Oxford University Swimming Club has just returned from a fantastic training camp in Lignano, which we hope will be a precursor to victory in the Hilary varsity competition. In 2008 we have relocated our training camp to a purpose-built training village in Italy, which incorporated an Olympic sized swimming pool for intensive long course training, a 25 metre pool for short course sprint work, and a state of the art multi-gym and sports hall complex. Swimmers took part in four hours of intensive coached pool training each day, combined with plyometrics, flexibility, and team building exercises, in preparation for what promises to be the most closely fought Varsity Match of the last decade. Many returning swimmers commented on the excellent facilities, which are unrivalled anywhere in England. The pool, which was ten lanes wide, fifty metres long, and built for the 2006 European Youth Championships, was outstanding. We were delighted to have all ten lanes to ourselves on a number of occasions, and when we shared the pool it was with the likes of the Ukrainian national swimming team, the Spanish water polo team, and the Italian synchronised swimming team. Being surrounded by international sportsmen and women certainly spurred the squad on, especially through those gruelling midweek sets when exhaustion had already set in, but the end of the camp was not yet in sight. An afternoon spent in Venice at the halfway point provided a welcome few hours of recovery and, having visited St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs, and the Doge’s Palace, we returned to the pool refreshed and ready for more hard training. As usual, training camp was a great success, even more so this year for its superb new location. The squad has returned feeling leaner, meaner, and faster, and ready to take on the Tabs in the forthcoming Varsity Match.by Lorna Wellings
Alan Pardew singled out Yohan Cabaye for praise after his midfield masterclass guided Crystal Palace to a 2-0 victory over West Brom. Press Association “It was his father’s funeral on Thursday so we didn’t see him,” Pardew said. “I like to think, like when I lost my father, maybe he was looking down on him today so it was a nice moment for Yannick. He has dedicated the goal to his father so it was a nice moment all round. It will be a big boost for him because he wants to score goals.” The victory continued Palace’s impressive start to the campaign and Pardew drew comparisons to some of his more successful times at Newcastle. “The last time we (Palace) had 15 points in the Premier League, we were eating our Christmas dinner and (now) we’ve got it on October 2, so we’ve got ourselves in a great position,” he. “You have periods of form and how long we can keep that we’ll have to wait and see, but I can compare this season to the team I had twice at Newcastle and this is a team that can be as good as that team.” West Brom boss Tony Pulis had a short and successful spell as manager of Palace and won on his first return here last season. But the Welshman was at a loss to explain why the same team he had named in their last away game, a 1-0 win over rivals Aston Villa, had fallen well short of expectations here. “When you pick the same team, I came here with high hopes,” he said. “When Jonny Evans was fit and Gareth McAuley was fit and you’re putting that back four together again – you get that performance and it is chalk and cheese, it is really disappointing. I don’t know if it is confidence or whatever, but you have got to sort it out.” Former Manchester United defender Evans hobbled off after less than half an hour with a hamstring issue, while an ankle knock for James Morrison further depleted Pulis’ options. Both will be hoping to be fit for crunch international fixtures for Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively and Pulis will give them every chance to be involved. When asked if he was concerned by Evans’ injury, he replied: “The concern is obviously for Northern Ireland with the big games they have got. Whether those two (Evans and Morrison) will travel I’m not sure. “The home nations, we want to help them as much as we can so fingers crossed they will be okay, if they are anywhere near it we will give them a chance to play. They will be scanned tomorrow and they will know if they are serious injuries or not.” The France international joined the Eagles in the summer in what was seen as a major coup as he moved from Paris Saint-Germain for a club-record fee. “We approached the game knowing what to expect and we knew we needed to be patient, we played in a controlled manner,” Pardew said. “You need someone like Cabaye to orchestrate that and I thought he was great today in everything he did. “He created the goal at a stage we were starting to worry on the bench and potentially looking for changes. “I know his character and he knew he wasn’t going to be accepting what was happening at PSG, he wasn’t getting a fair opportunity and he needed someone to trust. “He wants to play for his national side at the Euros. I hope everyone in France was watching him today because he was excellent.” Pardew believes Cabaye, should he maintain such form, would make the France squad for next summer’s European Championships in his home country, but there was more to this win than just his performance. Bolasie looked back to his best and capped a superb display with his first Premier League goal at Selhurst Park on what has been an emotional week for the Congo international. With the Baggies having not conceded a goal away from home in the Premier League this season ahead of their trip to Selhurst Park, Palace had to be patient in their attempt to break through a stubborn defence. But Cabaye, who also played under Pardew at Newcastle, held the key as he crossed for Yannick Bolasie to head home before converting his second penalty in six days.
New Delhi: Former West Indies skipper and cricketing great Brian Lara on Monday met President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.Informing about the meet, the official Twitter handle of the President informed: “Legendary cricketer and one of the finest batsmen of the modern era, Brian Lara called on President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.””The President called him a role model for millions of budding sportspersons and hailed his contribution to the game of cricket,” the post read sharing an image of the former cricketer and the President. IANSAlso read:Ben Stokes, Asher-Smith win Sports Journalists Association awardsAlso Watch: RD Junior College Students Stage Massive Protest against CAB
DT: What would you say was the highlight of the Pac-10 championships?Popov: For me personally it was the playoffs in the end. I had a really good last round and I played okay the last two holes. I made a bogey on 17 so I kind of got caught up on that hole a little. I had to go into the playoffs and tied with [UCLA’s] Tiffany Lua and that was just very exciting for me because it was a nice way to finish a tournament. Daily Trojan: How did it feel winning both the team and individual titles at the Pac-10 championships?Sophia Popov: It was pretty exciting, mostly to win the team title because that was what we were really aiming for, and that was my main goal. We have been working really hard this season and we have won a couple of tournaments so we thought, ‘Let’s win that Pac-10 title.’ Winning it individually was great especially since it was my second one in a row. DT: What are your hopes for the upcoming NCAA regionals?Popov: For me, it’s to win with the team again. Obviously I want to play well individually. My expectations are high, but I know myself — no player can just keep it up that well. I just want to get a top finish and try to be satisfied with my game there and hopefully win with the team, and for the NCAAs pretty much the same. DT: Despite losing junior Lisa McCloskey, ranked third in the country, on the final day of competition due to injury, USC still came out on top. In what ways did her absence affect the team, if at all?Popov: I knew her back was bad because I was rooming with her and she was really not doing very well, so I had this feeling that she wasn’t going to be able to play because she was in a lot of pain. And so our coach just comes to us on the driving range before we teed off and said, ‘I think Lisa is not going to make it today.’ But I knew we still had four players and we can still score really low, so if we just hang in there, just play for Lisa, then that’s all we can really do. It was tough, but us four players showed we could shoot really low without her. So it was a loss definitely, but we could pull through pretty well. The No. 1 USC women’s golf team has been playing above par all season.Last week, the team won the 2011 Pac-10 championship, its fourth in program history and first since 2008.Not only did the Women of Troy take home the team title, but freshman Sophia Popov captured the Pac-10’s individual title.The Daily Trojan sat down with Popov to hear her thoughts on the season so far.Freshman sensation · Freshman Sophia Popov captured an individual Pac-10 championship, USC’s fourth ever in program history. – Photo courtesy of Sports Information DT: You are a freshman this year, but have already proven yourself as a valuable member of the team. How has your first year on the team been and what have you taken away from it?Popov: It’s been pretty great. It was kind of funny — my first tournament didn’t go very well. I played pretty bad because it took a little time to get used to everything here and it’s different from Europe. But I got my game up pretty fast. I won at Stanford in the fall and now I won two back-to-back tournaments, so obviously it’s been really good and I’ve jumped up the rankings now, too. I’m kind of overwhelmed by my game right now, but I’m trying to just keep my focus for the next two tournaments and hopefully I keep the momentum going. DT: How would you describe the course you and the rest of the team played on during the competition?Popov: The course was rather open and kind of challenging because it was kind of windy. In Arizona, it’s kind of like a desert course but it was a nice course. It was pretty wide, really tough greens. It wasn’t the most difficult course, but it was definitely challenging because of the wind and the conditions we had.