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It’s taken over 120 years to shave the Olympic 100 metres record from 11.4 seconds to the current 9.06 seconds and globally renowned Global Sports Scientist and Performance Enhancement Specialist Tim Gabbett says it’s got to even out sometime.

“It’s a million dollar question. At some point of time it is going to stop at much lower time. It is better to keep trying, keep pushing our limits that’s the best we can do to lower the mark. With advancement in training, technology and good coaches, players are trained to be physically and mentally strong,” Gabbett told IANS in an interview.

Gabbett who has worked with elite international athletes over several Commonwealth Games (2002 and 2006) and Olympic Games (2000, 2004, and 2008) cycles, then added a few caveats to prevent illness and over-training in athletes.

“The biggest challenge to manage sports with reference to injury is to bring athletes and coaches on the same page. There are different team members comprising of coaching and performance staff. Everyone has to work, communicate and perform well together. Managing risk of injury helps in keeping their focus in the centre of the game,” he explained.

Then, there is the question of managing the pressure of high performance practitioners in sports, said Gabbet, who was in Mumbai recently for a workshop at The Heal Institute, a multi-disciplinary physiotherapy centre.

“Pressure develops because of expectation to perform well. If the level of the sports is high, it ultimately develops higher expectation to win. Athletes should keep in mind that performance is important but thinking about friends and family is also important. They always want to do the best job for themselves, for their teams but the best way to deal with the pressure and obtain victory is by keeping everything in perspective,” he said.

Gabbett, who has a PhD in Human Physiology (2000) and has completed a second PhD in the Applied Science of Professional Football (2011) with special reference to physical demands, injury prevention, and skill acquisition, also spoke of the importance of load management training.

“If you try to rapidly increase your training loads or use them excessively you will most certainly run the risk of injury. Athletes are advised to safely build the higher training loads so that their built-up is resilient and robust. One can prevent over-training by taking factor recovery breaks between the high-intensity training sessions. It is good to train hard but it is always advisable to take proper interval between the sessions,” he added.

“Load management is essential when you are planning training and it is aids sports science trainers, physiotherapists and coaches. The importance of load management could be explained better using this example: If someone wants to participate in Tokyo Olympics wherein he/she will be competing with the best athletes and desires to win maximum medals, load management will increase the possibilities to win them and overcome the challenges.

“One has to plan their loads appropriately and not quickly. Systematically buildimg higher loads with factor recovery will better the chance to win,” he added.

How does this translate into action?

Noting that there are many positive and negative effects of training, Gabbett said: “The positive effect is obviously fitness and it becomes negative when we rapidly increase the load training. It gives athletes a fatigue effect, increases the risk of illness and injury. Athletes should maximise the positive fitness effects by using load information. When they are going for big events or championship, they should ensure their fitness level is high and fatigue is very low.”

He also pointed to three key factors of sports science which will benefit coaches and athletes:

  • The need to load athletes effectively. Load management and training is a big rock. If we get that right you are in a good place
  • Recovery is a big part of training. It is important to get enough quality sleep each night
  • Provide athletes with enough fuel i.e proper food and encourage regular hydration.

“If we get these three things right, it will benefit an athlete to perform and win,” Gabbett concluded,

(Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at [email protected],in)


My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.




Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers




Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.





New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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