Updated from November 2014
Anthony Joshua’s instagram feed showcases a training regimen that surpasses anything in the Rocky films (including Rocky IV… and including Drago’s efforts)… the man is surely the finest physical specimen to ever step in a boxing ring.
A heavyweight who seems to physically have covered every possible angle in preparation for his showdown with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on the 29th April. The two have sparred before and now the protege defends his belts against the old master. Whoever wins, what wont be disputed is the sheer unbelievable power and speed of AJ.
Back in 2012 having won gold at the London Olympics he went head to head with a field of other British medalists to race over 100m, beating a field of triathletes (the Brownlee brothers), a high jumper, rower, swimmer, and a surprisingly slow Mo Farah, to win over the 100 meters, in the wet and without any prior sprint training in a time of 11.53 seconds. Not bad for a 6ft 6inch 18 stone boxer.
Usain Bolt’s reaction time out of the starting blocks in the 100-meter final in Rio was 0.155 of a second. Try to beat it. Turn up your volume.
ON YOUR MARKS
Winning Olympic gold last night in the 200m cemented Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson as the fastest woman in the world and completes her sprint double in Rio.
The Jamaican held off the challenge from pre-race favourite Dafne Schippers, who loomed but never delivered, to take gold in 21.78 sec, the fastest time in the world this year.
Silver was no consolation to Dafne Schippers who’s pre-tournament preparation has been hindered by a leg problem.
“I came for gold,” Schippers said. “I was in good form. My times were OK but they were not strong enough. It’s heavy to run six races. I was getting closer and closer. I felt I was nearly passing her, but then I broke down as well. I’m not happy with the silver.”
‘I let my light shine tonight,’ says Thompson after winning in 21.78 sec.
Her 100m winning time of 10.71s was just one hundredth of a second off her personal best 10.70s a Jamaican National Record and faster than Schippers PB and Netherlands National Record of 10.81s.
Wayde van Niekirk broke Michael Johnsons 17 year 400m World Record with a sensational performance on the Rio track last night. In what the former record holder Johnson called ‘a massacre’ he blew away a one the fastest assembled fields with the first track world record of the games. His domination of the one lap event posted with splits across each of the 100m he ran of: 10.7 secs, 9.8, 10.5, 12.0.
On the night that second 100m was faster than Usain Bolt’s Olympic gold winning 100m time of 9.81s. The South African’s personal best at that distance of 9.98s would’ve placed 7th in that final.
The way he moved away from the field in the final 100m was possibly the most stunning moment of the Olympic games so far and to do so from lane 8 all the more remarkable, destroying the two previous Olympic champions in the process.
The 24 year old is coached by a 74-year-old great-grandmother Ans Botha, once a sprinter and a long jumper, and her pupils call her “Tannie Ans,” meaning Auntie. Last year, the head coach at South Africa’s University of the Free State told the City Press that her “passion is too high” to stop coaching in a career spanning five decades. She got emotional when describing her responsibility in coaching van Niekerk.
“I wouldn’t say I’m afraid … but I have such a big responsibility to get this athlete to develop to his full potential. Also, I need to try to do my very best not to do something wrong that might break him,” she told the City Press.
Botha started coaching van Niekerk in 2012, connecting after he attended the University of the Free State as a marketing student. They met with his parents and laid out a plan, the focus of which was to not push van Niekerk’s body beyond its limits. Their first three months in partnership were spent rehabbing some nagging injuries.
The strategy worked — since she’s been his coach, van Niekerk’s time has dropped by a whopping four seconds.
Nike’s new Zoom Superfly Elite track spikes will cut a dash at the Summer Olympics after more than four years algorithmic software design and 3-D printing prototyping, at the Nike Sports Research Lab.
Nike claim that improvements in weight reduction and making the shoe stiffer have helped Jamaican track star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce shave over 1 hundredth of a second from 100m times – in Rio that could mean winning gold or missing the podium.
What the Nike design supremo’s have also managed with the new spike plate – no spike screws required – is produce a totally tropical look, in that Avatar other worldly tropical sense.
The 5ft ‘Pocket Rocket’ Fraser-Pryce will be ready for take off in Rio and Genuine Pace wouldn’t bet against her improving on her competitive personal best of 10.70s and winning Olympic gold again in August.
In front of 112,524 expectant fans Cathy Freeman, Australia’s only hope of an athletics gold medal at the 2000 Games, in that space-age hooded bodysuit, puffs out her cheeks and prepares for the biggest race of her life.
Freeman’s path to that start line had been a long one and her journey came to be seen as symbolic of the Aboriginal people’s journey from persecuted natives to Australian equals. She became the icon of national unity. “She has come to symbolise the painless reconciliation between black and white,” said David Rowe, professor of media and cultural studies and Australia’s University of Newcastle, at the time. “She stands for the Sydney Olympics.”
Freeman was the home favourite for the 400 m title at the 2000 Olympicsin Sydney, where she was expected to face-off with rival Pérec. This showdown never happened, as Pérec left the Games after what she describes as harassment from strangers. Freeman won the Olympic title in a time of 49.11 seconds, becoming only the second Australian Aboriginal Olympic champion.
After the race, Freeman took a victory lap, carrying both the Aboriginal and Australian flags. This was despite the fact that unofficial flags are banned at the Olympic Games and the Aboriginal flag, while recognised as official in Australia, is not a national flag, nor recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
Her feats in the 400m and to a lesser degree the 200m will live long in the memory. The 100m PB came back in 1994 as a 21 year old and stands at a respectable 11.24s.