The 2012 London Olympics were filled with so many dramatic victories for the U.S. swimming team that the debut of then-15-year-old Katie Ledecky was a bit overshadowed. She entered only one event and won it easily. Three years later, Ledecky is the most dominant freestyle swimmer on Earth. She’s the first to own world records in three different freestyle distances simultaneously since Ian Thorpe. Barring the unforeseeable, the 2016 Olympics will undoubtedly make her one of the biggest stars in athletics.Over distances of 400 meters or more, she’s already faster than Mark Spitz. Yes, Mark Spitz, winner of nine Olympic gold medals — tied for the most of anyone not named Phelps — the guy who set world records at three freestyle distances, including the 400 meters, in which his top world-record time (4:07.7) now trails Ledecky’s (3:58.37) by over nine seconds.But this week she made headlines at the swimming world championships not only for her usual slate of fresh records and golds in her usual distances, but also for expanding her dominance by taking gold in the 200-meter race. Being able to win both sprints and endurance events is much more common in swimming than in track,1There have been 32 different swimmers who owned world records in at least three freestyle distances, including eight who have held both the 1,500- and the 200-meter records and two who have held the world record for all five traditional distances (100 meters through 1,500 meters). though it has been getting rarer of late.And Ledecky, who turned 18 in March, is just getting started. Who knows what heights she might reach? For now, we know she has been getting better and better at every distance — despite racing some only occasionally and/or in lower-pressure situations:While her meteoric improvement has started to flatten out a bit (as we would expect), there are no indications that she has peaked (or valleyed, as the case may be). She just matched her personal best of 1:55.16 in the 200 meters, and her times in that event are still declining (with a fairly linear trend). She is currently just over 2 seconds off of Federica Pellegrini’s record of 1:52.98 — which Pellegrini set just before turning 21. Pellegrini first set the record in this event at age 18, with a time of 1:56.47 — more than a second slower than Ledecky’s time Wednesday at the same age. Ledecky’s 100-meter time is a little bit further away from Britta Steffen’s record — about 2.5 seconds back — but Ledecky has been improving that mark by about 1 second per year even without it being one of her main races. It’s conceivable that she could become the first swimmer since Shane Gould to own all five traditional distance records (the 50-meter sprint only became recognized in 1976).Ledecky’s dominance has led to inevitable comparisons to men. She made a splash in April when she matched Michael Phelps’s time in a 400-meter preliminary, and her latest 1,500-meter record time has only been bested by 80 men in the world this year.She will likely rise even higher in those ranks in coming years, although she is still unlikely to topple any current male records. (Sorry to be a party-pooper!) Her best shot would theoretically be in the 1,500 meters, where she is about 55 seconds behind Sun Yang of China. While she seems to break her own record in that event practically every day, she has improved it by only 11 seconds in the past two years.However, she has caught up with or surpassed many record-holding men from the past (like Spitz). We can compare the lifetime progression of her personal-best swims (she has been on USA Swimming’s radar since she was 6) to the progression of the men’s world record for each distance like so:It’s fascinating that even her juvenilia has often been faster than many swimming legends. At just 13 years of age, Ledecky swam the 100-meter event faster than Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku, who set his 100-meter world record time of 1:00.4 in 1920 — at age 30. (It’s almost like athletes get better and better over time.)By now, she has put the whole first half of the 20th century in her wake. For example, it’s highly probable that before June 1975, no human in history had ever swum 1,500 meters faster than Ledecky did Tuesday.So here’s a timeline of just when Ledecky’s current bests would have been the fastest ever:2I’ve left out the 50-meter event because there’s no record before 1976, but based on an eyeballing of the trendlines above, it looks pretty similar to the 100. In other words, it’s not just that she can play with the boys. If you took Katie Ledecky in a (backward) time machine to some point before August 1961, she would quite likely be the fastest human being in water in the history of the Earth — over any distance.3Barring “marathon” distances substantially greater than 1,500 meters — like the Olympics’ 10-kilometer open water event, which Ledecky doesn’t compete in. Yet.As she keeps improving her times and lowering her records, I like to think of each new milestone as her advancing through time, knocking down legend after legend as they pop up. It isn’t just a new record — it’s another period of history in which no one could beat her. How far can she get?(UPDATE: Aug. 10, 3:50 p.m.): The charts in this post have been updated to include Ledecky’s latest 800m world record, which she set at the world championships on Saturday.
Serena Williams from the U.S. returns the ball to Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during the final day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Serena Williams lost on her return to competitive tennis after giving birth, going down to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.“I don’t think I am going to rate my performance,” Williams said. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being. So, in my eyes, I feel it was a wonderful, wonderful match for me.”Williams struggled with her serve and Ostapenko won 6-2, 3-6 and then 10-5 in a super tiebreaker, but the American still impressed to take a set off the No. 7-ranked Ostapenko after nearly a year away from tennis.Williams said after the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship that she is still undecided on her title defense of the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 15, but delivered a warning to rivals.“I don’t know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet. I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships,” Williams said. “I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there.“I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding.”The 36-year-old Williams took time off after winning the Australian Open last January while pregnant. She gave birth to her first child, a girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept. 1. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in November.Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, a record for the professional era.“Knowing that I have won 23 Grand Slam titles and several other titles, I don’t think I have anything more left to prove. But I am not done yet,” Williams said.Despite winning her opening game when she broke Ostapenko, Williams was nowhere near her best in the first set, before fighting back and winning the second.After the initial break, Ostapenko latched onto the weak serves of Williams, and several unforced errors helped, as she stormed back into the match to go 4-1 up with two breaks.Williams struggled with her serve in the second set too, but went ahead 3-0 with a couple of early breaks as she started to hit more confident shots, including several crowd-pleasing double-handed passing shots. Another break in the ninth game delivered her first set of the comeback.“In the beginning, it felt a little tough. But as the match moved on, I was less afraid. I knew I was not going to fall over and break,” said Williams.“The more I played, the more confident I felt that I would be able to go for shots that I was afraid to go for in the first set.”In the super tiebreaker, Ostapenko raced to an 8-2 lead before quelling a brief recovery by Williams.Williams said she was delighted with the way she competed.“For me, it is all about physical, how I am feeling physically … I am just proud being out here and playing in Abu Dhabi and to be able to just compete. I have had a tough few months and I am just excited to be able to play again.”It was the first time a women’s match had been played in the traditionally men’s only exhibition event.South Africa’s Kevin Anderson defeated Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 7-6 (0) in the men’s final.
ROCHESTER, NY — Spencer Maffei, of Wilmington, was named to the Dean’s List at Rochester Institute of Technology for the 2018 Fall Semester. Maffei is in the computer science program.Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for Dean’s List if their term GPA is greater than or equal to 3.400; they do not have any grades of “Incomplete”, “D” or “F”; and they have registered for, and completed, at least 12 credit hours.About Rochester Institute of TechnologyRochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.(NOTE: The above announcement is from RIT via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 2 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Rochester Institute Of TechnologyIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 4 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At WPIIn “Education”Harvey Named To Dean’s List At Rochester Institute of TechnologyIn “Education”
VVS Laxman’s retirement came all of a sudden in 2012ReutersAmidst all the debate that took place around the absence of Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant from the Indian ICC 2019 World Cup squad, what stood out most was Rayudu’s tweet. But even more interesting was the retweet by another out-of-favour Indian cricketer – Pragyan Ojha.The left-arm spinner last represented India in Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series against West Indies in late-2013. Interestingly, he was the man-of-the-match in his last Test. Ojha retweeted the comments of Rayudu and added his own views to it.Now, Ojha didn’t reveal who are those ‘Hyderabadi cricketers’ that have been in ‘similar situations.’ But does he have a point when he suggests that cricketers belonging to this proud city have had a raw deal?If we look at the most prominent cricketers from Hyderabad, one can find grievances that all of them can have. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is any systematic bias against these cricketers. However, let’s first look at these prominent names and their possible complaints.Mohammad AzharuddinIt is very difficult to have sympathy for this legendary batsman from Hyderabad. After all, many would say it were his own actions that led to his career ending in disgrace. While the courts may have acquitted him and there are not any official sanctions against the former India captain, he still carries the taint of match-fixing. However, he can carry the grouse of not being allowed to play his 100th Test and being forced to end his career with 99. Of course, that is a partisan view.VVS LaxmanOne of the most aesthetically pleasing players in the world and a true match-winner, Laxman’s exit from the team was very, very surprising (pun intended). In 2012, he was picked in the Indian Test side to face New Zealand in a two-match home series. But all of a sudden, VVS announced his retirement. Speculation was rife that he had been told by the selectors that this would be his last series and he responded by ending his career himself. How much truth there was in these rumours, we don’t know. But it has to be said that Laxman’s form had declined substantially in the last year of his career and his place in the team was under doubt. But for hard-core fans of the batting wizard, that won’t be any consolation. Pragyan Ojha (L) put out a tweet suggesting Hyderabadi players getting a raw dealBCCIPragyan OjhaNow we come to the main aggrieved party. Does Ojha have reason to feel hurt by the selectors? He certainly does. The Orissa-born cricketer had become a regular member of the Indian Test team by late 2010 and was acting as a deputy to Harbhajan Singh. But for some reason, Indian selectors convinced themselves that he cannot do well on non-Asian pitches. Every time India needed a second spinner outside the sub-continent, they went to Amit Mishra – be it the South Africa tour of 2010-11 or England tour of 2011.Ojha, in order to prove his worth on non-friendly pitches, played a season of county cricket for Surrey in 2011. Even the former India captain Sourav Ganguly was impressed with his performances in English conditions. But the selectors kept ignoring him and when they decided to replace Ashwin during the South Africa tour of 2013, they went to Ravindra Jadeja and not Ojha.But even before that, the left-arm spinner was getting a raw deal from his team. After emerging as India’s best bowler in the four-Test series against England in 2012, he was dropped for the first two matches of the next series – vs Australia. Imagine the highest run-scorer from a series getting dropped for the first half of the next series. It seems impossible but this is exactly what Ojha faced.His problem got compounded when the ICC decided to crack down upon suspicious bowling actions and he too had to undergo remodelling. But since then, Ojha has made a comeback but without the selectors giving him another opportunity. So, one can understand why he feels aggrieved. Among all the Hyderabadi cricketers, it’s this one who has been treated most unfairly by the selectors and team management.
Amala Paul in Aadai.PR HandoutBreaking away from the stereotype movies, Amala Paul has attempted something that she had never done before nor imagined until director Rathna Kumar knocked her doors with the exciting script of Aadai. She has taken the boldest-ever character of her life and done such scenes which A-list actors might think twice before approving such films.After making his debut with Meyaadha Maan, Rathna Kumar approached Amala Paul, who had been in a hunt for good script and was planning to quit films as good stories were not coming her way. The actress was excited about the storyline and the surprises, but nervous about picking up the project as she was not unsure of doing bold scenes.Not just kissing a person with same sex, but going full nude was the major challenge for her and she pulled off in style. It became clear after the release of teaser as Amala Paul was hailed for taking up a courageous role.Story:The story is about Kamini, a crazy, eccentric, weird, selfish and unapologetically girl. It deals about the painful episode in her life after finding herself nude in an office. The movie will address a serious issue plaguing our society.Reviews:Amala Paul’s Aadai, which is releasing in Telugu as Aame, has piqued a lot of interests with its poster, teaser and the trailer. The makers have not given much about the storyline, thereby building a lot of hype. Will it live up to the expectations? Check it out in the viewers’ words below:Surendhar MK: #Aadai is a finely written film from Rathna Kumar. A surprise followup to #MeyaadhaMaan. @Amala_ams turns in an unflinching performance as Kamini. Easily, one of the bravest roles ever. She quietly brings out her stout-hearted attitude as well as vulnerable traits in 2nd half #Aadai is likely to polarized views from viewers and should set in a series of healthy debates on what constitutes the real freedom of expression and whether it can be quantified or subjected to any inference. Rathna Kumar churns out another original film with some nice moments.Sreedhar Pillai: #Aadai is a well made articulate film from @MrRathna without pandering to any sort of titilation. The film revolves around @Amala_ams in a challenging role. She is simply terrific as Kamini. @ramyavj has a meaty role. Post interval it becomes a bit preachy. Still a bold attempt.Arvind Sundaram: #Aadai – really liked it! Has few flaws in the writing, but on an overall picture, those can be overlooked. Has some intense and nail biting moments to keep you glued. A very different experience, a bold effort, and an important message told!Karthick Krishna: #Aadai Bold and Beautiful… has some issues but overall a very good attempt… dir rathnakumar @MrRathna is a director to look out for and vijay karthik kannan’s cinematography and @Amala_ams’s acting is sure gonna win awards !! go watch it !!Sreekanth TR: #Aadai What a terrific film ,ends with a beautiful thought provoking message . Kudos to you @Amala_ams Your passion , dedication and authentic labour of love is visible at every frame. Lots of accolades on your Way ams #ProudFan .Hats off @MrRathna a pat on your headRajasekar: #Aadai – 3.5/5, shocker at various proportions. @Amala_ams deserves all the awards next year for pulling off a role which deserves huge mental and physical strength. @MrRathna’s film will create a debate how modern women should use the hard earned freedom. DOP Vijay Karthik Kannan must be appreciated for showcasing his heroine with utmost dignity. Any slight mistake in Vijay’s frame would have made #Aadai as a crass film but he understood his responsibility and represented @MrRathna’ s thoughts with perfection. #Aadai 1st half – Google #Nangeli, you will be surely talking much about her sacrifice for the freedom of today’s women. Shocking to know that there was a tax to cover your body with a cloth of your own choice. Hats off @Amala_ams for playing an unapologetic Kamini.Bold &daring Special shout out to Sync sound / Live sound done by @sampathdftHari Krishna Raju: #Aadai with a solid message (little preachy though) & unique premise (survival drama) – is first of its kind in our cinema.. touches upon many points like feminism , misuse of freedom, being judgemental, meetoo but lacks the depth to leave an impact.. nevertheless worth a watchS Abishek: #Aadai is a bumpy ride but the jumps were worth it Towards the end, the film comes full circle. @Amala_ams has pulled off the act of the year. This one is a must watch for those high points All the shitty films that @Amala_ams claimed to have done just went off like a speck of dust. This is not about being audacious. The actress has given life and energy to the role like nobody else. #Aadai This man #Vijaykarthik literally plays with the lens flare Special mention to @sampathdft for providing the sync sound chills Such fresh breath of air from #Shafique in the editing department. #Aadaisridevi sreedhar: #Aadai interval report: Engaging! #BoldContent @Amala_ams lives the role of Kamini , so convincing .. @ramyavj is good The curiosity factor is at its peak!Review Ram: #Aadai (Tamil) – #AmalaPaul’s nude scenes were aesthetically shot, not even a single frame is vulgar. The cinematography is absolutely mind-blowing. Wish the situations could have been a little more impactful. Commendable performance by #AmalaPaul, technically brilliant, unique premise with a solid climax. But it is not great as a film. The second half writing could have been better. Also, the supporting characters needed more depth. Overall different experience. #Aadai (Tamil) – Interval – Weird, interesting, gutsy and different. The prank sequences are fun and will connect well with the youth. The title credits was personally a superb shock for me. The flow of characters, situations and plot-points are engaging. ‘Fine’ so far.Biju Peter: #Aadai on the negative side….. The film is little long …some comedy has been forced into the narration to make the subject lighter…which could have been avoided especially the cop’s family. #Aadai It leaves you with the suttle thought about the definition of feminism….equality or freedom or the right to do anything or wear anything? Kudos to the team to pull out something like this in a commercial format. @MrRathnaSidhu: #Aadai Interval: Stunning is the word. Gets everything right from the start, there are hardly any dull moments. The way the comics have been stitched in to balance the shock value is pure wow material. @Amala_ams , hats off!
Courtesy – John BernardoniA closeup of Victims of the Galveston Flood, a statue originally designed by celebrated sculptor Pompeo Coppini in 1904 that went missing. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /07:00 After the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed thousands, celebrated sculptor Pompeo Coppini memorialized the Victims of the Galveston Flood in clay, and then plaster, anticipating funding for a final bronze version.But that funding never came. Then, sometime in the 1920s, the sculpture vanished.Now, a Texas preservationist is trying to track it down. John Bernardoni says he’ll find it – or, if he has to — he’ll find a way to recreate it.In the audio above, Bernardoni tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen about the statue and his efforts to locate it.THE SCULPTORWikipedia CommonsThe Alamo Centograph in San Antonio’s Alamo Plaza, by celebrated sculptor Pompeo Coppini.Coppini was an Italian born sculptor who came to the United States as a young man. He eventually moved to Texas, where much of his work can be found.He’s known for his sculpture in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, the Alamo Centograph, also known as the Spirit of Sacrifice.And he’s responsible for well-known statues of Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross at Texas A&M University and George Washington at the University of Texas.THE SCULPTURECourtesy – John BernardoniThe statue, Victims of the Galveston Flood, stood over ten feet tall.Victims of the Galveston Flood was more than ten feet tall. It depicted a woman standing atop rubble holding a baby while a little girl tugs at her dress. Below them, a man’s arm reaches up from under the wreckage.THE MYSTERYMissouri Historical SocietyThe missing statue, Victims of the Galveston Flood, on display at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.Coppini anticipated a patron would come along to fund the casting in bronze. But that never happened.In 1914, when Coppini was preparing to move to Chicago, he donated numerous works — including the statue — to the University of Texas. In December of 1919, it was included in an exhibit there, according to a UT yearbook article referencing said exhibit the following year.But, after that, the statue disappears from the records.THE QUESTBernadoni’s great-grandfather died in the disaster, and, for the past three years, he’s been driven to try and locate the sculpture.If he’s unable to track the piece down, he says he’ll move forward with Plan B — to recreate it with a new artist.Bernardoni says he’d donate the finished piece to the city of Galveston, and it would cost around $450,000. But, just like Coppini, he’s still in search of a benefactor.Michael Hagerty/Houston Public MediaJohn Bernardoni poses with a photo of the lost statue Victims of the Galveston Flood. X