Wiki Actu en

July 16, 2012

Australian Centre for Paralympic Excellence unveiled

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Kate Lundy speaking earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Part of the revealed sign behind an APC speaker earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory — Earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Australian Paralympic Committee President Greg Hartung and the Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy formally unveiled the Australian Centre for Paralympic Excellence.

The unveiling ceremony started with a speech by Hartung who mentioned how important the AIS was to the Paralympic movement in Australia, with the first Paralympic scholarship holder being Russell Short, who earned his scholarship in 1988 and has subsequently competed in six Paralympic Games, with this year’s Games making seven. Hartung went on to discuss how many more Paralympians have subsequently been supported by the AIS, including Matthew Cowdrey who credits an AIS run recovery centre at the 2008 Summer Paralympics with enabling him to win a gold medal.

Lundy’s speech followed Hartung’s. She highlighted how the AIS specifically supports five Paralympic programs including rowing, athletics, alpine skiing, and swimming. Beyond those, the AIS, with funding assistance from the federal government, provided AUD$13.5 million to support the Paralympics for goalball, cycling, and weightlifting, with an additional AUD$2.25 million going to grants to support Paralympians directly through Direct Athlete Support grants.

Following Lundy’s speech, the Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence sign was unveiled. There are 44 days left until the start of the Paralympic Games.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence unveiled

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Kate Lundy speaking earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Part of the revealed sign behind an APC speaker earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory — Earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Australian Paralympic Committee President Greg Hartung and the Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy formally unveiled the Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence.

The unveiling ceremony started with a speech by Hartung who mentioned how important the AIS was to the Paralympic movement in Australia, with the first Paralympic scholarship holder being Russell Short, who earned his scholarship in 1988 and has subsequently competed in six Paralympic Games, with this year’s Games making seven. Hartung went on to discuss how many more Paralympians have subsequently been supported by the AIS, including Matthew Cowdrey who credits an AIS run recovery centre at the 2008 Summer Paralympics with enabling him to win a gold medal.

Lundy’s speech followed Hartung’s. She highlighted how the AIS specifically supports five Paralympic programs including rowing, athletics, alpine skiing, and swimming. Beyond those, the AIS, with funding assistance from the federal government, provided AUD$13.5 million to support the Paralympics for goalball, cycling, and weightlifting, with an additional AUD$2.25 million going to grants to support Paralympians directly through Direct Athlete Support grants.

Following Lundy’s speech, the Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence sign was unveiled. There are 44 days left until the start of the Paralympic Games.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 3, 2012

London Olympic Games – a battle of human performance versus sport science and technology

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

London Olympics Countdown Clock in Trafalgar Square
Image: Elliott Brown.

The sport science and technology research secrets of several top Olympic nations have come to light in the last month. A thousandth of a second may decide the winner in several track cycling, swimming and athletics events at the London Olympic Games. At the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, Great Britain won four gold medals by less than half a second. It had invested heavily in sports science in the lead up to the Games. So what are some of the sport science and technology ‘secrets’ of Australia, the United States and Great Britain ?

Australia with a population of just under 22 million performs above its weight in Olympic competition. Since its establishment in 1981, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has invested heavily in sports science research. In April, Senator Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport announced the investment of A$1 million in performance research, as well as A$$225,000 to establish the Australian Sports Technologies Network. So what can we expect from Australia and in particular the AIS in London ? The AIS and other Australian research organisations have provided a brief insight into research outcomes for swimming and cycling, two sports where Australia has a long history of success and where medals are won by miniscule margins.

The AIS with its research partners, CSIRO and Monash University has conducted detailed aerodynamic efficiency testing of the men’s team pursuit riders, one Australia’s main cycling gold medal prospects. Dr David Martin from the AIS commented that “testing like this can make big inroads to improvements that make a difference. It might only be a half a second, but because the competition’s so tight it’s really important.” Results from the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships indicate less than a second will decide the winner of the men’s team pursuit.

The London Aquatics Centre is where Australia is seeking to repeat its swimming medal hauls from the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games. The AIS swimming pool’s high tech wet plate technology provides sophisticated data on force, velocity and entry angles related to starts, turns and changeovers. Australian relay swimmers have regularly been visiting the AIS in the lead up the Games to improve their relay performance. In Perth, Western Australia, the University of Western Australia has tested 31 Olympic swimmers using 3D motion analysis system to accurately estimate and track the position and orientation of the body parts of a swimmer during all strokes. Besides specific sports research, AIS scientists have also been largely responsible for establishing state of the art recovery and performance analysis facilities for Australian athletes and coaches in London.

Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, Sally Pearson, Lolo Jones and Perdita Felicien racing at Van Damme Memorial 2010 .
Image: Erik van Leeuwen at Flickr.

United States has let out a few secrets. Sprint hurdler Lolo Jones is being assisted by a Red Bull project called ‘Project X’. In this project, computer scientists, sports biomechanists and physiologists are using computer-vision technology and 40 high-speed, motion-capture cameras to study in detail Jones hurdling technique. To win gold, Jones will need to defeat Sally Pearson, the favourite for the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles. You wonder what technological assistance Pearson is receiving from Australian sport scientists ?

The world record swimming performances at the Beijing Games appear to be largely due to swim suits such as the Speedo_LZR_Racer . This technological intervention resulted in FINA banning the suits shortly after the Games and reverting to a philosophy of human performance rather than technology. However, at the London Games, the United States track and field team will have be wearing Nike uniforms that could shave 0.023 seconds off 100 m sprint times. Jill Geerer, from USA Track & Field said “”For an athlete who puts on the uniform, maybe the knowledge it might make them two-hundredths of a second faster, that information alone might be enough to make them run faster.” The uniform strategically places dimples on the fast-moving arms and legs of track sprinters to improve their aerodynamics. This is based on the science behind dimples on a golf ball.

The Olympic host nation traditionally invests heavily to ensure the success of its athletes. Great Britain has followed this trend and invested heavily in sports science technology with more than 7.5 million pounds over the last four years. Aki Salo, a sports biomechanist from the University of Bath, has been working with the men’s 4 x 100m relay team on baton changes with the hope of challenging Jamaica and the United States for gold. Salo stressed that the relay is not just about speed and said “You can have the fastest runners in the world, but if they drop the baton or make a mistake in the exchange, it’s over. Science is never a real substitute for performance, but we try to minimize any possible errors to maybe leapfrog the faster runners”. We will be now watching intently the British relay baton changes at the Games and whether this efficiency beats the raw speed of Usan Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell of Jamaica.

Chris Hoy after becoming Keirin World Champion in 2010. Hoy will be a major contender in London
Image: Velo Steve at Flickr.

In Beijing, British track cycling took all before it winning 7 gold medals in 10 events. Australia looks like a major contender again after a poor Beijing performance. The British have upped the ante in cycling research since Beijing. Britsh cyclists, including Sir Chris Hoy, have been using the University’ of Southampton’s wind tunnel to determine their optimal body position. It looks like track cycling may come down to a battle of Great Britain versus Australia in wind tunnel testing.

The British team has used the expertise of high-tech companies such as BAE Systems, Europe’s largest weapons maker, and the McLaren Group, a leading formula 1 team in researching sensor technology and nano-coated materials that may have an impact in running and water sports.

Whilst sports science and technology can play a part in the final outcome, Scott Drawer from UK Sport said “Technology is only effective in sports when it builds on athletes’ natural talent and a good training setup’’ In close finishes at the London Games, the public may be left wondering what part sport science and technology played in the gold medal.

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 22, 2012

At Australian gymnastic team announcement, media turns out for Tony Abbott

At Australian gymnastic team announcement, media turns out for Tony Abbott

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Friday, June 22, 2012

Australian media covering the Australian artistic gymnastic team announcement yesterday
Image: LauraHale.

Australian media getting a bird-eye view of the floor at the Australian Institute Sports Gymnastic Centre
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra —

The Australian media turned out in force yesterday at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for Tony Abbott’s appearance at the Australian artistic gymnastics official London Olympics Team announcement. According to the press conference facilitator, the media set a record for most people attending an Olympic team announcement at the AIS.

BigPond Media, the Liberal Party‘s own media people, the Daily Telegraph, and 2UE were some of the media organisations present, with some having made the trip up to Canberra from Sydney. The level of media present stands in stark contrast to the Australia women’s national basketball team training camp at the AIS in May where Fox Sports, WIN News, and the Canberra Times were the few media outlets in attendance.

While a team practice open to the press started at 10:30 a.m. Canberra Time (0030 UTC), many in the media corps arrived after athletes finished practice but before Abbott was scheduled to speak. Those who arrived early had to be asked by coaches to step off the mats as the gymnasts were still practicing, which sport journalists and photographers in Australia do not generally have to be told. Following the press conference, when Abbott and Australia’s Minister for Sport Kate Lundy jumped off the trampoline into a foam pit, they got an upfront view of photojournalists who climbed into the pit beforehand in order to get a better picture.

The Australian media’s lack of interest in the gymnastics announcement made its way into the printed coverage, with The Daily Telegraph’s Alison McMeekin poking fun at Abbott as “Trampoline Tony”, and not a single gymnast’s name in her coverage. Sister News Limited tabloid, and Australia’s highest circulation newspaper, the Herald Sun also carried McMeekin’s jabs at the opposition leader. Ben Packham of The Australian, another News Limited publication, spun the announcement of the gymnastics team to criticise with the headline Abbott accused of carbon tax gymnastics.

Australia’s Liberal Party sent their own media representative to cover Abbott’s appearance. The cameraman had one job, to cover Abbott. His boss told him he did not need to get any footage of the gymnasts if Abbott was not in frame.

Shortly after Abbott and Lundy left, most of the press corps disappeared from the AIS facility.



Related news

  • “Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball” — Wikinews, May 16, 2012

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 21, 2012

Australian media turns out at Australian gymnastic team announcement for Tony Abbott

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Australian media covering the Australian artistic gymnastic team announcement earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Australian media getting a bird-eye view of the floor at the Australian Institute Sports Gymnastic Centre
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra —

The Australian media turned out in force earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for Tony Abbott‘s appearance at the Australian artistic gymnastics official London Olympics Team announcement. According to the press conference facilitator, the media set a record for most people attending an Olympic team announcement at the AIS.

BigPond Media, the Liberal Party’s own media people, the Daily Telegraph and 2UE were some of the media organisations present, with some having made the trip up to Canberra from Sydney. The level of media present stands in stark contract at the Australia women’s national basketball team training camp at the AIS in May where Fox Sports, WIN News, and the Canberra Times were the few media outlets in attendance. With The Daily Telegraph’s Alison McMeekin poking fun at Abbott as “Trampoline Tony”, and not a single gymnast’s name in her coverage, it was obvious the media were there more for the opposition leader than the Olympic team announcement.

While a team practice open to the press started at 10:30 a.m. Canberra Time (0030 UTC), many in the media corps arrived after athletes finished practice but before Abbott was scheduled to speak. Those who arrived early had to be asked by coaches to step off the mats as the gymnasts were still practicing. When Abbott and Australia’s Minister for Sport Kate Lundy jumped off the trampoline into a foam pit, they got an upfront view of photojournalists who climbed into the pit before hand in order to get a better picture.

Australia’s Liberal Party sent their own media representative to cover Abbott’s appearance. The cameraman had one job, to cover Abbott. His boss told him that he did not need to get any footage of the gymnasts if Abbott was not in frame.

Shortly after Abbott and Lundy left, most of the press corps disappeared from the AIS facility.



Related news

  • “Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball” — Wikinews, May 16, 2012

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Kate Lundy and Tony Abbott assist in Olympic dreams with Gymnastics Australia\’s artistic gymnastics team announcement

Kate Lundy and Tony Abbott assist in Olympic dreams with Gymnastics Australia’s artistic gymnastics team announcement

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Kate Lundy with Australia’s Olympic team earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Lundy and Tony Abbott with members of the Olympic team after a bounce on the trampoline
Image: LauraHale.

Abbott assists Lundy out of the foam pit
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra — Earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport, Australia’s Minister for Sport Kate Lundy and the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott were on hand when the Australian Olympic Team formally announced the Australian artistic gymnastics team to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Melbourne-based Georgia Bonora and Ashleigh Brennan, Perth residents Emily Little and Lauren Mitchell, and Brisbane resident Larrissa Miller booked their trip to London.

Lundy announced the government’s A$4.5 million support for the Green and Gold Room in London. This facility, supported by the Australian Institute of Sport’s experts, enables performance analysis to help the Australian Olympians excel during the London Games. Lundy also mentioned Gillard‘s Prime Ministers Challenge, which is not just for Australia’s Olympians and Paralympians, but seeks to encourage the nation’s young to play sports.

Abbott started off with a quip that the only gymnastics he participates in is verbal gymnastics. The opposition leader then told the media present that Australia’s Olympians have the country’s support, and congratulated the competitors on the hard work they have put in for over ten years to get there.

In a conversation with a Wikinews reporter following the press conference, Miller said the team does not feel pressure from the media or other teams to do well. They are very team-oriented and when it is time to compete, they ignore everything else going on and focus on performing their best. The team does not need to worry about anything but competing because the gymnasts get support from Gymnastics Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport to cover the cost of everything they need.

With encouragement for the Olympians, Abbott and Lundy spent time on the trampoline. In a show of bipartisan support, Abbott assisted Lundy out of the foam pit they jumped into, with Lundy returning the favour.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 20, 2012

Australian water polo players Zagame and Rippon whooping it up

Australian water polo players Zagame and Rippon whooping it up

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories
  • 7 July 2015: England defeats Germany 1-0 in FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 third place playoff
  • 6 July 2015: Chile beats Argentina to win first Copa America title
  • 4 July 2015: Peru defeats Paraguay 2-0 in Copa America 2015 third place playoff
  • 2 July 2015: Argentina defeats Paraguay 6-1 in Copa America 2015 semi-finals
  • 2 July 2015: Francesc Solé wins Andorra Ultra Trail again

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

water polo player in polo shirt

Nicola Zagame at the Australian Institute of Sport
Image: Bidgee.

water polo player in polo shirt

Melissa Rippon at the Australian Institute of Sport
Image: Bidgee.

Earlier today, the Australian Institute of Sport and Swimming Australia cancelled a team meeting for the Australian Stingers and a Swimming Australia Grand Prix event scheduled for this weekend after two Olympic bound water polo players, Melissa Rippon and Nicola Zagame, were diagnosed with whooping cough.

Both players are receiving treatment administered by the Australian Institute of Sport. Meanwhile, their teammates are in quarantine. In a statement issued by Water Polo Australia, they said “Water Polo Australia is taking this very seriously and will continue to work closely with AIS health professionals to provide the best care for those players diagnosed and to reduce any potential further risk”.

For Australia’s Olympic bound swimmers, their coaches are expected to arrange alternative training ahead of their leaving for Europe. In a statement released by Olympic swimming head coach Leigh Nugent, he said, “Originally we’d planned to have this camp as an opportunity to come together for some further relay preparation and the chance for some of the athletes to race and time trial, a month or so out from the Games. From a relay perspective we are confident we’re on track with our preparations and will fine-tune things when we get to Manchester in July.”

Rippon and Zagame are expected to be recovered next week and should be ready for London.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 8, 2012

Kosmala\’s 2012 Games inclusion highlights Australian Paralympians\’ longevity

Kosmala’s 2012 Games inclusion highlights Australian Paralympians’ longevity

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, June 8, 2012

Libby Kosmala as flag bearer at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, her 7th Games.
Image: John Sherwell.

Libby Kosmala’s selection in the Australian shooting team for the 2012 London Paralympics highlights age is not a barrier in the Paralympics. Celebrating her seventieth birthday in early July, expected to set a record for most appearances at her eleventh Games, Kosmala is likely to be the oldest athlete in attendance.

Her first Games were the 1972 Heidelberg Games competing in swimming and athletics events and winning a bronze medal in the mixed medley relay. Kosmala then switched to shooting and between 1976–1988 won nine gold and three silver medals.

At the 2008 Beijing Games she narrowly missed a medal, coming fourth in the Women’s Air Rifle Standing SH1. In 2011 at the IPC Shooting World Cup, her level of competitiveness was highlighted by finishing fifth in the final of the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1. Kosmala is looking forward to the London Games saying: “It’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to it. In over ten Paralympic Games, my greatest success was at Stoke Mandeville in 1984, so I’m looking forward to competing in London again for Australia”.

Russell Short receiving his gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics
Image: Norman Bailey, Australian Paralympic Committee.

Kosmala loves beating athletes half her age: “Competition brings out the best in you. I’m old enough to be their grandmother for a lot of the players, but they really are lovely”. Kosmala’s training involves physical training, three shooting sessions per week and mental relaxation training. The London Games will be her swansong but she will still keep shooting. She puts her longevity down to steadiness and a keen eye. Ashley Adams is to join her on the shooting team, attending his fourth Games, as will newcomers Luke Cain, Jason Maroney and Bradley Mark.

Russell Short, a vision-impaired thrower and the Australian Institute of Sport’s first athlete with a disability scholarship, in 1988, has been selected for his seventh Games. Another athlete likely to attend his seventh Games is Kieran Modra, a vision impaired cyclist. Selections for the cycling team are yet to be confirmed.

Two athletes who extended their Paralympic careers by changing sports have been selected; Greg Smith, who previously took part in track and field events, will be competing in wheelchair rugby. This is to be his fifth Games. Liesl Tesch, a former Australian wheelchair basketball player and captain, will be competing in sailing for her sixth Games.

Contrasting Australian Paralympians with their Olympian counterparts, the Australian Olympic Committee recently selected sporting shooters Russell Mark and Michael Diamond for the London Games; this to be their sixth Olympics and equalling the participation records of rower James Tomkins, sailor Colin Beashel, and equestrian Andrew Hoy.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 29, 2012

Australian adaptive rowers prepare as paralympics looms

Australian adaptive rowers prepare as Paralympics looms

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Horrie Training on the 1000m course, Lake Burley Griffin.
Image: Tim Collins.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yarralumla, Australia — Members of the Australian Adaptive Rowing team, consisting of Kathryn Ross, Erik Horrie, and John Maclean, are currently finalising their Australian based training for the paralympics on the waters of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. Our reporters interviewed Erik Horrie, an arms and shoulder (AS) single scull competitor, who is moving towards his first paralympics. We asked about his preperations, and the sport in general.

Horrie , 32, says that he is hoping for strong results for the team in the preceding third rowing world cup mid June in Munich. 2011, Horrie’s debut year rowing at a national level after a background in wheelchair basketball, saw him place fourth in his first world cup event. In a Canberra winter, temperatures routinely remain sub-zero as athletes prepare, early morning, on the water. Horrie commented that despite conditions, a far cry from those found by his Queensland-based “Dragons” club, he trains six times a week, including strength sessions at the nearby Australian Institute of Sport [AIS] facilities, and cross training.

Horrie on the water, Lake Burley Griffin.
Image: Tim Collins.

Funding for the sport has increased significantly in Australia in recent years, especially since it’s introduction to the paralympics in Beijing. Horrie commented that competitive successes have seen a increase in funding toward the program. A substantial allocation allowed the AIS to host four athletes on site and secure a second fleet of boats for their European base. Rowing equipment comes at a substantial cost with an eight costing fifty five thousand dollars. Finding athletes is a primary focus, especially with the limited pool of disabled athletes to draw upon, and the AIS runs active talent searching programs.

Horrie told Wikinews reporters that despite increasing media attention his focus remains on fun.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 21, 2012

Raw Opals spend week preparing for London Games

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — This past week, an overstocked Australian Opals, the women’s national basketball team, prepared for the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a weeklong training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to be used to help narrow the nineteen member Opals squad down to the twelve that go to the Games, and provide players who rarely play together an extended period of time to play together in order to improve on court dynamics.

Camp started on Sunday, with players arriving from hometowns around Australia including Cairns, MacKay, Gladstone, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne.

Cayla Francis, Jenna O'Hea and Marianna Tolo at a practice on Wednesday.Image: Bidgee.

Cayla Francis, Jenna O’Hea and Marianna Tolo at a practice on Wednesday.
Image: Bidgee.

Kristen Veal at a practice on Wednesday.Image: Bidgee.

Kristen Veal at a practice on Wednesday.
Image: Bidgee.

A strength and conditioning session on TuesdayImage: Bidgee.

A strength and conditioning session on Tuesday
Image: Bidgee.

A strength and conditioning session on TuesdayImage: LauraHale.

A strength and conditioning session on Tuesday
Image: LauraHale.

Lauren Jackson on Monday Image: Bidgee.

Lauren Jackson on Monday
Image: Bidgee.

Marianna Tolo on Monday Image: Bidgee.

Marianna Tolo on Monday
Image: Bidgee.

Carrie Graf on Monday Image: Bidgee.

Carrie Graf on Monday
Image: Bidgee.

Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

Part 4 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 4 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

The defending champions, the United States women’s national basketball team, are perceived as the Australian Opals’ main competitors. In the last three Olympic Games the Opals got silver medals. In each of these cases the United States got first place. Coach Carrie Graf said “thinking about the US too soon in inappropriate”, “Our focus is first and foremost, game by game winning our pool”. Amongst the Australian Opals’ competitors in the pool are Brazil, Russia, and Great Britain. Carrie Graf said Great Britain “will put up a fight on home turf” but there is a “world class [AIS] facility” and “world class medical support staff” supporting the team.

Australian Opal player Penny Taylor recently suffered injury from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, meaning she cannot play Olympics this year. In regards to the situation player Lauren Jackson, who is going into her fourth Olympics, said “you would never wish that upon anybody.” She says as a team they have to “move on, move through that” and “come together” to pick up their offence and defense. Despite the loss of one of their key players she says “we definitely have the talent there” and the team is all “on the same page.” She feels “pretty confident” and speaks of “very exciting” times ahead. Jenna O’Hea is going into her first Olympics with the team. She is still “pinching” herself and says she is taking it “day by day”.

A typical day at the camp might start with a 7.00am – 8.30am breakfast at the AIS Dining hall, before one and a half or two hours of court, gym, or swimming training. The middle of each day might consist of media meetings, medical checks, team meetings, and time to practise shooting. Around 12.00pm, the players meet to eat lunch and recover from the morning. The afternoon typically consists of more training, and some scrimmage games. Players usually finish around 7.00pm for dinner, and perhaps a massage.

The nineteen players in attendance this week at training camp were Suzy Batkovic, Abby Bishop, Elizabeth Cambage, Rohanee Cox, Cayla Francis, Kristi Harrower, Laura Hodges, Natalie Hurst, Lauren Jackson, Rachel Jarry, Kathleen MacLeod, Jenna O’Hea, Samantha Richards, Jennifer Screen, Belinda Snell, Marianna Tolo, Kristen Veal, Carly Wilson, and Hanna Zavecz. Basketball Australia has named fifteen players that are to attend the second phase of the camp: Suzy Batkovic, Abby Bishop, Elizabeth Cambage, Kristi Harrower, Laura Hodges, Lauren Jackson, Rachel Jarry, Kathleen MacLeod, Jenna O’Hea, Erin Phillips, Samantha Richards, Jennifer Screen, Belinda Snell, Marianna Tolo, and Hanna Zavecz.



Related news

  • “Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball” — Wikinews, May 16, 2012

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress