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August 31, 2021

Aussie dozen as 60yo claims slice of history Carol Cooke added silver to the gold she won in Rio. Picture: Paralympics Australia

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It’s been another remarkable day for Australia in Tokyo, our athletes adding another 12 medals to their huge paralympic haul, including a 60-year-old cycling star.

What a day it has been for the Australian team at the Tokyo Paralympics.

The Aussies have won an astonishing 12 medals in a single day – taking the team total to a massive 54 medals – with five days of competition still to go.

Six medals came from the road cycling team while our swimmers and athletes provided three each.

And there’s plenty more coming because Dylan Alcott is through to the singles and doubles finals in wheelchair tennis.


South Australia’s Darren Hicks, won the 24 km C2 time trial at Fuji International Speedway.

The win gave the one-legged former truck driver his first Paralympic gold medal after he had earlier won a silver in track cycling.

“I’ve been dreaming of that for five years, maybe longer. I’m still a bit lost,” Hicks said.

Carol Cooke – who turned 60 less than four weeks ago – took silver in the women’s T1-T2 time trial.

She became the second oldest Australian woman to get on the podium at the Paralympics.

Emily Petricola, who lapped her opponent in the final of the individual pursuit to win gold on the track last week, took silver after finishing just 10 seconds behind American Shawn Morelli.

Meg Lemon won the bronze in the same race.

Paige Greco also won a bronze medal in the women’s C1-C3 time trial after taking gold on the track last week.

Alistair Donohoe won a bronze in the men’s Class 5 race.

The Aussies have won 12 medals in cycling, including track, and still have three days of road racing left.


Grant “Scooter” Patterson won a silver medal in 50m breaststroke, giving him his second Paralympic medal in Tokyo.

“To come away with a bronze and a silver at this comp is pretty special,” he said.

“I’ve been looking for a Paralympic medal for 13 years so to have a bronze and a silver, I’m over the moon.

“The Paralympics happen every four years, but this one is even more special because you have to wait an extra year, so five.”

Col Pearse won a bronze medal in 100m butterfly.

“It’s been a hard 18 months, with all the lockdowns. So to finally get on the podium at the Paralympics, it’s just everything,” he said.

I still can’t just put words together, how I’m feeling right now, it’s just incredible. It’s a childhood dream come true. Makes it all worth it, training every day for the past 18 months, during lockdown, not taking a day off. It’s worth it. “

Jasmine Greenwood, 16, won a silver medal in the women’s 100m butterfly, with the 16 year old just missing the gold on the touch at the wall.

“This morning I was feeling very nervous for this race because we didn’t get to do a heat. It was a straight final and I think everyone was a bit nervous,” she said.

“I went into it (the final) knowing I had done a lot of hard work, and it paid off. I am very pleased.”


James Turner blitzed his rivals to win the T36 class 400m gold in a Paralympic Games’ record time of 52.80 seconds. He also won gold in the 800m at Rio in 2016.

“I was part of the Australian Paralympics seven-a-side team from age 15 to 20. It’s been really hard being away from them but they are all supporting me. I’ve had messages from them, and it’s great,” he said.

“I actually got a call from athletics saying, ‘Hey, you used to run 800m and your classification changed in football. Do you want to give it a go and see if you can make Rio?.’

“I thought, I might as well give it a shot, what’s the worst that can happen? Here I am today.”

Jaryd Clifford won a bronze medal in the 1500m run for visually impaired athletes.

Runner-up in the 5000m, the 22-year-old still has the marathon to come.

“I knew the 1500m was going to be the toughest event here,” he said.

“Because the 800m has been taken off the Paralympic program, the 1500m is stacked with guys who are extremely good runners.

“I would have liked to have gone quicker. I’m the world record holder but they’re only a second behind me, and if I lead it out, they’ll sit on me and they’re quick enough to do that.”

Madi de Rozario won a bronze in the 1500m wheelchair after winning gold in the 800m on the weekend.

Originally published as Tokyo Paralympics 2021: 60yo claims Aussies’ 50th Tokyo Paralympics medal, James Turner and Darren Hicks win gold


Metallica Launches Blackened x Willett Kentucky Straight Rye 11

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Today rye whiskey, tomorrow the world? Metallica-backed whiskey brand Blackened is making its first foray into Kentucky with a new rye in collaboration with cult craft distillery Willett. Blackened x Willett Kentucky Straight Rye 11 combines the prowess of an established distiller with the innovative “sonic enhancement” technique that was pioneered by the late, great Dave Pickerell, one of the brand’s founding partners. The release is the first in Blackened’s new “Masters of Whiskey” series, which will feature collaborations with other distillers in the future. It’s also the first rye for the brand.

Pickerell was a friend of the Kulsveen family, which owns and operates Willett; he even lent expertise when they were starting to distill back in 2011. The partnership with Metallica came a few years later. When Blackened was launching in 2018, the Kulsveens welcomed Pickerell back to the distillery to shoot a promotional video, and later opened their doors to the band, giving them a behind-the-scenes tour, offering them dinner and sharing cigars.

Michael Persico

What’s so special about Blackened x Willett Kentucky Straight Rye 11

Though Pickerell passed away in November 2018, his successor, former Stranahan’s master distiller Rob Dietrich, has continued the relationship, working with Willett master distiller Drew Kulsveen to craft this new release. Blackened x Willett marries two straight ryes—one with a high-rye-content mashbill, the other with a lower proportion of the grain—selected from Willett’s Family Estate barrels, ranging in age from 4 to 8 years old.

After marrying—blending the whiskeys together to form a balanced whole—the rye was then placed into madeira casks for a finish of up to 14 weeks. Like Blackened’s core American whiskey, which blends bourbon and rye from a number of states, this finish was undertaken using the brand’s proprietary Black Noise process. Pickerell developed the innovation specifically for Blackened.


Four-second interval workouts may be all it takes to maintain fitness and strength – The Irish Times

Filed under: Fitness — admin @ 5:03 am

A mere four seconds of all-out exercise, repeated two or three dozen times, could be all many of us need to build and maintain our fitness, strength and physical power, according to an inspiring new study of the potency of super-quick workouts.

The findings expand on other, recent studies showing that four-second interval workouts beneficially affect metabolism and muscles in adults of various ages. But they may also highlight new concerns about what we miss if we make our workouts too brief.

Almost anyone with even a passing interest in exercise and health has heard by now of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. A typical HIIT workout involves repeated, short bursts of arduous effort, known as intervals, interspersed with rest periods.

For generations, athletes interval trained to amp their speed and performance. But for most of us, HIIT’s primary allure is its brevity. In past studies, workouts with intense intervals ranging in length from four minutes or even less improved aspects of health and fitness to the same or a greater extent than much longer sessions of continuous, gentler exercise, like jogging or walking. For HIIT fans, the high-intensity workouts often represent their primary or only form of exercise.

The ideal length of the individual intervals remains uncertain, though. Most exercise scientists agree an interval should strenuously stimulate and pressure our hearts, lungs and muscles, prompting them to remodel themselves in beneficial ways. But such intense workouts should not be so draining we cannot finish the intervals or wish afterward never to work out again. Each interval should be, in essence, as gruelling and as tolerable as possible.

Eye-blink number

For Edward Coyle, a professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin, that meant an interval sweet spot of about four seconds. He and his colleagues arrived at that eye-blink number after studying fit, professional athletes. During physiological testing at Coyle’s lab, the athletes generated titanic speed and power while pedaling specialised stationary bicycles that feature a heavy flywheel and no resistance. (Coyle has equity in the company that manufactures the bicycles but says his monetary involvement does not affect research results from his lab.)

Within about two seconds of pedaling these unique bikes, the athletes reached an all-out, maximum level of aerobic effort and power output, Coyle and his colleagues found, an effort they could maintain briefly, but repeat often, with a few seconds of recovery time in between.

The rest of us, not being fit professional athletes, might require more time to reach our maximum aerobic effort and power output during similar cycling intervals, Coyle reasoned. But even twice as long would only be four seconds.

Could four-second intervals really provide enough exercise, though?

To try to find out, he and his colleagues set up a series of recent experiments.

During the first study, published last year, they asked college students to complete five repetitions of four-second intervals on the specially designed bikes every hour throughout an eight-hour workday. They found that the volunteers metabolised fat much better the following day than if they sat all day without exercising.

Similarly, a broader, longer-term study involving out-of-shape, older adults showed that regular, four-second interval workouts, during which volunteers repeated the tiny but intense intervals on the bikes at least 15 times per session, significantly raised their aerobic fitness and leg muscle mass after eight weeks.

But whether four-second interval workouts meaningfully would improve fitness and muscular power in people who started off in good shape was not yet clear. So, for the new study, which was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Coyle and his colleagues persuaded 11 healthy, active young men and women to come to the lab and push themselves through 30 repetitions of the four-second, all-out efforts on the bikes, with at least 15 seconds of rest in between. The volunteers completed three sessions of these intervals each week for eight weeks, for a total of 48 minutes of exercise over the two months. They did not otherwise exercise during this time.

Muscular power

In that time, they added 13 per cent to a crucial aerobic fitness measure and 17 per cent to their muscular power, measured by how many watts they produced while pedaling the bike, the researchers found.

These results suggest that a few seconds of strenuous effort “definitely provide enough stimulus” to bolster already-robust hearts and muscles, Coyle said. In practice, he continued, this might mean repeatedly sprinting uphill for four seconds at a time or taking stairs two or three at a time in four-second spurts.

The study’s implications also are cautionary, though, he pointed out. Other research, including his earlier study with students, suggests that being sedentary for long periods could have damaging effects on metabolic health, undermining the benefits from high-intensity workouts. So, if you rip through multiple four-second intervals in the morning and then sit, almost unmoving, for the remaining seconds of your day, you may wind up with metabolic problems related to being sedentary, despite those earlier four-second spurts of motion.

“In general, it’s going to be a good idea to get up and move around throughout the day,” he said, “and then sometimes, also, to move around in a way that is physically intense”, even if it lasts as little as four seconds. – New York Times


August 30, 2021

Latrell incident ‘made me sick to my stomach’ South Sydney’s Latrell Mitchell is binned for his high shot on the Roosters’ Joey Manu. Picture: NRL Photos

Filed under: Outdoors — Tags: — admin @ 6:23 pm

The Latrell Mitchell hit on Joseph Manu has sparked heated debate days after the ugly incident shocked the NRL.

Phil Rothfield believes Souths superstar Latrell Mitchell has anger management issues and that he entered the tackle on Roosters centre Joey Manu with reckless intent to hurt him.

Mitchell will miss the rest of the season while serving a six-game ban for the high tackle that caused multiple fractures in Manu’s face and Rothfield believes Mitchell needs to address the way he plays the game.

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“It was such a horrible moment and a really sinister addition to this Rabbitohs and Roosters rivalry that has been in action since day one when rugby league began in this country,” Yvonne Sampson said on NRL 360.

“Phil Rothfield you have called Latrell Mitchell out of control. How serious is the fallout from what we saw on Friday?”

Phil Rothfield: “My initial reaction and I’ve been watching footy a long time and there has probably been half a dozen instances in that time that have made me sick in my stomach,” Rothfield said.

“I know Joey Manu and I know what a beautiful bloke he is. Very gentle and almost too nice to play rugby league. But when I saw that I felt sick I really did.

“To see his cheekbone and then the photos on the front of The Sunday Telegraph the next day.

“The tackle was careless, reckless and was intentional. My view is there was intent there to hurt.

“I have got no doubt that he launched himself in a manner with intent to hurt.”

James Hooper: “I disagree with that Phil, it was reckless.”

“It was absolutely reckless for a brief millisecond, but intent is a very strong word and a tough thing to prove.”

PR: “There was intent to hurt in that tackle.”

Paul Kent: “I’m with Buzz for what it’s worth.

“I think he went in to hurt him. I don’t think he went in to hit him in the face, but he certainly went in with a shoulder charge action and brought the arm around late and I don’t think there was a lot of care there at all.

“He got hit with a reckless tackle. A reckless grade two. He could have got reckless grade three I would have been more than comfortable with.

“The silliness of the judicial system is you almost never get an intentional charge these days because it is hard to prove, but certainly there is a high degree of recklessness in that tackle and there was little care.”

YS: “I think there was a deliberate move to drive, I honestly don’t think he wanted to hurt Joey Manu.”

PK: “No one is suggesting he wanted to smash his face.

JH: “Hang on you guys just said it was intentional, which one is it?”

PK: “Every time you put a shot on someone you are going in to hurt them.

“That’s what you do. You go in to hurt them. You go in to drive your shoulder and hit them as hard as you can.”

JH: “But you are not going in to deliberately break someone’s cheekbone.”

PK: “No, but he went in with intention to hurt and that intent brought recklessness to his actions.”

“That’s why his action was reckless because the degree of accountability and care to his opponent was supposed to be taken into account. It didn’t happen.

“There was no duty of care whatsoever. That’s why he went in to hurt him and when he had a choice to make whether to lessen the tackle as part of a duty of care or to keep going he kept going.”

Rothfield believes you only have to look at Mitchell’s past indiscretions to know that he has to drastically change his fiery approach to contact, sparking another debate among the NRL 360 panel.

PR: “When you look at intent you look at priors.

“You look at how he lashed out at Nofoaluma earlier in the year with an elbow.”

JH: “That was pretty light.”

PR: “He got four weeks for it.”

PK: “It wasn’t light hang on.

PR: “He lashed out with his boot at Luke Garner.

JH: “That was worse than the karate chop.”

PR: “You wrote about how he lashed out and broke AJ Brimson’s jaw kicking out in a tackle and I’m convinced that wasn’t deliberate.”

PK: “When he hits Nofoaluma he hits him with the bony part of his forearm and Nofoaluma to his credit did not make a big song and dance about it, but privately told people after it had all settled down that he thought his jaw was broken.”

JH: “I thought when he kicked out at Garner was worse.

“If he collects Garner there guaranteed some sort of facial fracture.”

PK: “But there is an if in that statement Hoops.

“There is no if in whether he hit Nofoaluma. He hit him with the bone of his forearm. You hit anyone across the jaw with that it is going to sting you.”

JH: “There is very light contact there.

PK: “Oh come on, you would have a fortnight off if that was you.”

Rothfield believes Mitchell needs to work on his anger management issues or risk letting his team down in the future and tarnishing his legacy in the game.

YS: “To your point Buzz about Latrell being an egomaniac, Latrell is now the most heavily suspended player that we have this season.

“He has been out now for 10 weeks. Nearest to him is Radley and Ravalawa and they have got eight. The rap sheet is really long now for Latrell. Does he have to take stock and work out what kind of player he wants to be?”

PR: “He is the biggest turnstile clicker in the game and you turn the television on as much as Tom Trbojevic or anyone to watch Latrell play.

“But I think he has anger management problems. I think he is playing angry. What convinced me is when he wasn’t sent off and when he scored that try the manner in which he slammed the ball into the ground and he could have hit somebody. He was saying up yours after what he did to Joey Manu.

“He was so unapologetic. There was so much lack of remorse in it. I just think the way he has carried himself, despite having great mentors in Freddy Fittler, Wayne Bennett and Trent Robinson the year before. I think he is an angry man and I can’t recognise what it is.”

Originally published as Journos clash over Latrell Mitchell hit that ‘made me sick to my stomach’


Eight Sleep raises $86M as its smart mattress and ‘sleep fitness’ technology approaches $500M valuation – TechCrunch

Filed under: Fitness — admin @ 4:02 pm

The venture world is — quite literally — waking up to the potential of applying artificial intelligence to a wider variety of real-world, consumer-driven problems, and today comes the latest development on that front: Eight Sleep, which makes “smart” mattresses and mattress covers for regular mattresses that use machine learning and other artificial intelligence-based algorithms to improve your sleep both by changing temperature and monitoring other physical parameters to provide an overall picture of your health, has raised $86 million in a Series C round of funding.

Valor Equity Partners — the firm that has backed the likes of Tesla, SpaceX, GoPuff and many other big tech firms — is leading this latest investment, with SoftBank, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, and General Catalyst also participating, along with a lot of high-profile individuals who are also users for the product, athletes Alex Rodriguez, Kris Bryant and J.D. Martinez; celebs Kevin Hart; and tech figures Sophia Amorouso, Naval Ravikant and Kyle Vogt.

This Series C brings the total raised by Eight Sleep to $150 million, and the startup has confirmed to me that its valuation is now close to $500 million.

Matteo Franceschetti, Eight Sleep’s CEO, said in an interview that the funding will be used in a few ways.

First, the plan is to double down on building out more technology. Today, Eight’s Pod technology can detect your temperature, heartbeat and breathing and heat or cool a bed accordingly. Tomorrow, that could also include more physical products, additional ambient factors like lighting, and other diagnostics related to you, the sleeper.

Second, Eight Sleep wants to expand internationally, with plans to sell New York-based Eight Sleep products across Europe and the UK by the end of this year. After all, it’s not just people in the U.S. who could use a better night of sleep.

Franceschetti — who co-founded the company with Massimo Andreasi Bassi, Andrea Ballarini, and Alexandra Zatarain — told TechCrunch that he came to think about sleep and the need to improve it by way of having been an avid and active sports enthusiast.

“I was into the idea of sleep as recovery,” he said. “That is how we came up with the idea of sleep fitness.” Sleep he said, “is not just a waste of time.” Extrapolating that, it’s not just important for athletes, but everyone, to have better quality sleep.

“The vision for us is to compress your sleep and save your life,” he said. A good six hours, he added, “are better than eight hours that are not.” The company’s original name, Eight, was in reference to those fabled eight hours. Eight Sleep claims that when people use its products, they fall asleep 40% faster, get up to 20% more deep sleep, experience 30% fewer mid-night wake ups, and up to 30% fewer tosses and turns.

(But can it get me to stop worrying about Covid, the economy and societal collapse, whether my kids will be happy in life, and if we remembered to lock the door downstairs? Or maybe all of those just seem less serious when you are actually comfortable in bed…)

While Eight has definitely had a lot of traction with athletes — some 100 big names use it today — it’s hoping that the big boom in quantified self technology — hardware and software built to measure our blood pressure, heart rate, how much we sleep, how much we walk or do other activities, and much more — will mean that it can ultimately have a mass market appeal.

Indeed, we are living in a world with wearable tech that tracks our every movement is nothing new. And, as computing and communications technologies have become smaller and more portable, and infinitely more powerful, and cloud technology and advances in big data analytics has made the gathering of data and the ability to parse it more sophsiticated, we have only seen the possibilities for how that can be used to measure (and potentially “improve”) our lives increase.

Within that, sleep has been a large category of opportunity both for startups and tech companies. Earlier this year, Oura raised $100 million for its fitness and sleep tracking rings; others like Zeit have been exploring how to use wearable technology to address more acute sleep-related issues like sleep strokes.

Larger tech companies are not asleep at the wheel, either. Google recently updated its Nest Hub to track sleep; and even Apple has acquired a sleep tech company, Beddit (that deal was back in 2017, however, and it has been years since that hardware was updated: that could be one sign that Apple was more interested in using some of the technology in some of its other health-related efforts).

All this points to many more developments in a sleep tech market estimated to be worth some $30 billion. Within that Eight Sleep has been on a roll, with revenues for 2021 currently on track to triple versus 2020 on the back of two main products, a mattress that retails for $2,500 and a smart cover that sells for $1,500. (The company does not disclose user numbers but Franceschetti said that the figures are in the “several thousands,”)

2021 revenue is on track to more than triple vs. 2020. The funds will be used to accelerate the company’s innovation and technology roadmap and grow the size of the team.

“The sleep tech market is only in its infancy. The opportunity is limitless, as we spend up to a third of our lives asleep. Consumers are increasingly focused on sleep fitness as the understanding of how deeply important sleep is to overall health becomes more widely known,” said Antonio Gracias of Valor Equity in a statement.

Gracias founded Valor and is joining the board with this round, and as with other investors, he seems to have been won over in part by becoming a user: “The first night I slept on the Pod I knew we had to get involved,” he said. “We’ve seen this in our portfolio many times – Eight Sleep’s products and technology are disrupting the sleep market, and its rapid innovation is outpacing the competition as it builds a new sleep fitness focused category that delivers results.”


Dietitian reveals how to choose the healthiest supermarket yoghurt

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 4:08 am

With literally hundreds of different yoghurts in supermarkets, you could be forgiven for feeling a little confused when it comes to seeking out a yoghurt that both ticks the box nutritionally and that tastes good.

While there are many different varieties of yoghurt, the good news is that they generally fall into a handful of core categories, which makes it a lot easier to decipher the different types. So as a dietitian, here are the key things I look for when choosing a healthy yoghurt.


Related: The successful way to restart healthy eating habits in lockdown

Look for no added sugar

The less added sugar we consume in the diet, the better and while some yoghurts may contain ‘No Added Sugar’, at times they may still be sweetened with rice starch, fruit purees or honey, which still increases their sugar content compared to natural and plain Greek yoghurts.

Read more: There’s a big difference between Greek yoghurt and Greek-style yoghurt

Seek out probiotics

One of the key nutritional benefits that we get from including yoghurt in our diet is the live cultures, or the probiotics it contains. Many different yoghurts contain live cultures, and there are also specific varieties that have been formulated for their gut health benefits, and may also include prebiotic fibres, which feed the good bacteria in the digestive tract. Plain natural and Greek yoghurts are generally the best options, and varieties with several different varieties of probiotics are an extra bonus.

Check the ingredient list

The shorter the ingredient list of a processed food, the better the food is likely to be nutritionally. For example, plain Greek or natural yoghurt will contain little other than milk and live cultures. On the other hand, more processed yoghurts including Greek style flavoured yoghurt will contain a relatively long list of additives such as gums, sweeteners and thickeners to give it a longer shelf life.

Avoid sweeteners

While sweeteners, both natural and artificial can be a way to reduce the number of added sugars in foods, as sweeteners tend to be significantly sweeter than sugar itself, consuming more and more of these in foods may prime us to seek out more sweet food over time. For this reason, using plain, unsweetened yoghurts and then sweetening them with fresh fruit is a better option.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Know the protein content

While milk and soy-based yoghurts naturally contain protein, there is also a growing range of protein-rich yoghurts that are either strained in a way that concentrates the protein, or have protein added. If one of your goals is weight loss or muscle mass gain, opting for a higher protein yoghurt may complement your dietary goals. Or if you prefer plant-based yoghurts, seek out varieties that have at least 3-5g of protein per serve, if you can find one.

Be careful with plant-based yoghurt

While called ‘yoghurt’, nutritionally plant-based yoghurts such as almond, oat and coconut are significantly different to milk-based yoghurts, with little protein or calcium and at times extra sugars and/or saturated fat. For this reason, if you think that you are buying a nutrient-rich yoghurt it is best to read your labels and check your protein and calcium content to seek out options that offer at least some of the nutritional benefits of milk-based yoghurt.

Susie Burrell’s top three yoghurt recommendations:

Greek-style yoghurt: Farmer’s Union Greek Style Natural Yoghurt. It contains no additives and is naturally rich in protein and calcium.

Natural low fat yoghurt: Vaalia Low Fat Natural yoghurt comes with a range of probiotics, no added sugars and it’s low in fat.

Greek protein yoghurt: Evia Greek Strained Yoghurt Skim Natural, with no added sugar it’s rich in protein and a good source of probiotic cultures.

Author Susie Burrell is a leading Australian dietitian and nutritionist, founder of Shape Me, co-host of The Nutrition Couch podcast and prominent media spokesperson, with regular appearances in both print and television media commenting on all areas of diet, weight loss and nutrition.


August 29, 2021

Old Firm agony for Postecoglou Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has tasted defeat in his first Old Firm derby. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Filed under: Outdoors — Tags: — admin @ 6:13 pm

In his first Old Firm clash since taking charge of Celtic, former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has suffered defeat.

Ange Postecoglou’s Old Firm initiation has ended in disappointment, with his Celtic side beaten 1-0 by arch-rivals Rangers at Ibrox Stadium.

Swedish defender Filip Helander’s 67th minute proved the difference as Celtic’s run without a win in one of world football’s biggest derbies extended to seven matches, six of which have been Rangers’ victories.

Much was expected of Celtic under former Socceroos boss Postecoglou, who has turned around the Hoops’ fortunes in recent weeks after a tough start to his tenure.

However, in Postecoglou’s biggest test since taking charge of Celtic in June, it was reigning Scottish champions Rangers who, in front of their home fans, continued their recent dominance over their Glasgow rivals.

The loss was Celtic’s second in four Scottish Premiership matches under Postecoglou, whose team has fallen three points behind Rangers on the ladder.

Things may have been different had Celtic not blown a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 25th minute.

The Hoops got behind Rangers’ defence with a Liel Abada through ball that found in-form Japanese attacker Kyogo Furuhashi.

The former Vissel Kobe forward then laid a squad ball into the path of Frenchman Odsonne Edouard.

But in what could be his final game for Celtic before a move to elsewhere in Europe, Edouard fluffed his shot from close range as it dribbled off his right foot and well wide of the post.

Rangers almost made Celtic pay for their wastefulness seven minutes later with a long-distance strike from Ryan Kent that hit the outside of the post.

However, the decisive goal did come, with the hosts’ dominance after half-time rewarded when Helander rose high to head home a corner past Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart midway through the second half.

Postecoglou called on Socceroos’ midfielder Tom Rogic, who had started the match on the bench, immediately after the goal.

However, Rogic’s efforts couldn’t secure his side an equaliser.

Rangers won the game without the presence of their manager, Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, who wasn’t able to take his place in the dugout after being forced to self-isolate at home due to a Covid-19 scare.

Instead, Gerrard’s assistant and another former Liverpool midfielder, Gary McAllister, took charge.


August 28, 2021

Bear attack survivor Ma Lin wins silver medal Australia’s Table Tennis Team new addition Ma Lin practising prior to his medal-winning match. Picture: Sport the library / Greg Smith / PA

Filed under: Outdoors — Tags: — admin @ 6:04 pm

Australia has won a rare silver medal in Paralympic table tennis thanks to a one-armed champion who lost his limb in a bear attack at a Chinese zoo.

Australia has won a rare silver medal in Paralympic table tennis thanks to a one-armed naturalised Chinese champion who lost his upper limb in bizarre circumstances.

Ma Lin has emerged as one of Australia’s brightest stars in Tokyo because of his brilliant performances with the paddle and his incredible tale of survival that has endeared him to his new homeland.

Virtually unknown in Australian sporting circles despite being one of the best para table tennis players in the world, Ma Lin lost his right arm when he was just five years old when it was bitten off by a brown bear at a zoo in China.

He now calls Australia home and has delivered a medal at his first big international competition after going down to Belgian Laurens Devos in the Class 9 individual men’s final at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Australia has only ever won two gold medals in Paralympic table tennis – one each in 1964 and 1984 – but still has a great chance with three other Aussies through to gold medal matches in Tokyo.

When he moved to Australia after the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Ma Lin brought two of his closest Chinese friends – Yang Qian and Lei Lina – who also happen to be international stars of the sport.

Yang Qian takes on Brazil’s Bruna Alexandre in Class 10 on Monday immediately after Lei Lina faces her former Chinese teammate Guiyan Xiong in Category 9.

And there’s more.

Sam von Einem – who ended Australia’s 32 year drought when he won a silver medal in Rio in 2016, is through to Sunday’s C11 men’s final, where he will take on Hungarian world No. 1 Peter Palos.

The South Australian made it through to the gold medal decider after an astonishing comeback against Florian Van Acker, the Belgian who beat him in five sets in the Rio final.

Von Einem had lost all of his previous eight matches against van Acker and seemed to be staring at another defeat after dropping the first two sets only to storm back and win the next three.

“I‘m over the moon. To get over van Acker was something that I had been trying to do for so long and now that I’ve done it, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

“After those two first games I just thought that I had to reset and take one point at the time. I think I did it really well, the match finally started to come my way and I got away with the win.”

Originally published as Tokyo Paralympics 2021: Bear attack survivor Ma Lin wins table tennis silver medal for Australia


Moderate-vigorous physical activity found to be the most efficient at improving fitness – News-Medical.Net

Filed under: Fitness — admin @ 11:05 am

In the largest study performed to date to understand the relationship between habitual physical activity and physical fitness, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that higher amount of time spent performing exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) and low-moderate level activity (steps) and less time spent sedentary, translated to greater physical fitness.

By establishing the relationship between different forms of habitual physical activity and detailed fitness measures, we hope that our study will provide important information that can ultimately be used to improve physical fitness and overall health across the life course.”

Matthew Nayor, MD, MPH, corresponding author, assistant professor of medicine, BUSM

He and his team studied approximately 2,000 participants from the community-based Framingham Heart Study who underwent comprehensive cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) for the “gold standard” measurement of physical fitness. Physical fitness measurements were associated with physical activity data obtained through accelerometers (device that measures frequency and intensity of human movement) that were worn for one week around the time of CPET and approximately eight years earlier.

They found dedicated exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) was the most efficient at improving fitness. Specifically, exercise was three times more efficient than walking alone and more than 14 times more efficient than reducing the time spent sedentary. Additionally, they found that the greater time spent exercising and higher steps/day could partially offset the negative effects of being sedentary in terms of physical fitness.

According to the researchers, while the study was focused on the relationship of physical activity and fitness specifically (rather than any health-related outcomes), fitness has a powerful influence on health and is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death. “Therefore, improved understanding of methods to improve fitness would be expected to have broad implications for improved health,” said Nayor, a cardiologist at Boston Medical Center.

These findings appear online in the European Heart Journal.

Journal reference:

Nayor, M., et al. (2021) Physical activity and fitness in the community: the Framingham Heart Study. European Heart Journal.


August 27, 2021

‘The Umbrella Academy’ Star Tom Hopper on Winning Hollywood’s Self-Image War

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 9:56 pm

Tom Hopper has made a career out of being the built British bruiser. Towering at 6’5” over his onscreen colleagues in Black Sails, Game of Thrones, and The Umbrella Academy, the former rugby player is a rare breed in Hollywood. A studied dramatic actor, he’s found himself one of the new go-to gents in the action world.

“Growing up in that team sports environment, I really respond to a challenge,” says Hopper, over Zoom while on set in Vancouver.

So when the challenge is, say, be a hulking knight or an elite SAS soldier, Hopper trains like he’s going to war. Doing that for a decade has been a unique learning experience for the rising star. Not just physically, but also mentally in dealing with expectations from himself—and everyone else.

Now Hopper is hoping to share what he’s learned with others, both on social media and through campaigns with companies he believes in—like Viome—which helps improve gut health by adjusting food habits.

Men’s Journal spoke with the actor about his bumpy road to clean eating, struggling with self-image, and exciting projects he has on the horizon.

Men’s Journal: What was your introduction to fitness?

Tom Hopper: I was a skinny boy growing up. I remember when the rugby season came around, I was playing with all these kids who were bigger than me. They were massive, and it’s the kind of sport where size really matters. I remember even at that age thinking, ‘I need to hit the weights.’ But the Internet wasn’t around like it is today, and if you wanted to get information, you had to go into actual shops to buy fitness magazines.

I actually remember emailing some random bodybuilder I found in one of the magazines to ask him if creatine would be beneficial for me when I was a teenager. That just goes to show you how desperate the measures were. I was walking around with this very specific idea of what a real man was supposed to look like, and it led me down the wrong path. I was going to the gym with a real unhealthy mindset, thinking only of aesthetics.

How did that initial mindset impact the start of your acting career?

I realized early on there’s a niche opening in the marketplace for British dudes who are super fit. At the time, the majority of those guys were coming from America. I’m 6’5” and figured if I put on some real muscle I could brand myself in the action world. I dedicated myself to that process fully like it was sports training camp. That’s really what started me on this whole fitness journey. It wasn’t long before I was auditioning for all these big movies and TV shows.

Were there high expectations regarding your fitness for a role?

The biggest turning point in my career way when I got Black Sails. The movie 300 had just come out and there was all this hype around how jacked everyone was in Zach Snyder’s film. It was definitely a moment in the culture. So, in turn, with us playing these brutal pirates, this image was expected of us. I think there was pressure to look a certain way. Some of it was self-imposed because of what we were seeing in Hollywood. But the studio would also check in and get sent photos to make sure we were sticking with our plans. They set us all up with a personal trainer, James White, who ran the Roark gym in Cape Town, South Africa, close to set. That was the first time I felt the pressure to look a certain way for a role.

How did that affect you behind the scenes?

On the outside, and to everyone watching the show, I looked very fit and healthy. But during that time, I was feeling sluggish and found myself nodding off in the middle of the day. It was a real rollercoaster, from feeling great to completely crashing. I was wondering why I couldn’t get to where I wanted without such a struggle, and for a while I was blaming genetics. Eventually I decided I needed to take more control and really investigate why I was feeling the way I was.

There was another time we were preparing for a promo shoot for Black Sails, and we all went maybe a little too extreme with the calorie counting. I’m surprised my lovely wife stuck around to become my wife after that period because the diet made me a horrible human being. After one of the photo shoots, she bought me a special lunch to celebrate. I blew up at her because I wanted very specific “treats,” and she bought the wrong ones. She said, “Do you hear yourself?” I had to step back and really reevaluate what I was doing.

The Umbrella Academy star Tom Hopper fights an opponent with onlookers
Courtesy of Netflix

What did you begin to work on?

I learned a lot about training from James during our sessions, but where I was really struggling was my nutrition. Back in the day, nobody was talking about it the way they do now. It was just about getting a certain amount of calories, and less about where they came from. I was eating burgers with cheese and fries to put on weight. There wasn’t a lot of sense about it. I had a friend, who always felt great, who told me to just try eating clean for a while. I decided to give it everything I had.

How soon did you feel the benefits?

The difference was pretty instantaneous. It was crazy to me how much better I felt when I was consuming real food and staying away from all the processed snacks I was craving. I was addicted, and the only solution I saw was to go cold turkey. That’s when I realized how much power they had over me. Passing by those shops, I was in actual pain from walking away without buying anything.

I started to see how unnatural it was for me to be craving those sugars so intensely. They’d created a massive imbalance in my body. I was being ruled by them. That was an awakening. I decided to wean myself off it all. Not an easy task with an addictive personality, but once I turned that corner, I actually became addicted to feeling good—to not waking up with headaches and not being tired all the time for no reason. I became addicted to enjoying my workouts again.

What was the hardest snack to give up?

Haribo gummy bears. I used to walk past the shops with Toby Stephens, who played Captain Flint on Black Sails, and he’d say, “Oh mate, I need some gummies.” And I would be right there with him.

Any recent challenges on the wellness journey?

During the start of The Umbrella Academy, they wanted me to bulk up and turn myself into a bit of a monster. Then, just a few weeks before filming, they decided we were going to use this massive muscle suit. I immediately had to lean down after putting on so much mass. That led me to experiment with things like fasting and the keto diet.

I don’t think most people stick to the true principles of keto, which is checking your body constantly for whether or not you’re in ketosis. For me, it’s something I dip in and out of. I’d feel great for a few days, then start to deplete a bit. The intermittent fasting worked straight away. Even when I’m not sticking to it firmly throughout the day, I’ll practice in the morning—including on set when there’s usually a breakfast laid out and someone’s asking what you want to eat. I got into the habit of telling them I wasn’t going to need anything until the afternoon.

It was around the end of the first season when I first came across this company Viome. I read they were doing microbiome testing for your gut based on your stool. At first I was a little standoffish about the concept, but eventually reached out to them.

What was the turning point?

A friend, Bobby Maximus, had used them to fix a serious stomach issue he was having. They helped him find out what foods had a negative impact on his system and basically healed his gut—with food. That got me curious.

Not only was I researching ways to improve my own health, but also for my son Freddie, who’s autistic. What I learned is that bad gut health can make the symptoms of autism more severe. At the time, my wife and I were going through quite a tough time with Freddie, and we were looking for anything to make our lives easier. So we decided to do the microbiome tests together as a family, and when we received the results we committed to following them.

I liked how simple they break down foods that are helpful, foods that are fine, and foods that are like poison to your body. I was surprised to find that bananas were a food Freddie was supposed to avoid, yet it was a superfood for me. So when I was having one I’d naturally just share it with him—with no idea it was affecting him differently and causing these problems in his gut. We noticed an immediate improvement in his behavior. It was really quite shocking how quickly things changed, from his mood to sleep patterns.

How about your dietary shift? Were you feeling the benefits too?

I definitely started to see similar effects for myself. Beforehand, I’d spent a lot of energy avoiding carbs. But once I learned some of them were on my superfood list, I realized I’d been depriving myself of some positive nutrition. I was eating carbs and looking and feeling better than I ever had. I also learned to enjoy real food—because once you lose that addiction to sugars and additives, you start to really be able to taste stuff again.

The gut is constantly evolving. So when you take the test six months or a year later, you’ll see how much things can change. Sometimes foods that were on your avoid list are now fine for you to enjoy again because a specific issue has been resolved. What I’ve learned is that it’s all about making positive shifts and adapting your eating habits when necessary. I went into Season 2 feeling like a new man.

And mentally?

Absolutely. I know a lot of people are struggling with mental health, especially after the year we’ve had. We all know the obvious things that can help, like exercise. But I don’t think people talk enough about how the wrong foods can make things worse. How, for example, the vagus nerve—which connects your gut to your brain—isn’t just a one-way street. People used to think if you were feeling bad it would manifest itself in how your stomach felt. Now we know this nerve is more like a highway. An upset gut can have a negative effect on our mental health as well.

How do you deal with all the attention paid to your appearance?

I’ve struggled a lot with body dysmorphia. No matter who you are, there’s this image in your head of what you think you should look like as opposed to what you see in the mirror. For me, the way out is being content with the best version of me and pursuing it fully—and not some guy on a movie poster.

I know if I put up an Instagram post where I’m shirtless, there will be toxic comments that aren’t productive. I’ve gotten better about “posting and ghosting” these days, where I’m not really reading any of it. That time is better spent elsewhere.

What drives you to be so open on social media about your training and other wellness pursuits?

I understand I’m one of those guys who’s been branded to look a certain way. But I also want to be able to say how easy and fun the journey can be—and that so much can be done by implementing very simple lifestyle changes. People ask me all the time how I have the discipline to stay in shape. How can I enjoy life while being so restricted? I’m actually having fun with every part of the process—and enjoying every bite of real food I’m tasting.

Have there been any adjustments in your training for upcoming projects—including Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy and the Resident Evil reboot.

I always like to keep the training fresh, so I’m constantly changing the kind of movements I do. I’ll pull new programs on social media from people like Marcus Filly, my friend Bobby Maximus, and Ben Patrick. I like people who do something different and go against the status quo, especially when it works. I’m working out consistently, so when it comes to putting on mass—like for Resident Evil—it just means eating more of those good foods I’m already on. I think people are really going to enjoy the reboot, especially fans of the game.

Going into The Umbrella Academy, I had a shoulder injury which occurred while doing a pretty standard lift. It was just one of those silly things when the weight just doesn’t move right. I did stem cells and PRP, which helped heal it up nicely, and I adapted my training to put less stress on it without sacrificing what I’d built so far. That was difficult, especially because of how taxing the muscle suit can be on my arms, but I was able to make it work. This is my favorite season we’ve done so far.

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