#1 le to win. At 28, Froome is enter von riluowanying123 13.06.2019 13:31

RIO DE JANEIRO -- On the day before these Olympics even began, U.S. swimming assistant coach Greg Meehan gathered the 22 women on his team on a patch of grass outside the American building in the Olympic village. He handed out a bunch of small American flags. He gave a brief history lesson about the Homestead Act of 1862 and how anyone could claim a particular patch of land.Then he instructed the two women who had qualified for each event to take turns sticking their flags into the Brazilian ground, claiming that event for the United States.The idea being it would be their property if they claimed it first, said Dave Marsh, the U.S. womens head coach.Around the same time, Michael Phelps, Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian stood in front of the 22 other members of the U.S. mens team and delivered an emotional yet stern plea. After a disappointing team performance at the world championships in Russia a year earlier, the three veterans spoke of the importance of getting off to a good start in Rio. Once the American medal haul began, they said, it couldnt be stopped.Now, through five days of the Rio swimming competition, it appears the Olympic veterans were right. And the Americans are claiming land everywhere you turn. Wednesday night was just another example, with the Americans adding three more medals to their tally of 18, including Josh Prenots silver in the 200 breaststroke, Adrians bronze in the 100 freestyle and, for the finale, gold in the womens 4x200 freestyle relay.Tack it on to the success from the first four nights of competition, and its a historic pace. Consider: U.S. swimmers have medaled in 18 of the 20 events held so far, and they finished fourth in the two events in which they didnt medal -- including the womens 200 butterfly Wednesday night.The Americans are on pace to win the most medals in a single Olympics since 1972, when they won 43. And that was a year when countries were allowed to enter three swimmers per event. Now the limit is two.The party began the first night of competition, when Chase Kalisz blasted his personal best in the 400 IM by more than two seconds to take silver, and then the womens 400 freestyle relay capped the night with a silver. The Americans havent stopped since.Its just gotten bigger and bigger as the ball has been rolling downhill, said Jacob Pebley, who finished third in the semifinal heat of the 200 backstroke and will go for his own medal Thursday night. And its kind of hard not to follow all that momentum and jump on.The coaches and athletes alike will tell you its more than just talent. They insist this team has a chemistry and bond that has proven critical to their success. It was forged in the two training camps that preceded the trip to Rio, one in San Antonio and one in Atlanta. There were late-night card games. Rookie skits. Inside jokes. The carpool karaoke music video. Cody Miller dressing up like a lobster. And the women playing a game where Marsh would hold a sheet between two swimmers, and when he dropped it they would have to say which event the other was competing in as quickly as possible.Coming together as a team -- it helps you swim fast, said Simone Manuel, the top seed in Thursday nights finals of the womens 100 freestyle. Its that X factor that we are a family, not just a team.Added Marsh: We have all kinds of personalities, but also people who are easily adaptable to a team setting within their own personal preparation.And they feed off one another. In the American area in the warm-up pool hangs four floor-to-ceiling banners signed by family, friends and complete strangers wishing the team good luck. When each swimmer leaves the warm-up area and heads to the pool to race, he or she is sent off with a cowbell, cheers and chants of USA, USA, USA.The cowbell, its been working pretty good at this meet, Prenot said. Im not sure if the other countries like it.Probably not. USA Swimming, after all, is the equivalent of the New York Yankees. Their 520 medals before competition began in Rio is almost three times as many as have been won by the second-most decorated team, Australia.The 2016 U.S. roster includes not only Phelps, but Katie Ledecky setting world records of her own. Ryan Lochte is the second-most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time behind Phelps, his longtime rival and friend.The American swimmers 21-medal haul so far exceeds the next two teams -- Australia (7) and Japan (5) -- combined. There have been big-name stars in Phelps and Ledecky and newcomers such as Ryan Murphy and Lilly King. And there has been three golds and a silver in the relays with only the mens and womens medley relays still to come.Its really good, mens coach Bob Bowman said. Its not just the medals. We are swimming well, a lot better than trials. And that means our plan worked.The Americans have their trials later than any other country in the world. Their performance at the Games shows they have perfected their tapers, knowing the exact pattern to rest their swimmers so they can make the team at trials but then get their bodies back up to compete for medals five weeks later at the Olympics.These Games also brought a unique concern -- finals starting each night at 10 p.m. Rio time, jolting the swimmers circadian rhythms. Its why the team held practices during both training camps at 11 p.m.The coaches did a great job there, Prenot said. I was a little concerned about that coming in, but everyone has done well. I havent heard one person complain about it or anything.Instead, the only ones complaining are the other countries -- about all that red, white and blue dominance. Custom Giants T-shirts . Each of Houstons starters scored in double figures as the Rockets improved to 2-0 against the Spurs this season, with both victories coming on the road. They also moved within 3 1/2 games of San Antonio (22-7) for the lead the Southwest Division. Wholesale Custom Giants Shirts . Rousey will put her perfect 8-0 record and hardware on the line against another undefeated fighter, 7-0 Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Nevada on February 22nd. http://www.customsfgiantsjersey.com/ . -- Whether Jeremy Hill deserves a prominent role in LSUs offence this early in the season is a matter for debate. Mel Ott Jersey Large .C. -- Al Jefferson joked that he feels he can score from anywhere on the court. Cheap Giants Jerseys . The Vancouver coach and an announced sellout crowd of 18,910 watched in dismay as the Canucks lost 7-4 to the New York Islanders on Monday night by squandering a 3-0 lead in the third period.PARIS -- I wont let you down like Lance Armstrong. This Tour de France champion is for real. That, in so many words, is the promise Chris Froome made as the newest winner of cyclings showcase race so badly hurt over the years by riders who doped to win it. Because of their deceit, Froome faced a barrage of questions as he dominated rivals over three weeks of racing, all centred on the same key concern: Can we believe in you? Yes, he insisted. The sport is changing, he argued. He handled the scrutiny politely and adroitly. He said he understood the skepticism. And on the podium in Paris, his wiry frame wrapped in his canary yellow jersey, Froome asked the guardians of the 110-year-old race and all those who love it to trust him. "This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time," he said. In two years, Britain has had two different winners: Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and now Froome, a cooler, calmer, more understated but no less determined character than his Sky teammate with famous sideburns. Froome rode into Paris in style: Riders pedaled up to him to offer congratulations; he sipped from a flute of champagne; a Tour organizer stuck an arm from his car window to shake Froomes hand. He dedicated his victory to his late mother, Jane, who died in 2008. "Without her encouragement to follow my dreams I would probably be at home watching on TV," he said. Froome took the race lead on Stage 8 in the Pyrenees, never relinquished it and vigorously fended off rivals whose concerted challenges turned this 100th Tour into a thriller. Froome and his Sky teammates linked arms as they rode for the line. "This is a beautiful country with the finest annual sporting event on the planet. To win the 100th edition is an honour beyond any Ive dreamed," he said. Five-time winners Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain joined Froome on the podium. Missing, of course, was Armstrong. Stripping the serial doper of his seven wins tore a hole in the Tours roll of honour as large as that left by World War II, when the race didnt take place from 1940-46. None of the 100th editions podium finishers -- Froome, Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez -- have ever failed a drug test or been directly implicated in any of cyclings litany of doping scandals. That is an encouraging and notable departure both from the Armstrong era and many other Tour podiums before and since. "In a way, Im glad that Ive had to face those questions. That after all the revelations last year and just the tarnished history over the last decade, all thats been channeled toward me now," Froome said. "I feel Ive been able to deal with it reasonably well throughout this Tour, and hopefully thats sent a strong message to the cycling world that the sport has changed -- and it really has." "The pelotons standing together, the riders are united and its not going to be accepted anymore." The spectacular nighttime ceremonies, with the Eiffel Tower in glittering lights and the Arc de Triomphe used as a screen for a flashing lightshow, capped what has been a visually stunning Tour. It started with a first-ever swing through Corsica, Frances so-called "island of beauty," before veering through the Pyrenees to Brittany and then across France to the races crescendo in the Alps -- 3,404 grueling kilometres (2,115 miles) in total. Because of the unique late-afternoon start for the final Stage 21, the riders raced on the cobbles of the Champs-Elysees as the sun cast golden hues over the peloton and shhadows lengthened over the dense, cheering crowds.dddddddddddd Marcel Kittel won the final sprint on the avenue, the Germans sprinters fourth stage win of this Tour. French Air Force jets in formation trailed red, white and blue smoke in the skies. The riders circled like a necklace around the Arc de Triomphe in their bright colored team jerseys. After setting off from the magnificent Versailles Palace, the former residence of three kings and their seat of power until the French revolution of 1789, the riders were granted the privilege of meandering through the chateaus manicured gardens, past lakes like mirrors, spurting fountains and statues looking on stonily. Before the pace picked up sharply on the Champs-Elysees, Sundays 133-kilometre ride was largely leisurely. The 169 finishers -- from 198 who started -- savored the pleasure of surviving the three-week ordeal. Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria topped the Canadian contingent with a 70th-place finish overall. Tour rookies David Veilleux of Cap-Rouge, Que., finished 123rd while Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., was last in 169th. "We are very proud of these three Canadian riders at the Tour de France," said Jacques Landry, head coach at Cycling Canada. "Crossing the finish line of the Tour de France is a remarkable feat, and we should all be proud of them." Quintana, the 23-year-old Colombian who secured second place behind Froome with an impressive win on Saturdays penultimate Stage 20, laughed as third-placed Rodriguez tried to spark up a cigar in the saddle. Froomes clear physical superiority made him overwhelming favourite going into the Tour and carried him through it. His winning margin of 4 minutes, 20 seconds was the largest since 1997, when Jan Ullrich -- who has since admitted to doping -- beat Richard Virenque -- who also confessed to using performance-enhancers -- by 9 minutes, 9 seconds. Armstrong had larger margins of victory than Froome but those no longer count. Froomes three stage victories -- in the Pyrenees, on Mont Ventoux in Provence and in a mountainous time trial -- were the most for a Tour winner since Armstrong got five in 2004, results now annulled. Sky team manager Dave Brailsford said the Tour is seeing "a new generation" of young riders who "have never lived in an era of doping." Cyclings future "is in good hands with Chris, because he is an exceptional rider and an exceptional character." Unlike some other riders who cut short questions about doping and bristled, Froome said he was happy during the Tour to discuss the issue that has so poisoned his sport. He said he, too, felt let down by his cheating predecessors. Froome argued that his success demonstrates that cyclings anti-doping system -- now among the most rigorous, invasive and sustained of any sport -- must be working, because otherwise he wouldnt be able to win. At 28, Froome is entering his peak years as a bike racer. His prowess on climbs and in time trials gives him the essential ingredients to win more Tours. At Sky, hes backed by one of the best-funded, organized and smartest teams. With few exceptions, including the absent Giro dItalia winner Vincenzo Nibali and Wiggins, the cream of cyclings grand tour riders raced in the 100th edition. That Froome beat them so handily suggests hell again be the overwhelming favourite in 2014 -- in the 101st Tour that starts in Leeds, northern England. ------ AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire and Associated Press Writer Jamey Keaten in Paris contributed to this report. ' ' '

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