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RugbyNews in Brief
Rugby Union
This year’s Four Nations tournament between South Africa, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand, now known as the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, is to be shortened to allow teams to prepare for the World Cup in September. Teams will play each other only once rather than home and away. South Africa start their campaign in Brisbane on 17 July and face New Zealand in Jo’burg on 25 July.

Athletics
Kenya will be keeping a close eye on the World Youth Championships for Under-17s in Colombia this month, not only to see how their young athletes perform but also to study how the tournament is run. The Championships will next be staged in Nairobi in 2017.

FIFA 2015 Beach Soccer
Madagascar’s and Senegal’s footballers will be going all out for World Cup glory this month – but on the sand rather than on grass! Both teams have qualified for the FIFA 2015 Beach Soccer World Cup which takes place in Espinho, Portugal, from 9-19 July – and the Madagascans are being billed as the tournament’s surprise package. They reached the finals by beating defending champions Senegal in the African finals earlier this year – the nation’s first ever continental title. Coached by former French professional goalkeeper Claude Barrabe, they now have high hopes for the World Cup, especially if star man Tokiniaina Francegal (nicknamed Toky) can maintain his incredible form. The midfielder, 22, was player of the tournament in Africa, while goalkeeper Jhorialy Rafalimanana saved two penalties in a dramatic shoot-out victory over Senegal in the final.

Buy of the month must have!
All eyes will be on France this month as the legendary Tour de France takes place between 4 and 26 July. So it’s time to get on your bike and get kitted up! Giro’s EMPIRE SLX shoe is de rigueur – and at just 175 gms is one of the lightest cycling shoes ever made. It also features an adjustable arch support system that allows riders to custom-
fit their shoes without any need for tools or hassle. A pair costs US$350.

What’s on in July… Don’t miss
4     FOOTBALL Copa America final, Santiago
4-26    CYCLING Tour de France
5     FORMULA 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone
5     FOOTBALL Women’s World Cup final, Vancouver
8-12     CRICKET England v Australia, Cardiff
9-19     BEACH FOOTBALL World championships, Portugal
13-19     PARALYMPIC Swimming World Champs, Glasgow
16-19      GOLF Open, St Andrews
16-20     CRICKET England v Australia, Lord’s
24-25     ATHLETICS Diamond League, London
24-9/8     SWIMMING World Championships, Kazan, Russia
25     RUGBY South Africa v New Zealand
25-2/8     PARALYMPIC Special Olympics World Games, LA
26     FORMULA 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
29     CRICKET England v Australia, Birmingham

One to one with Eliud Kipchoge

Kenya’s former 5000m world champion Eliud Kipchoge has made a stunning switch to marathon, recently winning the London Marathon at the first attempt, at the age of 30 – beating legends Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto in a dramatic finish. So, is track the best way to prepare for a shot at marathon glory?

Having moved from running on the track to taking on marathons, which do you prefer?
I think I’m happier as a marathon runner. I enjoy training for the marathon more than for the track. Track is so intense, but for the marathon you can feel the happiness of long running. But I believe I benefit from those years of track, since I understand tactics and have all the speed.

What would your advice be to young runners who want to follow in your footsteps and win a marathon?
Remember, running is not just physical exercise, it’s also mental. Young guys should concentrate on track for their minds and learn the sport.

What was it like to beat Kipsang and Kimetto in London?
It was a great feeling. I was very happy to run against two world record holders. I was always advised by my coach that I should think of myself as the best competitor in a race and that’s what I did. I was really underrated because I was not a big name. Everywhere it was about Wilson and Dennis. But I sprang a surprise!

Does growing up in Kenya help you become a world class runner?
Definitely. In Kenya, running 20km a day when you are young is normal. I walked and ran everywhere. In the morning, I ran to school and I’d run home after. It’s a way of life.