughout the month of June. During that period, participating members were motivated to climb 5,895 metres on the steppers set-up at Fitness First clubs across the Middle East. Members were required to record the number of steps climbed during each attempt and sign-off the log from a Fitness First staff. The entry fee of AED50 per member has been earmarked for the Amani Children’s Home. Adventure HQ, the supplier of the widest and most diverse range of gear and supporting services for outdoor adventures, partnered with Fitness First for this challenge. All members who successfully accomplished the challenge during the stipulated timeline qualified for a raffle draw. The winner of the draw will be offered a life-changing opportunity to participate at the ‘Gulf 4 Good 2012 Kilimanjaro Challenge’ that will take place in Tanzania from 19 - 29 July, 2012. Vouchers worth AED7,500 for kits from Adventure HQ and other nutritional supplies for the challenge will also be given away as part of the prize. Gift vouchers/credit-loaded adventure club cards worth AED500 were also awarded to the first 10 members who completed the 5,895-metre climb.
Fitness First launched the charity initiative at Ibn Batuta Club during a lively interactive event. Gary Melhuish, Sports and Events Manager, Fitness First, offered a presentation on the Amani Children’s Home and outlined the club’s participation at the previous challenge of climbing the Kilimanjaro mountain in approximately seven and half hours. He urged members to once again join hands to participate in the challenge.
charity. The Gulf 4 Good Cycle the Seven Emirates challenge last year was a fulfilling experience. It allowed me to push beyond my endurance levels to give back to the community. It also geared me to seek another fitness challenge and support a noble cause. This year, we have encouraged the participation of our team members. We are confident each one of them will feel as rewarded by the experience.”
“Step up for the Children of Africa is a unique opportunity for our members to train for a specific health and fitness goal, and raise funds for charity. The Gulf 4 Good Cycle the Seven Emirates challenge last year was a fulfilling experience. It allowed me to push beyond my endurance levels to give back to the community. It also geared me to seek another fitness challenge and support a noble cause. This year, we have encouraged the participation of our team members. We are confident each one of them will feel as rewarded by the experience.” – George Flooks, COO, Fitness First Middle East The challenge was also open to Fitness First personnel. As a key highlight, Gary Melhuish climbed all 5,895 metres (1,900 floors) at one time on June 30. George Flooks, COO, Fitness First Middle East, said: “Step up for the Children of Africa is a unique opportunity for our members to train for a specific health and fitness goal, and raise funds for
The event culminated in a grand finale ‘Club Team Stepper Challenge’ on July 6 where the raffle was also drawn. Since its founding by Tanzanians in 2001, Amani has rescued hundreds of children from the perils of life on the streets, where they face a high risk of HIV transmission, malnutrition, and abuse. Amani, which means ‘peace’ in Swahili, provides healthy food, education, counselling and medical care. n
Step for the children of Africa event winners: Johan Lauber from European Business Centre, member, Fitness First Green Community, Anita Mazar Fitness, Instructor, Fitness First DIFC named as winners at the Ibn Batuta Club during an interactive event. The winners have been offered a life-changing opportunity to participate at the ‘Gulf 4 Good 2012 Kilimanjaro Challenge’ that will take place in Tanzania from 19 - 29 July, 2012. Vouchers worth AED7,500 for kits from Adventure HQ and other nutritional supplies for the challenge were also given away as part of the prize.
Cricket Eng v Aus, 2nd ODI, The Oval, London 4th Cricket Eng v Aus, 3rd ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham 4th CYCLING Tour de France Stage Four, Normandy, France 7th Cricket Eng v Aus, 4th ODI, Chester-leStreet, County Durham
Cricket 7th-18th Squash World Junior Squash Championships, Doha, Qatar 7-8th Tennis Wimbledon finals weekend, London
Eng v S. Africa 1st Test, The Oval, London 23rd - 27th Tennis WTA Baku Cup, Baku, Azerbaijan. 27th - Aug 12th, Olympic Games, London
10th Cricket Eng v Aus, 5th ODI, Old Trafford, Manchester 14th Boxing David Haye v Dereck Chisora, Upton Park, London, England,
27th - 29th Moto GP Round 10, Mazda Raceway, United States.
7th Boxing Wladimir Klitschko v Tony Thompson, Berne, Switzerland A rematch of a bout from 2008 when the big Ukrainian knocked out Thompson in the 11th round, this fight has the makings of a great match. Thompson, despite being an inch shorter, has a longer reach and landed more punches on Wladimir than any other fighter in his career to date in that 2008 fight in Germany. The Americanâ€™s record is 36-2 (24 KOs) and he knows exactly how Wladimir is going to fight. 19th-22nd, Golf The 141st Open Championship, Royal Lytham and St Annes, England
FITNESS FIRST NEWS
AUGUST 2nd-6th, Cricket Eng v S. Africa, 2nd Test, Headingley, Leeds 2nd-5th World Superbike Championship Round 10, Silverstone, Great Britain 9-12th Golf US PGA Championship, South Carolina, USA 14th ARCHERY World Archery Field Championships, Val d’Isere, France 16-30 Cricket
24th - 26th Moto GP Round 12, Brno, Czech Republic. After the dramatic Dutch Grand Prix at Assen where championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was taken out at the first corner in dramatic fashion by fellow countryman Alvaro Bautista. Prior to the race Lorenzo headed the championship by 25 points from current world champion Casey Stoner. The dramatic outcome at Assen means the pair went into the following round tide at the top of the table on 140 points. Now things are going to get tasty! 27-9 Sep, TENNIS US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York Eng v S. Africa, 3rd Test, Lords, London 24th 25th - 31st Netball The 8th Asian Championships, Sri Lanka 29th PARALYMPIC GAMES Olympic Park, London, England 29st FORUMLA 1 Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Novak Djokovic claimed last year’s title after a thrilling four-set match against Rafa Nadal at Flushing Meadows. Djokovic was in unstoppable form, as he was throughout the season, beating the Spaniard 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1. He’s in red hot form again – can he defend his title?
15% Discount for all
2012 olympic Preview
The Olympic Games July 27 – 12 August
LET THE GAMES BEGIN THIS is it, the one we’ve all been waiting for – The Greatest Show on Earth. Every four years the world’s elite athletes gather to try and bag that most coveted of prizes, an Olympic gold medal. From Jesse Owens’ quadruple gold winning performance in Berlin in1936 to Michael Phelps’ sensational eight golds in Beijing four years ago the Olympic Games have borne witness to some of the most phenomenal moments in sport history. This year the Games move to London and England’s capital city will become the centre of the sporting universe with captivating events taking place at every turn. From the centre piece of the action, the Olympic Park in East London, to venues like Horse Guards Parade where the Beach Volleyball will take place, London will be awash with sporting greatness this summer. The state-of-the-art Olympic Stadium was seven years in the making but it’s now ready to go. The waiting is finally over. Let the Games begin.
Medal Hopefuls: Many Olympic events are currently in the midst of a golden era with the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps dominating their various disciplines while British success is on the rise again after swimmer Rebecca Adlington won two golds in Beijing four years ago. Lets take a look at some of the big names involved in this summer’s Games, hoping to leave London with a nice shiny medal around their neck.
Usain Bolt (JAM). Sprint legend Usain Bolt looks unbeatable
whenever he bursts out of the blocks. In Oslo in June he won with a time of 9.79s, narrowly clear of Asafa Powell, and looked fairly comfortable. Bolt must be wary of a false start like the one that ruled him out of the World Championships Final in Daegu last year. “I’m not yet in the shape where I can say, ‘Nobody can beat me’. My start is letting me down slightly still,” said Bolt in Olso. “I can’t complain but the execution of my race was not perfect.” He must also beware of team mate Yohan Blake who took gold the World Championships as Bolt watched from the sidelines and then had the audacity to beat Bolt in the Olympic trials for both the 100m and 200m in his homeland in June.
LeBron James (USA). The USA Basketball team is littered with NBA stars and headlining their team as they defend the gold they won in Beijing is Miami Heat’s LeBron James. Three times the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (09,10,12) and eight-time NBA All-Star (05-12), James is a sensation in his sport. The 1992 Olympic basketball team is the squad by which all others are measured and James thinks this year’s team could rival that ‘Dream Team’. James is likely to be joined in London by Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. The 1992 squad included Magic Johnson, Michael Jordon and Charles Barkley. Bold comparisons but who would argue with a confident James?
Jessica Ennis (GBR). The Brit was injured four years ago but since then has been pretty unstoppable in the Heptathlon, winning gold in the 2010 European Championship and Silver in the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. “I want it to just start now – I’d happily do it tomorrow,” said Ennis, the best ranked Heptathlete in 2012, after the Bedford International Games.
2012 London Preview
Sir Chris Hoy (GBR). The Scot is looking for his fifth Olympic gold to take him alongside his fellow Knight Bachelor, Sir Steve Redgrave. He won gold in Athens in ’04 in the 1km time trial and won three golds last time out in Beijing but a medal is not a certainty this year as the decision to see who races is down to the cycling team’s coaches. “It will come down to who the coaches think will win gold,” said Hoy before heading off to an Olympic training camp in hilly Spain. “Whoever they pick will do a great job while the other person will miss out. It’s tough but that’s always been the case. If I get the nod then that’s brilliant – I want to be in a position to defend my Olympic titles.”
Dai Greene (GBR). Welshman Dai Greene is the current European, Commonwealth and World Champion in the 400m hurdles and he’ll be desperate to add Olympic gold to his resumé this summer in London. “When you imagine yourself training in the winter, you think, ‘I want to win in London at the Olympics.’ That’s your main aim,” says Greene. “Every race is just a stepping stone on the way to the big one, the one we all want – the Olympics.”
Liu Xiang (CHN). Liu Xiang won China’s first ever Michael Phelps (USA). Swimming superstar Michael Phelps has 16 Olympic medals and needs just three more to move past Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina as the most successful Olympian of all time. He admits that he’s been lucky in his career and hints that London 2012 might be the last time he gets into his trunks for a competitive race. “I’ve been able to go to all these amazing cities in my travels and I haven’t been able to see them at all,” he said. “I see the hotel and I see the pool. That’s it. And (after the Olympics) I’m just going to go and do whatever I want to do.” So if you miss out on watching Phelps in London you could miss out on watching one of the greatest Olympians of the modern era in action for the last time.
track and field gold medal in Athens eight years ago with a stunning win in the 110m hurdles. He was the favourite in Beijing but he aggravated an Achilles injury forcing him to withdraw, much to the dismay of the home fans. Earlier this year he ran under 13 seconds for the first time since 2007 and he is in good shape ahead of the Games this summer. In June he comfortably won in Oregon with a time of 12.87s – matching the current World Record – but it did not count in the history books due to high winds. “I don’t think about breaking the World Record,” he said after the win. “I hope to keep up my good form and give full play to my training. My dream is just to stand on the Olympic track.”
Kenenisa Bekele (ETH). Reigning Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion, Kenenisa Bekele is one of the great long distance runners in history. Still only 30, he holds the World Record in both 10,000m and 5,000m and even the great Usain Bolt has stated that the Ethiopian’s achievements are not acknowledged as much as they deserve. He won the 10,000m in both Athens and Beijing and he’ll be looking to make it an unprecedented third gold this year in London. “History has a big place in my heart,” said Bekele. “It is not easy to achieve three Olympic titles, and it will be
great if I can do it. I have been thinking about it a lot.” Paavo Nurmi, Emile Zatopek, Lasse Viren and Haile Gebrselassie all won the Olympic 10,000m title twice but Bekele intends to become the first man to win it three times and says he will run both the 5,000m and the 10,000m in London so long as his form and fitness allow him to. Ominously Bekele did not lose a single 10,000m track race between 2003 and 2011.
Mo Farah (GBR). Current 5000m World Champion Mo Farah has a place on the podium in London this summer in his sights. At last year’s World Championships in Daegu Farah won gold in the 5000m and silver in 10,000m behind Ethiopian Ibrahim Jeilan and in Oregon in June Farah ran the fastest 5000m race this year, ahead of Kenenisa Bekele who was fourth in the race. However, Farah is concentrating on the 10,000m in London. “I am going to run the 10,000m because it is the first race,” he said. “I will see how I feel after that. It depends how I come off in the 10,000m. I would like to be fresh and not have any niggles. I’ll definitely put my eggs in one basket, you can’t be thinking that you want a double.” The 5000m race is seven days after the 10,000m in London. Watch this space! Mariel Zagunis (USA). Fencing is never easy, but Mariel Zagunis makes it look as easy as breathing. Gold medal winner in Athens and Beijing in the Women’s Individual Sabre, the American is the hot favourite to make it three in three this year. “I can’t believe this is already my third Olympics,” said the 27-year-old Zagunis. “I’m already planning for number four and then after that we’ll see where we go. I do a lot of sports as well as fencing and I go to a preventative physical therapist to make sure I work on the right things to ensure my body is in the best shape possible throughout the year.”
THE HOST NATION’S FINEST OLYMPIC MOMENTS: With the Olympics heading to Britain for the first time since London last hosted the Games in 1948, we take a look at some of the most memorable performances from British Olympians in recent times.
Men’s Decathlon, Moscow 1980 & Los Angeles 1984 No Brit had ever won a medal in it since the modern Decathlon had been inaugurated at the 1912 Olympics before Daley Thompson won gold at Moscow in 1980. In 1964 Great Britain didn’t bother sending an athlete to Tokyo to compete in the discipline and in 1972 its bestplaced competitor, Barry King, finished 15th. In 1976 in Montreal, Thompson, on the day of his 18th birthday, finished 18th but the American Bruce Jenner, who broke the World Record and won gold, had seen enough in the Englishman to pick him out as his most likely successor. Jenner obviously had an eye for talent as four years later Thompson was victorious in the freeze of Moscow before repeating the feat in the heat of LA in ’84.
Triple Jump, Sydney 2000 Greying 34-year-old Jonathan Edwards hadn’t won anything since 1995 and was sick with nerves before he began the final of the men’s triple jump in Sydney in 2000. After two decent jumps he was in second place and with confidence soaring through him his third leap of 17.71 metres saw him win by a huge margin of 24cm. “Building up to the big moment was excruciating and nervewracking, but for some reason as soon as I actually got on the track, it was fine,” said Edwards. “I was the World Record holder. I was the first man to pass the 18-metre mark. I had set it twice at the World Championships in Gothenburg five years earlier, first with 18.16m and then 20 minutes later with 18.29m. I knew that I would do what I needed to do, and I did it.”
Women’s 800m and 1,500m, Athens 2004 Dead last after 200m in the final of the 800m, Dame Kelly Holmes burst through the pack, and was forced to run on the outside around the last bend but dug deep down the final stretch and won by a matter of inches to take her first gold. She later won the 1,500m for a sublime double haul of gold medals. Her beaming reactions to both wins will remain lasting images in British Olympic history.
2012 London Preview
Men’s 100m, Barcelona 1992 After a false start from then World Record holder Leroy Burrell and a raised hand from a twitchy Dennis Mitchell which meant the start was delayed for a second time in the space of a 5 minutes, the Men’s 100m Final in Barcelona finally got underway at the third time of asking. Favourite Frankie Fredericks powered into an early lead but by the 50m mark Christie had accelerated into his smooth and powerful rhythm and took the advantage. It was a lead that he knew he would not relinquish and after bursting over the line he raised his arms up in relief and delight. At the age of 32 he had become the oldest winner of the men’s 100m with a time of 9.96s.
Men’s 4x100m relay, Athens 2004
The British quartet of Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis upset the odds – some say to the point of it being the biggest relay upset in Olympic history – to beat the heavily fancied USA team to gold in Greece’s capital eight years ago. Bungled baton changes had ruined Great Britain’s chances of a relay medal at the previous two Games and in Athens no individual Brit had made the final of the 100m or 200m which led to criticism from British television pundits Colin Jackson and Michael Johnson – both gold medal winners in their time. The public blasting from Jackson spurred Campbell and his team on. Just minutes after Kelly Holmes had won her second gold medal in the 1,500m, Campbell, Gardener, Devonish and Lewis-Francis walked on track for their final. They watched Holmes’ lap of honour and Campbell said to the others, “We can’t just win a medal now. It has to be gold.” Gardener false started, adding to the tension in the ranks, but the second start was OK with Gardener only narrowly behind American Shawn Crawford at the first handover. Gardener handed to Campbell who powered away alongside the Athens 100m sprint winner, USA’s Justin Gatlin, and by the next change the Brits were in command as Gatlin messed up the changeover to Coby Miller by stepping on his shoe after Miller went too soon and was forced to slow up. With Devonish receiving perfectly from Campbell he then seamlessly handed to Lewis-Francis who took a metre lead into the final 100m. Maurice Greene, himself a former 100m sprint gold medallist, bore down on the Brit toward the finish line but it wasn’t to be as Lewis-Francis hung on for the narrowest of victories – just onehundredth of a second. Cue British pandemonium in the stands as GB beat the USA.
2012 London Preview
Carl Lewis, Four gold medals, Los Angeles 1984
Carl Lewis’ performances during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles made him a household name in his homeland. Lewis had wanted to match the feat of Jesse Owens who won four golds in Berlin in 1936 and he did just that, winning the same events as his compatriot – 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and the long jump. Lewis followed up with 100m and long jump gold at Seoul ‘88, long jump and 4x100m relay gold at Barcelona ‘92 and a final long jump gold at Atlanta ‘96.
100m, 200m, 4 x100m, Beijing 2008 Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt slowed down to celebrate winning the 100m sprint and still set a sensational new World Record at 9.69s. Scientists estimate that if he hadn’t have slightly eased up and thumped his chest he could have done it in 9.55s. After that he easily knocked off the 200m and broke Michael Johnson’s World Record which had stood since 1996. Bolt became the first man to break the 100 and 200m World Records at the same Olympics before adding the 4x100m gold. Truly amazing.
5,000m, 10,000m, Marathon, Helsinki 1952 A true marathon man. Former Czech army Captain Emil Zatopek is the only ever man to win the 5,000m, 10,000m and the marathon (which, by the way, was the first time he had ever run the event) in the same Olympics in Finland in 1952. In London four years earlier Zatopek had also won the 10,000m in a World Record time, lapping all but two of the field.
400m and 200m, Atlanta 1996 Twelve years before Usain Bolt shot to Olympic notoriety the world watched, open mouthed, as Michael Johnson ran like no man had ever ran before over 200m and 400m. The American’s stunning double gold haul should not be forgotten in the wake of Bolt’s recent achievements. You could say that Bolt’s performances in Beijing four years ago were Michael Johnson-esque.
SWIMMING domination, Athens 2004 & Sydney 2008 Michael Phelps left Athens in 2004 with six gold medals around his neck including four individual medals in the 100 and 200m butterfly and the 200m and 400m medleys. He set a World Record in the 400m medley and Olympic Records in the other three. If you think that’s impressive his haul four years later in Beijing is even better – eight golds including five individual medals. In the three relay golds he helped set new World Records and he also set new World Records in four of the five Individual races. Unreal.
List of activities: Archery Athletics Badminton Basketball Beach Volleyball Boxing Canoe Slalom Canoe Spirit Cycling (BMX, Mountain Bike, Road, Track) Diving Equestrian
Fencing Football Gymnastics (Artistic, Rhythmic) Handball Hockey Judo Modern Pentathlon Rowing Sailing Shooting Swimming
Synchronised Swimming Table Tennis Taekwondo Tennis Trampoline Triathlon Volleyball Water Polo Weightlifting Wrestling
THE STADIUM THE Stadium is at the heart of the Olympic Park on an innovative â€˜islandâ€™ site which has it surrounded by waterways on three sides. Spectators will reach the venue via five bridges that link the site to the surrounding area. The flexible design of the Olympic Stadium means its 80,000 capacity can be reduced after the Games. It has a permanent lower tier with a capacity of 25,000, and a temporary steel and concrete upper tier, which holds a further 55,000 spectators, that can be dismantled after the Games. After the Games: The Stadium has been designed to be flexible enough to accommodate a number of different requirements after the London Olympics. It will be a venue for other sporting, cultural and community events while still retaining athletics at its core as it will host the 2015 IAAF World Championships.
2012 London Preview
THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE THE Olympic Village is located in the Olympic Park, within walking distance of the venues – enhancing the experience of athletes and officials who will stay there during the Games. The Olympic Village has residential apartments for around 17,000 athletes and officials during the Games, along with shops, restaurants, medical, media and leisure facilities, and large areas of open space. There are 11 residential plots, each made up of five to seven blocks built around communal squares and courtyards, with water features accentuating the closeness of the River Lea. Each apartment provides comfortable accommodation and state-of-the-art communications facilities, including internet access and wireless networking. The Village also includes a ‘Village Plaza’ where athletes can meet with friends and family in a bid to retain London’s tradition of building homes around communal squares and courtyards. After the Games, the Olympic Village will turn into essential new housing for East London as it will transform into 2,818 new homes, including 1,379 affordable homes and houses for sale and rent, and will create a new residential quarter to be known as East Village.
Key Dates Opening Ceremony: July 27th Closing Ceremony: August 12th Male athletics: August 4th – Long Jump final August 5th – 100m final August 8th –110m Hurdles final August 9th – Triple Jump final August 11th – 4x100m relay final Female athletics: August 4th – 100m final August 5th – Triple Jump final August 7th – 100m Hurdles final August 8th – Long Jump final August 10th – 4x100m relay final Cycling (track): August 2nd–7th (finals on each day) Tennis: July 28th – Aug 5th (finals on Aug 4 and 5) Boxing: July 28 –Aug 12th (finals on Aug 9, 11 and 12)
2012 London WHERE to stay
AS Olympic fever takes hold around the world, those lucky enough to get their hands on tickets will be flocking to London in their thousands this summer. Hotels, B&Bs and self catering properties will do a roaring trade and with around 2,000 establishments to choose from, visitors to the City are spoiled for choice. However, like anywhere, London’s accommodation ranges between the good, the bad and the downright ugly so the SF team have put together a selection of the best England’s capital city has to offer.
Hotel 41 41 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PS. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7300 0041 www.41hotel.com
is an absolutely delightful 5-star boutique hotel right in the heart of London, on the Royal Mews just behind Buckingham Palace. Situated in what used to be the Grand Ballroom of the equally illustrious Rubens Hotel next door, this place oozes style and charm from every pore. With rich mahogany wood paneling, large leather arm chairs, bookcases and a roaring fire awaiting you in the lobby/ sitting area you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just wandered into an old English gentleman’s club rather than a hotel. This feeling of being a privileged member of a special ‘club’ is something that will dominate your stay at Hotel 41 just as it did ours. Nothing is too much trouble here and while the 30 unique rooms and suites are decorated and kitted out to the highest of standards (there are 11 different types of pillow on offer) and luxury envelopes the entire the property, it’s the attention to detail and personal service provided by the wonderful staff that really sets 41 apart. From the moment we arrived and were presented with a complimentary glass of champagne we felt as though the whole team, from the receptionists and housekeepers to the management, really cared about making our stay an unforgettable one. Everyone knows your name and you’re free to do what you want at your own leisurely pace, be it enjoying a drink from the ‘honesty bar’, taking up the hotel’s invitation to ‘Plunder the Pantry’ with complimentary snacks each evening or opting for the late breakfast which is served until 1pm on a Sunday. Little touches like rose petals and Belgian chocolates on the bed during evening turndown, a free overnight shoe shining service and the luxury private car service all add to the 5-star experience. There’s a ratio of two staff to every guest at Hotel 41 and there’s even a pet concierge for those who bring along their four-legged friends – yes they’re welcome too – and it’s clear that every member of the team has taken the hotel’s motto of ‘Whenever Wherever’ to heart. “It’s not a traditional 5-star hotel we have here,” says General Manager Malcolm Hendry. “It’s not that grand sized hotel with big marble lobbies and imposing statues when you walk in. It’s not one of those but we believe that what one person is looking in a hotel is not necessarily what the next person is looking for. There are similarities of course but what makes a unique stay is possibly different for each person. We really emphasize communication – getting to know people without over-stepping the mark but getting to know what’s important to each guest.” One of the most interesting aspects of this hotel is the innovative Sports Buddy programme they offer. Devised by Hendry, the idea is a simple but brilliant one. We’ve all been on a holiday or business trip where we’ve quite fancied a game of tennis or football but haven’t got anyone to play with and often don’t know where to find said activity but Hotel 41 will arrange the sport of your choice and also provide you with a buddy to do it with. “Like all of our services it’s not something that is used by every guest but it’s nice to have available – I think that’s what being a luxury hotel is all about,” says Hendry. “A lot of our regulars use the Sports Buddy facility – many of our management team are decent at a particular sport so they will buddy up with a guest who wishes to do that sport – we can arrange everything from jogging in Hyde Park to 5-aside football, squash or horseriding – we’ve got most sports covered. “The great thing about doing it with managers is that they’re not on set times so they’re quite flexible and we can make sure that they’re available to buddy up with a guest if they require the service. It also gives the guests a chance to engage with the management in a social situation which helps us to make sure we’re doing everything we can to ensure their stay is an enjoyable one.” For those with Olympics tickets Hotel 41 is within easy walking distance of Horse Guards Parade where the beach volleyball tournament will take place while it’s also near to Hyde Park where the triathlon will take place. The Olympic Park and Stadium to the east of London can be easily reached via the District or Circle Line tubes or via train, bus or taxi while to the south west Wimbledon, host to the tennis events, is just a few stops on the tube. Hotel 41 is the No.1 hotel in London according to Trip Advisor and judging by our own experience of this exemplary property, it’s hard to disagree.
Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill 30 Portman Square, London, England W1H 7BH Tel: +44 20 7486 5800 www.london.churchill.hyatt.com
The Churchill is again perfectly located in the West End for events such as the triathlon at Hyde Park and the softball, baseball and mountain biking at Regents Park, both of which are walking distance. It’s also within easy striking distance of Horse Guards Parade, for the eagerly anticipated beach volleyball and Lords Cricket Ground, which will host the archery events. The Olympic Park is easily accessible on public transport or in a taxi. We stayed in a Club King room which gave us access to the private ‘Club Floor’ with its own separate check in and concierge as well as the Regency Club where a fantastic breakfast and complimentary snacks and beverages can be enjoyed throughout the day. The rooms aren’t huge but they’re big enough with everything you’d expect from a 5-star hotel – very stylishly decorated throughout, exceedingly comfortable king sized bed, high-end modern bathroom with both bath and shower, iPod docking station, large flatscreen television, Wi-Fi etc. We also had a lovely view over leafy Portman Square. Overall the hotel is beautifully appointed with striking touches such as the marble columns in the lobby, the grand chandelier lighting or the frequent art exhibitions that are hosted by the property. Away from the Olympics there’s plenty to keep you occupied right on the doorstep of The Churchill. It’s in a prime position for visiting many of London’s major landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament as well indulging in a spot of retail therapy in the exclusive shopping areas of Oxford Street, Soho and Bond Street or taking in a West End show.
On The Water Regent’s Canal London www.canopyandstars.co.uk If you’re looking to stay somewhere a little out of the ordinary but lacking nothing in quality during your visit to London this summer then look no further than this spectacular floating hotel. The custom-built converted wide beam narrow boat is moored on the Regent’s Canal on the doorstep of trendy Camden Town and upmarket Primrose Hill, home to English A-Listers like supermodel Kate Moss and actress Sienna Miller. On board is a good sized lounge/bedroom area with a large double bed, television, DVD player complete with assorted movies for a cosy night in and a comfortable sitting area. The interior is incredibly stylish and well designed with no expense spared – the bathroom is a match for any top hotel, just on a slighter smaller scale and there’s also a well stocked kitchen with coffee, snacks and fresh juice, all complimentary. On a sunny day you can relax at the seating area on deck and watch the world go by. Again it’s the small touches that make a stay here so special – we arrived to find a bottle of champagne awaiting us and were equally delighted with the fresh baked breakfast basket that was delivered to our door in the morning along with a selection of newspapers. The Olympic softball, baseball and mountain biking events are within easy reach at nearby Regents Park while to the west Wembley Stadium can be reached easily by public transport, as can the Olympic Park to the east. We loved every minute of our stay at On the Water and it would make a truly memorable base for any visitor to London this summer.
2012 London WHERE to stay
The Landmark Hotel 222 Marylebone Road London NW1 6JQ www.landmarklondon.co.uk
The Landmark is a beautiful hotel that delivers the Wow Factor and then some. One of the city’s foremost luxury hotels it first opened in 1899 when it was known as the Great Central Hotel – one of London’s last great Victorian railway hotels, situated opposite Marylebone Station. The old clock tower still forms part of this striking Gothic Revival style building which oozes quintessential English style, luxury and grandeur. The eight-story glass roofed atrium which forms the centrepiece of the hotel and greets you upon arrival is, quite literally, breathtaking. We pushed the boat out and booked one of the hotel’s 51 suites and to say it was large would be something of an understatement – we could’ve brought half the Olympic team along with us! There are six different categories of suites ranging from one to three bedroom, while each features king-sized beds, 42 inch flatscreen televisions with DVD player, Nespresso coffee machines, iHome systems, private bars and luxurious white Italian marble en-suite bathrooms. We had a 750 square foot Corner Executive suite which provided a wonderful base for our stay. We dined in the Winter Garden restaurant during our stay, which is located on the ground floor beneath the stunning, towering atrium, and sampled such delights as Cornish crab lasagna and Rack of Cotswold Lamb, which were absolutely delicious. The Spa and Health Club is one of the standout facilities on offer at The Landmark and offers a real sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of central London. There are a huge range of treatments available from a team of expert therapists who will have you feeling 100% in no time after a busy day watching sport or sightseeing. The hotel staff couldn’t be more helpful and friendly. The Landmark is on Marylebone Road in between Hyde Park and Regents Park so, again, handy for the events taking place at those venues and not too far from Horse Guards Parade. It’s also very close to Lords Cricket Ground for the archery while a short train ride from Marylebone Station will get you to Wembley Stadium for the football. You’re also in a prime location for many of the major tourists hotspots while the Olympic Park in East London is within fairly east reach on public transport or by taxi.
Div e in He me ’s on a n da l e o f Co d he hop Team e ex le. Ia lov s, h GB t pin rao in R es ic e’s a ’s big -up rd ich e cr Tw ge To ina ard eam it te st r m Da y c a s o n a n r a d d c d le y. reer har Che ic t r o f ts d i v t h e yl ing
NE of the biggest stars on Great Britain’s Olympic Team will be 18-year-old diving sensation Tom Daley. The preciously talented Englishman has done more than any other athlete before him to raise the profile of diving in the host nation since bursting onto the international scene as a 13-year-old when he became the youngest ever winner of the European Championships. Having secured his place on Team GB with a comfortable victory in the 10m platform at the British Championships in Sheffield in June, beating nearest challenger – his synchronized diving partner Pete Waterman – by 100 points, the young star is full of confidence heading into the summer showpiece. “I’m diving at the moment the best I have throughout my career,” says Daley who scored 547 points in the individual trials and also secured his place in the synchronized event alongside Waterfield after the pair broke their previous best by more than 15 points with a score of 475.77. “I’m loving my diving at the moment. Knowing that I’m diving well going to an Olympic Games is a really nice feeling. I just have to maintain it. I’m going into each competition knowing I can perform and score a 10. It’s just about doing it on the day.” Daley, who won his second European Championship title earlier this year and also claimed overall gold in the four-leg World Series – which began in Dubai in March – has become big news in the UK, and the spotlight has been on him like never before over the past 12 months with the Olympics taking place in his own backyard. He was criticised at the beginning of the year by British Diving Performance Director Alexei Evangulov who suggested the young star was spending too much time on media commitments and putting his Olympic dream at risk.
new dives The comments stemmed largely from a disappointing performance by Daley at the World Championships last year when he finished fifth and Evangulov seemed to be proved right when, just a week after publicly slating the youngster, Daley and Waterfield finished seventh at the World Cup in London. However, the Englishman believes the result at the World Championships – a tournament he won in 2009 – was down to the fact that he introduced four new dives so that he could perfect them in time for the Olympics while the World Cup was simply too early in this season’s schedule for the pair to be at the peak of their powers. “I raised my degree of difficulty by a lot (at the Worlds) and it was one of those things where I just had to use them at a World Championships to get the experience before the Olympic Games,” Daley says. “It is difficult to try things out before going into an Olympic year but you have to do it if you want to be up there in the medals. “I think for me at the World Cup, it was always going to be a little bit rusty. There were new dives in there, it
was a big competition and we just had a bad day, but since then I’ve been working hard and focusing on my individual stuff as well as the synchro stuff and it’s just got better and better more and more consistent.” After capping a series of top level performances by securing his place on Team GB Daley has delivered the perfect riposte to any doubts about his dedication. “I know I’ve been training as hard as I can for the last year,” he says. “I know I haven’t missed any training sessions. It was good to prove a point. I have been working hard and it shows in my performances this year.” Daley’s qualification for his home Olympics was made all the more emotional by the fact that the Sheffield pool in which the National Championships took place was the last venue his long supporting father, Robert, had seen him compete. Robert had travelled around the world with his son watching him in competition but sadly lost his long battle with brain cancer last year. “It’s great to know that I have qualified and he will be proud of what I have done,” Daley said after securing his place for London 2012. “It feels great to actually win here in front of my mum and my brothers, obviously it is sad that my dad is not here.”
Beijing Boost Despite his young age, Daley has already been competing for nine years and in that time he’s won almost every major honour possible, mostly by beating divers much older than himself. Among his achievements are two European Championship golds, two Commonwealth Games golds and a World Championship gold. But the one he’s been dreaming about for as long as he can remember is the Olympic Games. He picked up some valuable experience in the event when he travelled to Beijing in 2008 as part of Team GB at just 14 years old, attracting a great deal of global attention in the process. He didn’t win a medal but he took seventh place in the individual event and eighth place alongside then partner Blake Aldridge in the synchro. “I think it helps massively to have been able to compete in the Olympics in Beijing,” he says. “I’ve gained the experience of being at one. If I hadn’t gone there (Beijing), it could have been a little bit overwhelming, being at home and all.” Tom will undoubtedly carry a great weight of expectation on his young shoulders this summer – being one of the host nation’s key medal hopes – but it’s something he now feels perfectly comfortable with. “It’s something that you get used to. I’ve done this from a very young age and I enjoy the pressure,” he says. “It makes you rise to the occasion and want to do well. All I can do is focus on what I’m doing and try my best. I’m really excited and a little bit scared.” Nerves are something that all divers have to learn to deal with and at one stage in Tom’s career, when he was 11 years old, they almost caused him to walk away from the sport he loves. “They call it Lost Move Syndrome,” he says. “You stand on the board and completely freeze. You’re so scared, you can’t even walk to the end. And you think: ‘This sport
isn’t for me.’ But my coach worked with me and we got back on track. It happens to everyone at some point, so it’s about dealing with it the best way you can.” He’s now developed a mental process that he goes through prior to each dive to ensure that he is fully composed. “My routine is that halfway up, at 5m, I visualize my dive. I cover my eyes with the chamois, the little towel I use to dry myself with, and visualize the dive as if I’m doing it, so by the time I get up to 10m, I’ve done the dive before in theory,” says Tom, who also revealed that immediately after a completion he has to indulge in his guilty pleasure – ice cream. “Fab ice lollies are my favourite choice.” The Plymouth born diver’s main rival for gold in London will come in the shape of current World Champion 19-year-old Qiu Bo – a native of diving superpower China who created history last year when he scored a record 25 perfect 10s at the FINA World Series and a total of 609.20 points. But unlike Daley, Bo has never competed at the Olympics before and the youngster feels this could work in his favour. “The pressure is going to be massive for everyone,” he says. “It comes down to whoever deals with it the best. Qiu Bo has never been to an Olympic Games, so he’s not going to know what it’s like. There will be a lot of pressure on him, because he’s the favourite and from China. And, gradually, everyone’s scores around the world are getting higher and higher and therefore, closer to him.” When Daley does fulfill his dream of competing in front of a home crowd this summer it would, eerily, mark the realisation of a vision he had 10 years ago which he drew as a picture in his diary. “It’s something I drew before London 2012 was announced, as host city,” he explained. “It was one of the candidate cities. I drew a picture of me doing a handstand on a diving board with the Olympic rings. It said: ‘London 2012. My ambition.’ Scary!” Whether or not he beats Bo to gold this summer Daley is already well on his way to becoming a superstar in his homeland and his army of fans includes almost 250,000 followers on social networking site Twitter, something which he admits, “blows my mind.” But the burden of fame is one that he carries easily and he will be hoping the huge support he receives this summer can fire him to glory. “It’s nice to know that the British public is behind you going into the Olympics. That’s something that makes you dive well.” Barely into his adult years, he’s already realised many of his dreams but there’s one burning ambition Tom is yet to fulfill…a date with pop star Cheryl Cole. “She is just so sexy and my type... I would take her for a hot air balloon ride that ended with a BBQ on the beach in the sunset,” he smiles. “It’s not very glamorous, but I think she might like a change.” He’s already proved that he has a special knack of accomplishing what he sets out to achieve so don’t be surprised if you see Tom Daley flying over London in a big red balloon this summer, Cheryl Cole by his side and a gold medal around his neck. n
Tom’s Golden Journey l Started swimming at age 3, moved on to diving at 7. l Began competing in National and regional tournaments in 2003 and frequently won gold medals in his age group by a comfortable margin. l A month after turning 10, in 2004, he won the National Junior competition in the under-18 category becoming the youngest diver to achieve the feat. l In 2006 he made the qualification mark for the Commonwealth Games but wasn’t selected due to the fact that he would only have been 12 during the competition. l Also in 2006 he won under-18 British Championships for both platform and 3m springboard and the following year he was second in the senior version of the event in the 10m platform. l In 2007 when still only 12, he was given special dispensation to compete in the Australian Youth Olympics as part of Team GB. Despite being three years below the minimum age of 15, he showed his class by claiming the silver medal in the 10 m synchro event alongside Callum Johnstone and placing fourth in the individual standings. l The following year he became, at 13, the youngest senior British and European Champion and having qualified for the Beijing Olympics he joined Team GB as a fresh faced 14 year-old. It was in China that the world’s spotlight really began to shine on the youngster. However he didn’t win a medal, finishing seventh in the individual event and eighth alongside partner Blake Aldridge. l In 2009 Tom became World Champion after taking the gold medal in Rome. l In 2010 he took the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games with partner Max Brick in the synchro and added individual gold in the 10m platform. l In 2011 he began competing with new partner Pete Waterfield after some success early in the season the pair finished a disappointing sixth place in the synchro at the World Championships while Tom took fifth place in the individual competition as Chinese rival Qui Bo takes top honours. l 2012 ...will this be the year that Tom strikes Olympic gold?
Get set for the lightning
B O L T
Iian Richardson talks exclusively to the fastest man in history, Usain Bolt, as he prepares to light up London this summer.
SAIN St Leo Bolt is no ordinary human being. There is very little about the man and his spectacular career that you could ever call ‘normal’. For starters there’s his towering 6ft 5in frame – much taller than the ideal height for a sprinter of 5ft 11in – 6ft 1in. Then there’s the fact that he’s broken every record in his sport over 100m and 200m despite suffering from a back condition known as scoliosis – a curvature of the spine which causes one leg to be shorter than the other. And the fact that it all just looks so easy. To witness the laidback, playful antics of Bolt prior to getting on the blocks in the biggest events on the planet you’d think he was the least committed athlete of all time – there to party rather than create history. But then he, inevitably, goes and blows them all away. When he cleaned up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with three golds in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay Bolt did so while fuelling himself largely on a diet of chicken nuggets. That’s not normal. Watch his World Records of 9.58s in the 100m and 19.19s in 200m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin – the images are not those of a man running flat out at the limit of his capabilities. There’s still something left in the tank and the prospect of him running a sub 9.4s or a sub 19.00s in London this summer is a very real one. Scary and definitely not normal. But the Jamaican superstar hasn’t had it all his own way and he’ll be pushed to the limit this summer by his training partner, 22 year-old Yohan ‘The Beast’ Blake, who beat Bolt in both 100m and 200m Olympic trials in June and also won the world title in Daegu last year when Bolt was disqualified for a false start. Then there’s long term rivals Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell to consider. Bolt will have to produce an exceptional performance to keep the chasing pack at bay but if there’s one thing he specialises in, it’s the exceptional.
SF: How are your preparations for the Olympics going – you’ve already run 9.79s in the 100m this season and you said you want to ‘stun the world’ this summer. Are you on course to do that and do you think you can run 9.4s? UB: I want to put on a good show for the fans in London. Things are going well at the moment and preparations are on course. I don’t talk about times. At the end of the day I just want to wow people after this Olympics so I’m looking forward to it.
gives me a good race. When Tyson was beating me early on, we were friends, and then, when I started beating him, everything went the opposite way. He didn’t talk to me that much. I guess he’s just one of those athletes who always wants to be winning!
SF: What about Yohan Blake, he beat you in the Olympic trials – how much of a threat will he be in London? UB: Yohan is running well and already posted good times in 100m and 200m. I expect him to be a contender in London. I have to figure out what I did wrong in the trials and work on it. I’m the Olympic champion, I have to show the world that I’m the best.
SF: What would represent the perfect London 2012 Olympic Games for you personally? UB: Winning gold medals. If I dominate the Olympics, I’ll be a living legend. A living legend walking around. Sounds good!
SF: There are a lot of Jamaicans in London, are you looking forward to having such great ‘home’ support and what do you think of London as a host city for the Games? UB: I am really looking forward to it and I hope a lot of Jamaicans got tickets. I think it will be a great Olympic Games. I haven’t competed in London for a while so I’m really looking forward to it. SF: Talk about your rivalry with Tyson Gay – you guys seem quite different characters – do you talk away from the track and do you think he dislikes you because you usually beat him? UB: Tyson is a great athlete but he has been sidelined unfortunately with injury. When he is healthy he always
SF: Was it true that the reason behind your split from your girlfriend was so that you could focus on your preparations for the Olympics? UB: I think newspapers like to make up stories!
SF: You’ve achieved so much in your career, where do your Olympic gold medals stand in your list of accomplishments? UB: The World Championships is important but the Olympics is the pinnacle.” Growing up all you think about is the Olympics. Even in basketball, they always want to win an Olympic gold. SF: What are your ambitions after the Olympics – how long do you think you will carry on in the sport and how much more can you achieve? UB: I plan to run until the 2017 World Championships and will try to keep winning medals. I am only 25 years old now. SF: What do you want your lasting legacy in the sport to be – when people think of you after you’ve gone, how do you want them to remember you?
UB: I want to be remembered as a legend and the world’s fastest man. SF: Was it true you ate mainly chicken nuggets in Beijing 2008 and do you place much importance on diet and nutrition these days? UB: I try to eat a healthy diet now. I did eat a lot of nuggets in Beijing but these days I tend to have a more balanced diet. SF: Jamaica has a great history of fast sprinters – why do Jamaicans run so fast? UB: We have a lot of talent for sprinting, good coaches, good weather and a sprinting culture. SF: Sprinting has pretty much become the national sport in Jamaica – you must be proud to have played your part in that? UB: The country is really happy to see all the athletes training there, they can shake our hands, take pictures, so it’s wonderful for the country. It’s a great feeling people want to be like you because when you’re growing up you want to be like someone else. So I know how it feels and it gives you that warmth inside to continue working hard and to set a great example for the kids. It’s going to be good for Jamaica if we can set a trend because this year is our 50th anniversary so it would be a great birthday present. SF: You’re much taller than the supposed ideal height for a sprinter – has this ever hindered you or do you use it to your advantage? UB: I think my height makes it more difficult at the start but once I get going I have a long stride and can cover the ground well.
45 “The country is really happy to see all the athletes training there, they can shake our hands, take pictures, so it’s wonderful for the country. It’s a great feeling people want to be like you because when you’re growing up you want to be like someone else. So I know how it feels and it gives you that warmth inside to continue working hard and to set a great example for the kids. It’s going to be good for Jamaica if we can set a trend because this year is our 50th anniversary so it would be a great birthday present.”
Bolt might just need to better the World Record time of 9.58s he set in Berlin in 2009 (left) if he’s to keep his dancing partner Yohan ‘The Beast’ Blake (above) at bay in London.
SF: What about the condition you suffer from scoliosis – how has that hindered you and how have you coped with it and still produce such a natural stride and great speed? UB: I do back exercises to keep the muscles strong. I don’t have any problems with it at the moment. It never bothered me as a kid. It was only when I turned professional. My first year it went crazy because of the work and the pressure it was under. I started pulling my hamstrings and then I got checked out with x-rays and they told me the problem. They said it was scoliosis. I now have to do back exercises three times a week to get my strength on. SF: You were always pretty sporty as a kid weren’t you? What made you decide to focus your attentions on athletics rather than cricket or football? UB: Well my cricket teacher saw that I was fast when I was playing cricket and he advised me to try athletics. SF: You’re someone who always likes to have fun as well as compete and you seem to enjoy what you do – was there a time when you were younger and first starting out in athletics you perhaps didn’t take it seriously enough, joked around, partied too much etc? UB: Ah, I don’t want to talk about the old days! I was really bad, because I wasn’t really focused yet. I’d go all night. But I never got drunk. I don’t do drunk. I’ve always tried to have fun no matter what I am doing. I think I have the balance right now though. SF: While all your competitors look super-serious and focused on the track pre-race – you’re always smiling, looking relaxed, laughing – how do you
manage to do this and yet still produce such a focused perfectly run race? UB: It is just my personality. I don’t think being serious helps me run fast so I just relax and have fun. Back in the day, these guys were so tense, and then you make mistakes. So I have to let everything flow – that’s my way. SF: Is it important to you to let your hair down, party etc and enjoy yourself when you’re not competing, once you’ve done the job on the track? UB: As I said before it is all about finding the balance between hard work and fun.§ SF: Do you enjoy training? UB: Sometimes I do and sometimes it is very hard. SF: Do you come from a sporty family (are any of your family fast sprinters) what’s the secret to your phenomenal speed – nature or nurture? UB: My brother plays cricket but nobody else in my family is fast. SF: How big a breakthrough was winning the World Junior Championships in 2002 – describe your nerves at that event when you put your spikes on the wrong feet – and how did that race change the way you dealt mentally with big races, in terms of nerves, how relaxed you are etc? UB: That was the biggest moment in my career at that time so I was very nervous. To win in front of my home fans meant a lot and that is why I have no problems running in front of fans in another country. After winning in front of my home crowd, I thought, ‘How
can I ever worry again?’ I’ve been relaxed ever since. SF: Have there been occasions when you’ve been accused of using drugs to become so fast and is this frustrating for you when you know how hard you’ve worked to get where you are? UB: I have been asked this question before but people who have seen me from a young age have seen that I was born with a lot of talent and have worked hard to win clean. SF: What goes through your mind during a race? UB: Just to execute the race the way my coach wants me to. SF: I’ve heard you describe yourself as lazy before – is that true and how quick could you go if you REALLY knuckled down? UB: I am not lazy when it comes to training – I work hard when it matters. SF: You’d like to play football competitively wouldn’t you? How high a level could you play at and what’s your best position? UB: I enjoy football and I definitely think I’m good enough to be a contender. I could play for Manchester United because I’m quick and I have a little skills – I’d have to refine it a little I’m a midfielder. SF: You’re said to be a fan of Ruud Van Nistelrooy – you must be sad that he’s retired – what did you admire about him as a player? UB: I like the way he scored goals and it was him who first attracted me to support Manchester United. n
BOLT FACTOIDS n One of Usain’s all-time heroes was Jamaican track star Herb McKenley. McKenley was in his 80s when he passed away in 2007. n
Usain was offered track scholarships by several US schools but chose to live and train
in his home country.
n By the age of 16, Usain had surpassed the times Michael Johnson had recorded at age 19. n In 2004 Usain ran the 200 metres in 19.93 seconds. No junior sprinter had ever broken
the 20-second barrier.
n Usain’s world record time in 2008 in Beijing was achieved despite a slight headwind. n Usain was awarded the Order of Distinction by Jamaica for his 2008 Olympic accomplishments. n Usain ran in a pair of golden Pumas during the 2008 Olympics. n When Usain crossed the finish line for his 2008 Olympic victory in the 100 metres,
his shoelace was untied.
n Usain’s dad attributes his son’s speed to “Yam Power.” Usain also admits to loving chicken nuggets. n After the 2008 Olympics Usain donated $50,000 to the children of Sichuan Province who suffered
in the earthquakes of that year.
n Usain’s 19.40 in the 200 metres at the 2011 World Championships was the fastest time ever
for a non-world record.
In 2011, Usain attended the UEFA Champions League Final as the guest of Manchester United.
He said he wanted a trial with the Red Devils after he retires from running.
n The British Olympic Committee received over a million ticket requests for this summer’s
100 metres final on August 5th —enough to fill the 40,000-seat stadium more than 25 times.
In 2012, Usain impersonated Sir Richard Branson in a Virgin Media ad promoting its
fast broadband service.
n Usain is a hardcore video gamer. He often plays Call Of Duty: Black Ops online.
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EXPECTANT EXERCISING Fitness First’s Corporate Wellness Manager Hisem Hagras explains how it’s not only possible to keep your fitness goals on track while expecting a baby, it can also been beneficial to the pregnancy. Q: Can I really exercise while I am pregnant? A: After you’ve cleared it with your doctor a properly prescribed exercise programme during pregnancy is indeed beneficial for a mother and poses no risk for the developing foetus. Exercise in general may enhance labour and delivery, and may reduce the chance of any pregnancyassociated medical problems. Q: What should I be aware of when exercising during pregnancy? A: During pregnancy no exercise should be performed in the supine position after the fourth month. Target heart rate should not exceed 140 bpm (beats per minute). Avoid exercises that incorporate extreme flexed or extended joint positions. Joints are looser in the latter part of pregnancy. Also avoid jumping movements due to joint and tissue laxity. It is important to maintain the current fitness levels during pregnancy and not try to increase or improve them.
Q: What type of exercises should I perform? A: Upper body exercise has been shown to increase fitness and strength for women who find floor exercise too strenuous. Using heavy hands or light weights to music may be beneficial in producing a desired training effect. Again, after the fourth month avoid the bench press and use incline press instead. Use basic exercises – lat pull downs, dumbbell flies, and biceps curls. Avoid T-bar rows, squats and sit up crunches.
Q: What about my overall fitness goals? What should I aim for? A: The most important concept of exercise during pregnancy is the concept of training to tolerance. The issue of improving strength or pushing yourself to the point of pain is not medically advisable and should not be attempted. Therefore, a programme should emphasise toning and body awareness during the stages of pregnancy when hormonal responses may have an effect on body performance, and the change in the abdominal area makes movements more difficult.
Q: Does the weather or the overall temperature affect my exercise? A: Exercise should not be performed in hot, humid weather. Don’t hold your breath during exercise. If necessary, palpate (feel) the abdominal area during strenuous exercise. If the uterus is hard, indicating a possible uterine contraction, stop exercise until the uterus is relaxed.
Exercise programmes can be safe and effective if medical concerns are addressed every time a pregnant woman trains.
Lisa Hancox Programme Coordinatior for the Fitness First Swim Academy and partner at Desert Sport Services. SF: How long have you been involved in the health and fitness industry? LH: I’ve been involved in the industry and teaching for 17 years. SF: What is it about coaching that you love? LH: I love helping others develop their understanding of the water no matter what their age or ability. Swimmers should learn to relax and understand the water first – it’s a great environment to exercise in once a swimmer develops an understanding of the water. Swimming is a whole body exercise developing and toning all areas of the body this whole body idea is also the best way for more advanced swimmers to develop their strokes and technique further. SF: What have been your most memorable moments/ success stories? LH: Where to start! Over the years I’ve taught many swimmers of all ages and abilities. However there are a few specific cases that spring to mind: l A nine-year-old boy who swam with me found his love for swimming and he gained a scholarship into one of the top schools for swimming in the UK – his goal is the next Olympics! l James was a five-year-old who had never had a shower or been in a swimming pool because his mother was petrified of water after she was in an accident as a child. After his third lesson he followed other swimmers in the group to the showers and began to love the water! l An adult came to swim in our adult sessions. After seven months he joined our fitness sessions and now comfortably swims all four strokes swimming approximately 2 to 2.5 kms in each session. SF: What’s the No.1 tip you can give to people interested in improving their swimming technique? LH: Slow down and relax in the water – people try to fight the water but it is a natural environment that is almost 800 times more dense than air. Once a swimmer realises they can’t over power the water they are better off out smarting it. Utilizing it’s properties can be great for fun and fitness! If you’re interested in joining the Fitness First Swim Academy you can register online at www.desertsportservices.com
PURMOTION COMES TO FITNESS FIRST FITNESS First Middle East is continuing its dedication to bringing its members the very latest innovations aimed at helping them to achieve their fitness goals with the launch of a revolutionary new training system called Purmotion. The system, which was developed by five-time Olympian Jorge Bonnet, is a unique approach to strength and conditioning. It works using the philosophy that the human body was designed to work and move as an integrated unit – performing multi-directional movements such as pushing, pulling, locomotion, level changes, rotation or a combination thereof. Individuals will elicit higher levels of work capacity and performance if such movements are performed at high-intensity and on their feet! Rather than using cardio machines or selectorized weight machines the Purmotion Functional Training Station, now available at Fitness First Motor City, uses pulleys, bars, ropes and certain weights to help you produce smooth, flowing movements at high intensity to simultaneously build cardio, stamina and strength while teaching the body to perform in an integrated and coordinated way. Smooth, flowing movement is efficient movement… this means it requires less time and/or effort
to accomplish the same goal. Purmotion has been proven to produce superior results than traditional training methods for both professional athletes and regular fitness enthusiasts. Dr Perry Nickelston, who runs fitness website www.stopchasingpain.com says: “The smarter you move, the better you feel, the better you
First Middle East, said: “My goals are to give the customer the greatest experience possible through continued innovation and through highly motivated staff. “When exercise is fun, lasting healthy lifestyle habits can be established and obesity, cardiovascular disease and other lifestyle illnesses
“My goals are to give the customer the greatest experience possible through continued innovation and through highly motivated staff.” – George Flooks, Chief operating Officer, Fitness First Middle East
perform and the more body fat you burn by optimizing muscular endurance with reduced fatigue thresholds. “For all levels of fitness, athletics and rehabilitation the Purmotion station is a MUST HAVE secret weapon! Once you use a PurMotion you will never want to go back to ‘old school’ machine exercises again.” George Flooks, Chief Operating Officer, Fitness
can be prevented or reduced. “I work hard to make sure fitness, innovation and wellness are part of my company’s culture. We have recently introduced TUFF, Swing Yoga, and now Purmotion to our clubs to cater for the demand in the market and to lead the way in the fitness industry in the Middle East. This is all part of our member promise of creating the best member experience possible.” n
YOGA AND RAMADAN
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Fitness First’s Yoga Manager Peewee Sanchez discusses how yoga can be practiced perfectly healthily during the month of Ramadan THERE is a lot of debate about whether yoga can be practiced during the month of Ramadan, where one is nil oral for a period of 12 to 14 hours. Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni, a Persian philosopher and scientist of the 11th century, had translated from Sanskrit into Arabic the yogasūtras of Patañjali, entitled Ketāb Bātanjal (the book of Patañjali), which is an example of the prevalence of yoga in the Islamic community in the early ages. n Salah for the Mind, Body, and Soul Every movement and position of Salah has a direct impact on body, such as an increase in blood flow and muscle tone and the relief of stress and toxins. The positions involved in Salah like standing for prayers, bowing, prostration, Postural reflex, sitting and finishing Salah resemble the Tadasana, Samakonasana, Vajrasana and Yogamudrasna. This cycle of movements helps the metabolism by creating negative suction pressure to the abdominal organs by the virtue of these poses, sujud (lowering the head below the heart by forward bending) during the Salah is equal to a half Sirasana (head stand) which nourishes the brain with fresh oxygenated blood. According to the American Heart Association there is scientific evidence that the activities during Salah have long term health benefits to the heart. n Ramadan and Yoga Ayurveda the twin sister of yoga says, “Langanam parama oushadam,” which literally means ‘fasting is the best medicine.’ The first line of treatment described in the ailments of stomach and fever according to Ayurveda is fasting. When the fuel wood is withdrawn, the fire comes down – just as when food is
stopped the body and mind will become light and will not be raging, giving the best time to think of God and benevolent thoughts. Fasting during Ramadan teaches selfrestraint (Taqwaa) and in yoga the principles focus on Yama and Niyama (dos and don’ts) which is exactly what Taqwaa is about.
n Can you do yoga during fasting? Yoga is not a mere physical exercise, it’s a complete way of life. If you’re puzzled over practicing yoga during fasting, remember yoga is going to help you to master your mind in attaining Taqwaa on your fast. Yoga gives a good control over your senses thereby making fasting a perfect time to practice it. Moreover yoga is an anaerobic type of physical activity. Design your yoga practice well, avoiding dynamic movements and including calming poses and breathing exercises which focuses on the mind and soul. Scientific studies have proved that neither body weight nor body composition are influenced by Ramadan fasting. Fasting helps cardiovascular disease, arthritis, asthma, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, ulcers, and digestive disorders, lupus, skin problems (including cysts, tumors and kidney stones). Even quitting smoking and obesity respond favorably to fasting. n Yoga sequences during fasting All non intense yoga is recommended during fasting. Sun salutations of low intensity with adequate intervals between poses is highly advised, there are few breathing practices and poses which help the body mechanism to function regularly during fasting.
n Alternate nostril breathing A simple breathing practice which helps you calm your mind and gives you good control over the mind, this also helps to regulate your temperature. Sit in any cross-legged posture with spine straight and shoulders relaxed. The left palm is on the left knee, right nostril is closed with right thumb inhaling deep through the left nostril. Closing the left nostril with the right ring finger exhale slowly from the right, then, keeping the left nostril still closed inhale from the right. Now close the right nostril with right thumb and exhale from the left. This is one round of practice; continue for seven, 14 or 21 rounds.
n Forward bend sequence A backward bend produces heat in the body and all forward bending – like the forehead to knee pose - gives cooling to the body systems. The forward bend relaxes the heart and helps the metabolism by creating a negative suction pressure to the abdominal organs. Sequences of forward bending help the heart to pump the blood to the brain giving good control over the mind. Yoga aims to balance the body in order to still the mind, so cooling forward bends are perfect during the heat of summer while you are fasting.
n Forward fold – standing This has an even greater effect that a seated forward fold and helps to energise the heart, while focusing on keeping your gives you good concentration and determination. n Hip openers The pigeon pose – this helps to relax the tension in the hips, flexing the pelvis and releasing the tension in the lower back. This pose also helps to control the craving to eat by controlling your third chakra.
n Wide legged pose (upavista konasana) Opening the legs wide in a seated pose and stretching the back of the thighs, not only helps to release the tension in the hips but also helps you to cool the body. Raising the arms to attempt the forward fold further activates your digestive system and helps it function normally.
n Half shoulders standing variation (ardhva sarvangasana) The name literally means “posture of the complete body” and is often referred in yoga as Queen of all asanas. Lie on the back with your arms closer to the body, palms facing to the roof. Slowly lift both the legs, lifting the lower back and supporting the mid back with your palms, so that the weight of the body is supported by
the head, neck, shoulders and upper arms. Going against the gravity this pose focuses all the energy and blood supply to the throat activating the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The thyroid gland regulates many metabolic processes, including growth and energy use. Thus your hormonal health is very well maintained by practicing this pose regularly.
n It’s important to understand that there is no harm in practicing yoga during Ramadan as it is in no way going to disturb your energy levels. But be particular with what poses you are choosing for your practice and always discuss it with your instructor. Yoga gives you good control over your mind, body and emotions to achieve the goal of Taqwaa during your fast.
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SMOOTHIES are a great way of fueling your body for a workout, providing the perfect blend of protein, carbs and vitamins which are absorbed quickly without leaving you feeling bloated. BREAKFAST is one of the most important meals of the day and this Breakfast Smoothie will kick-start your metabolism, give you energy for the day ahead and keep you full until lunch-time – not to mention providing a healthy injection of vitamins and minerals. Ingredients ½ Cup Rolled Oats 200 ml Skimmed Milk 100 ml Greek Yogurt ½ cup Mixed Berries (Strawberry and Blueberry) 1 Banana 1 Scoop Whey protein 3 Cubes Ice Method Blend to a smooth consistency for about 30 seconds Why is this a good choice for breakfast? Oats and oatmeal are a ready source of dietary fibre and contain slow release carbs keeping you full for longer and giving you energy. Greek yogurt is high in proteins. One banana has 11% of the RDA of dietary ﬁbre and only about 108 calories. The ﬁbre in bananas not only keeps digestion regular, but also helps maintain low blood sugar and curbs overeating. The berries provide a dose of anti oxidants. Blueberries are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, as well as B vitamins, fibre and vitamins C, E and K. Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C, folate, fibre and B-vitamins also packs phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as phenols, which give strawberries heart-protecting, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Whey protein helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis after exercise to reduce muscle damage and improve endurance and is an easily digested, high quality protein to provide additional energy throughout the day.
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MEET THE FITNESS FIRST TEAM
RIO NUNGA GROUP EXERCISE MANAGER
SF: Tell us about your specialist role within Fitness First and what it entails? RN: As Group Exercise (GX) Manager my job involves managing the studio timetable, providing the most popular classes for our members based on their feedback, promoting GX to all members and encouraging new members to be a part of the excitement of GX through running monthly events. I also mentor and coach new instructors to become a part of our team and constantly ensuring the quality of the classes provided to members through regular quality control checks. SF: Why are you interested in Group Exercise? RN: GX is a great way to achieve results with like minded people around you. Being the instructor, I love to see members achieve results and I love helping them to go further than they can alone. I enjoy the atmosphere created in the studio and group environment. SF: What are your proudest achievements in your career? RN: Being selected to be on the Les Mills Training Team for Body Jam and choreographing the ‘Thriller’ dance for Fitness First’s most recent outdoor dance event. SF: How can Group Exercise be of benefit to Fitness First members? RN: By getting involved in GX, members are open to a huge variety of classes (some exclusive to Fitness First) GX classes
provide a great atmosphere full of fun and motivation and show the real social side to being a part of a gym. GX is a great way to make new friends, get fit, and have fun at the same time. SF: How can Fitness First members interested in Group Exercise area get involved? RN: Copies of our timetables are available in all our clubs, members just need to register for their classes 30 mins before they commence and then let the instructor know it’s their first time so they can assist them. If members would like more information or advice on classes they can speak to the GX Manager or Instructor in the club. SF: What is your background in the industry and how did you become involved with Fitness First? RN: I trained as a physiotherapist and from this I became interested in becoming a Personal Trainer and then my interest shifted towards GX. I have worked in the Philippines and Kuwait before moving to Dubai as a PT and GX instructor. I worked for Fitness First in the Philippines and was recruited for Dubai by a colleague already working over here. SF: Were you sporty and fit as a child or did you come to it later in life? RN: As a child I played basketball, volleyball and softball and spent my remaining spare time roller-blading, biking and occasionally trekking.
FITNESS FIRST SUCCESS STORIES
ASIYA GETS TUFF ON HEALTH PROBLEMS DUBAI-based Asiya Khan was overweight, border-line diabetic and suffered from high blood pressure prior to listening to the concerns of her husband and doctor and joining Fitness First. The 36-year-old enrolled in Futuro TUFF group exercise classes and six months later she’s transformed her life, losing six kilos in weight, gaining more energy and getting over her health problems.
Member at: DIFC Achievement: Lost 30kg and 20% body fat. “Ten months ago I started training with Personal Trainer Ivan Djordjevic and as a result of his expertise, talent, support and relentless dedication to my health and fitness goals, I have lost 30kg in weight and reduced my percentage body fat by an amazing 20%, from 46% to 26%. It has been a constant struggle to lose weight over several years which has also been hindered by health issues. I have had several personal trainers in the UK, Dubai and Europe with limited success and have taken part in fitness programmes that did not meet my requirements. I am now at the healthiest weight, and in the best physical shape, I have ever been in thanks to Ivan’s structured training programme which has changed and developed as my weight has reduced and my health has improved. Ivan is professional, reliable and he sets out with very clear goals and expectations for the month ahead. The goals are challenging but he has the ability and talent to gain one’s commitment to achieve the desired results. Ivan’s training sessions are hard and my fitness levels could not have been achieved without his dedication and skilled training techniques. The sessions are fun and never repetitive, especially as my attention span is limited at 6am in the morning! I was a size 28 and I am now wearing size 14 which is an absolute delight, as Ivan’s training sessions have also targeted specific training requirements for my body shape. He also expects you to follow a healthy diet which was one of my biggest challenges and I complete a weekly diet plan which we review together every week. I have 9kg to lose, which I’m close to achieving, totaling a loss of 39kg in weight. All my health issues have gone and I now take great pleasure incorporating a fitness regime within my daily routine. Ivan’s support has been invaluable and I could not have done this without him. I would like to thank Ivan for his support and dedication to helping my life changing results.
SF: What were your diet habits and lifestyle like before you began attending Futuro TUFF classes at Fitness First? AK: I used to eat everything, carbs, ice cream and didn’t exercise much. SF: What made you decide you needed to do something about your weight? AK: My spouse and doctors’ concerns convinced me that I needed to change. SF: Explain what Futuro TUFF classes involve? AK: They use interval fitness training – sometimes using weights, sometimes not. They’re great fun and really effective. SF: Do you find the classes tough (excuse the pun) and was it hard to last the whole class at the beginning? AK: Yes in the beginning, but over a period of time it was OK. The classes brought weight loss results quickly. You use all the muscles in your body so it’s a great all-round workout which is very effective for losing weight. My health is much better now and I’ve far more energy! SF: How much do you weigh now? AK: 73kg, I’ve lost six kgs. I’m focusing on getting down to 65kg SF: Has your diet changed now? AK: Yes I eat more fruits and vegetables and eat smaller portions. It’s important to combine fitness work with a healthy diet. SF: What has your experience of Fitness First been like? AK: I’ve found the staff to be very helpful and knowledgeable and have really enjoyed the experience. SF: What advice would you give to people who are struggling with their weight but haven’t yet taken that first step to do anything about it? AK: It’s important to exercise regularly and it’s never too late to take the first step. Futuro TUFF is available in a club near you, please check your club’s Group Exercise timetable for class times.
THE BEACH BODY WORKOUT By Tarek Ahmed – Group Exercise Manager – Fitness First Deira City Centre
Do you feel shy and uncomfortable showing off your body on the beach? If you are then this SUPERSET Beach Body Workout will get you over that barrier. Combine this routine with a decent, healthy diet and ample recovery time and you’ll be turning heads on the beach.
Perform 10 – 15 repetition of every exercise 3 – 4 sets – 10 seconds rest in between sets. YOUR EVERYDAY CARDIO WORKOUT 30 minutes steady-state cardio at 80-85% maximum heart rate – e.g. Cycling or running STRENGTH WORKOUT Repeat the SUPERSET for two days and then have a day off. Into Group Exercise? TRY: RPM for your cardio. It’s an indoor cycling workout where you ride to the rhythm of powerful music for a great calorie burning endorphin high.
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1 - ARKE 速 PENDULUM ROTATIONS Start holding the pole at shoulder height with your feet set so your heels are under your hips. With straight, fully extended arms rotate through the torso bringing the ARKE ball towards your knees, lifting the opposite heel off the floor.
3 - UNILATERAL KETTLEBELL SIT-UP Lying flat on your back, hold a kettlebell straight up with your elbow locked. Place your other hand on your hips to avoid using it in sitting up. Exhale and crunch up using your abdominals. Come back down, slowly engaging the core and keeping your arms straight.
2 - ViPR OVERHEAD SQUATS Hold a ViPR over your head with your feet set slightly wider than your hips. Brace your core as if you are putting on a pair of tight, skinny jeans. Push your butt back and down, keeping your chest lifted and knees in line with the second and third toes. Perform this exercise slowly, keeping your shoulder blades squeezed back together.
4 - BENCH PRESS Lie down on your back, eyes aligned with the front of the barbell rack uprights. With your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders, lower the bar and aim towards your heart or nipple line, squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom, exhale pushing the bar to the top.
ZAMORA EYES UFL SWANSONG Richard Bevan talks exclusively to QPR striker Bobby Zamora, who fought his way to football’s top flight after being released by West Ham as a teenager and now wants to end his career in the UAE.
NLIKE many of today’s pampered young generation of football players Queens Park Rangers striker Bobby Zamora came up hard way. The 31 year old Englishman played in every division of the football league on his way up to England’s top tier, the Barclays Premier League, and now he’s eyeing a swansong in the sun by finishing his career in the UAE. “I’ve got two years left at QPR so at the moment I’m focussed on that but I think at this stage in my career I’d like to try something new, something different and a possibility would definitely be playing abroad but we’ll just see what happens,” says Bobby. “I love Dubai. My family and I go there regularly. The weather’s brilliant and Dubai is just so buzzing in every aspect now, it’s certainly a lovely place to go and visit. “I’ve got a good friend who plays out there now, Lucas Neil who I was at West Ham with. He’s at Al Jazira now in Abu Dhabi. He says it’s just perfect for him, his wife, his kids – he says just everything is set up for a lovely life. “So most certainly that would be a possibility. I don’t think any English players have ever played over there – or at least play over there currently – so if I did it would have to break a trend I suppose.” Zamora had a tough season last year which ultimately ended in huge relief. He was transferred from Fulham to QPR midway through the season as one of former Cottagers boss Mark Hughes’ first appointments on taking over the manager’s position from Neil Warnock. Before long the London club found themselves in a relegation battle and with Hughes opting
for a safety first approach in order to try and steady the ship, Bobby was played primarily as a lone striker. With the team on the back foot and good service often hard to come by, he struggled for goals. But despite only notching twice Zamora believes it was a successful season for both himself and the team, who put together a string of good results at home in the closing stages of the campaign to dramatically clinch Premier League survival when the final-day results elsewhere went in their favour. “It was hard for myself and hard for the new management team as well because they had to come in and in a short space of time change things around and implement their own ideas which is hard when you’re in a relegation battle because the pressure’s on from day one,” says Bobby. “To be honest it took a while to kick in but if you look at the home form guide over the last few weeks of the season, we were top, which is frightening when you look at what sort of season QPR had. “We signed a lot players and a lot of people think that a few big names all thrown together is going to make a great team but it doesn’t work that easily. It only takes a few bad results to be down the bottom of the table and the pressure’s on. Everything is sort of amplified – if you don’t win it’s carried over to the next week and the pressure just builds and builds. People were writing us off for weeks and weeks so to stay up was a major achievement.
SUCCESS STORY “In general for myself it was a quiet success I suppose because the role that I played for most of the time, was one that the gaffer admitted is quite an important one. You’ve got to do pretty much everything on your own. You’ve got to hold the ball up and try and bring people into play, try and take the pressure off the guys at the back. I did that job, the goals didn’t come but I see that as purely because we didn’t created any large number of chances and you can’t score goals without creating chances. But if it means taking a striker out to put another central midfielder in so you can keep it tight and catch teams on the break, which we did do, then I’ll play up front all day long and try to work hard for the team.” Zamora has a refreshingly down-to-earth, pragmatic attitude and when he speaks it’s apparent that there is a distinct lack of the over-inflated ego that blights many of today’s professional footballers. This could be due to the fact that his route to the riches of the Premier League was anything but straightforward. Growing up in East London as a diehard West Ham fan he played for Senrab Football Club, the all-conquering Sunday League team that also boasted future stars John Terry, Ledley King, Paul Konchesky and Jloyd Samuel in its ranks. He achieved his lifelong dream when he was taken on as an apprentice by the Hammers but was left shattered when he released by the club as a 15-year-old. Forced to drop down through the leagues with spells at Division 2 club Bristol Rovers and non-league outfit Bath City Bobby eventually secured his return to the top flight following a dazzling three-year spell at Brighton and Hove Albion, where he is still revered as a club legend after netting 83 times in 136 appearances and
helping them to successive promotions from Division 3 to Division 1 (now the Championship). His performances caught the eye of then Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle who signed him for the 2003-2004 season but after struggling to secure a regular place in the starting line-up he completed the circle of his career by re-joining his beloved West Ham. The Hammers were at that time playing in the Championship and Bobby found redemption by scoring the goal that took the club back to the Premier League in the play-off final against Preston North End. “It was a boyhood ambition to play for West Ham so obviously being released at 15 years of age wasn’t very nice but it was a grounding experience for me and something that I learned from. “To go back and score the winning goal in the playoff that got them back in the Premier League was a tremendous feeling for me,” says Bobby who enjoyed four and a half successful seasons at West Ham before moving to Fulham where he was a key member of the team that finished runner-up in the 2009-2010 Europa League which led to the first of two England caps.
EXPERIENCED EVERY DIVISION “It was an interesting route (to playing Premier League football) and a route that I wouldn’t change for love nor money to be honest. I’ve been able to experience every single division. The way I see it now a lot of lads that play in the Premier League that have just come through the Premier League ranks are slightly ‘Billy Big Time’ I suppose. They haven’t sampled all the tougher styles of football of the lower leagues or the facilities – the training pitches etc. It’s been an absolute delight to have gone and played at Scunthorpe, Bury, Halifax and all those places, I wouldn’t change it for the world, it was a great grounding. Then to go all the way around and end up in the Premier League and to have played for England has been superb. Despite spending the past eight years living out his dream of playing in England’s Premier League where players earn vast fortunes and can afford to buy
almost anything their hearts’ desire, Bobby is not overly concerned with ostentatious trappings of wealth. “I like to think of myself as very grounded,” he says. “The car park at QPR is quite a sight in terms of the cars in there – but I drive a 5 Series diesel BMW so I think a lot people are quietly shocked at me. I don’t know whether that’s from playing in the lower leagues and working my way up but it’s just one of those things that don’t really appeal to me.” But a move to the UAE is something that definitely appeals to Bobby and his wife. “As I say I’ve got two more years and I feel good and fresh. But I know that my wife wouldn’t mind trying somewhere abroad for a couple of years just to experience somewhere else.
EYING UP UAE MOVE “I was out there in March for a few days with the family and I watched Lucas’s game with Al Jazira on the TV. The standard really surprised me – how sharp and technical the game there is. I was quite surprised. “I speak to Lucas quite a lot and he raves about the whole league. Al Jazira were in the Asian Champions League this year so he was raving about that. The game over there is growing all the time so it’s certainly something I’d be interested in.” If the long and winding road that Bobby’s career has followed is to lead to the UAE his presence in the UFL would be a most welcome one. His strength and eye for goal in and around the box would strike fear into opposition defences while his often underrated talent for holding the ball up and bringing others into play would prove an asset to any team. It might not happen this year, or even next, but don’t be surprised to see the Londoner bringing his impressive career to a close at one of the region’s top teams. After all, he did say his wife was keen on the idea...and we all know women always get what they want in the end. n
Bobby on....football at the Olympics “It’s certainly a good tournament for the
younger players. I don’t think the pressure will be the same as if they were playing for England at say the World Cup as it’s not the pinnacle of the sport in football like it is in other sports but it’ll be a great experience for all of them and will give them a good grounding. I remember when Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano came to West Ham they’d both played and won with the Olympic team. I remember Mascherano saying to me that he can’t get in the West Ham team but he’s got an Olympic gold medal! We did have a little chuckle about that but he’s obviously gone on to do brilliant as has Carlos. “
Bobby on...his international aspirations “It would be an honour to represent England again. I’ve been in five or six squads now and thoroughly enjoyed it. Roy Hodgson, my former manager at Fulham where we enjoyed good success, is the England manager now and he knows what I can do day in day out and knows a lot about me. That may help me and help my cause. Roy knows what I can bring to the table in terms of my work ethic and what I do off the ball and what I can do in terms of holding the ball up. If the goals aren’t coming – where Joe Public doesn’t see the other parts of the game, they just see goals etc. Anybody who knows football knows that they aren’t the only part of my game. “
CINDERELLA SHALL GO TO THE BALL
IF she wasn’t one the fastest female hurdlers on the planet the wonderfully named Lolo Jones could quite easily make a career as a model. She’s the World Champion at 60m and hot favourite to win the 100m event at the London Olympics this summer. She also comes with a real life Cinderella story. Jones had a tough upbringing. Very tough. Her father was away most of the time, either in the Air Force or prison and in the third grade she moved with her family into the basement of a Salvation Army church in her home town of Des Moines in Iowa. When summer camps were held at the church her brothers and sister and her always appeared to be the first to arrive. “I remember we had to wake up earlier than when the kids started arriving, so they wouldn’t tease us,” she said. “Me and my brothers would get up and we’d be in the gym before the other kids got there. “So it kind of looked like our parents were the first to drop us off at the camp.” Lolo attended eight schools in eight years as her mother switched between Texas and Iowa in order to find work to keep her family afloat. It came to a head when her family were about to move again to Forest Hills, Iowa which, had she gone, would have meant Lolo giving up her dream of making it as a top level hurdler due to a lack of facilities. She decided to stay behind in Des Moines, saying: “Mom, I can’t go to a city that doesn’t have a track. I’m trying to pursue my dream.” Over the next few years she lived with three different families as she finished her high school education and made a name for herself as the hottest up and coming hurdler in town. At college she worked several jobs to stay afloat
and, seeing a career as an athlete as a way of escaping to a better life threw herself into completion, winning a hatful of titles including three NCAA championships. She became a pro hurdler in 2004 and posted her first big win when she won the 60m title World Indoor Championships in Valencia in 2008, which she was to defend in Doha two years later. Lolo was firm favourite to win the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but disaster struck when clipped a hurdle and stumbled, causing her to finish in a disappointing seventh. “I remember when I crossed the line in Beijing and I was just devastated,” she said. “I just felt like somebody had just stabbed me in the stomach and I was just gutted.” The 29-year-old is better equipped than most of her peers where overcoming adversity is concerned and she’s going all out to put the memory of Beijing behind her as she aims to complete her startling journey from the church basement to the top of the world by becoming Olympic champion in London this
summer.“Difficulty is my friend,” she said. “I like the fact that it’s not a predictable race. You can be the world-record holder, you can be the fastest in the world and if you don’t nail it on that day and get over each one of those hurdles, you’re not going to be the winner. “If life throws you a hurdle - as cliche as it sounds-jump over it, get over it because you can. I’ve gotten stronger from every time I’ve had adversity in my life. I just hope [young kids who look up to me] would do the same.” n