James Magnussen

Aussie swimmer Magnussen hires a ‘mind coach’

1 Comment

Australian swimmer James Magnussen has come up with what he feels is the solution to not winning a gold medal in London: A “mind coach.”

Or, as we’ll call it, a head doctor.

Amid reports of drug and alcohol use, bullying and hazing rituals, the Aussies won just 10 swimming medals at last summer’s Olympics – one gold, six silver and three bronze. Magnussen was brash and confident leading up to the Games, saying he would win the 100m freestyle and lead the 4x100m freestyle relay team to victory. But neither happened.

American Nathan Adrian out-touched the man who is often called “Maggie” in the 100m freestyle and in the relay, the Aussies finished fourth.

Magnussen returns to action this week for a meet in Perth, Australia.

“I think more than anything I got wrong (was) my life outside of the pool,” Magnussen told Reuters today. “I did everything I needed to do in the lead-up in the pool. (But the results) just showed there were some imbalances.”

As a result, Magnussen said he’s been working with a “mind coach” to right the ship that is his head. “Not necessarily purely for the psychological side of swimming, but for my life in general,” Magnussen said. “I’ve really worked hard on trying to be a more positive and easygoing person. I think it’s paid huge dividends both in and out of the pool.”

This summer at the World Championships, we’ll get a sense of how Maggie’s “mind coaching” has helped him.

Katie Ledecky helps Bryce Harper celebrate NL East title (video)

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, right, and Mark Melancon, left, celebrate after clinching the National League East following a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Images
Leave a comment

The Washington Nationals won the National League East title last night for the third time in five years.

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper donned a Katie Ledecky swim cap during the beer-soaked celebration to protect his hair, which he reportedly spends 30 minutes grooming before games.

Ledecky, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, is a longtime fan of the Nationals. Earlier this year, she had Harper hold her five Olympic medals from Rio while she threw the first pitch at a Nationals game.

Ledecky, who is currently taking classes at Stanford, Tweeted her approval of Harper’s headgear:

MORE: Katie Ledecky declines waffle maker on ‘Ellen’ to stay NCAA eligible

Kenenisa Bekele misses marathon world record by six seconds (video)

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish to win the 43th Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
AP Images
Leave a comment

BERLIN (AP) — Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia pulled away from Wilson Kipsang of Kenya late in the race to win the Berlin Marathon just outside the world record time on Sunday.

Bekele’s winning time of two hours, 3 minutes and 3 seconds was six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto‘s world record, also set in Berlin in 2014 and is the second best time.

“I wanted to set a personal best and it’s a fantastic time, but it’s a little disappointing to miss the world record by so little,” Bekele said after the race.

Bekele and Kipsang opened a considerable lead over the rest of the field and ran shoulder-to-shoulder until Bekele pulled away with about two kilometers to go.

Kipsang finished 10 seconds behind Bekele in 2:03:13, faster than the 2:03:23 he clocked in winning the race in 2013, in what was then a world record.

Evans Chebet of Kenya was third in 2:05:31.

Bekele is considered one of the greatest distance runners of all time. He won three Olympic titles and five world championship golds and is the world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

But he had been slow getting into the marathon, with his previous best of 2:05.04 set in his debut in winning the Paris race in 2014. He was third in London in April, after battling an Achilles’ tendon injury.

Bekele broke the Ethiopian record for the marathon, previously held by the great Haile Gebrselassie, who won the Berlin Marathon and set a world record of 2:03.59 in 2008.

Aberu Kebede led an Ethiopian sweep in the women’s race in 2:20:45. Birhane Dibaba was second in 2:23:58 and Ruti Aga third in 2:24:41.

MORE: Usain Bolt says he received offers to play wide receiver in the NFL (video)