Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Archive for the ‘Beijing Olympics’ Category

Making a synchronised effort for Olympic glory

Posted by Kimberly on August 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 01, 2008 (496 words)

It’s taken Britain about 16 years, but the nation’s finally got their first Olympic synchronised swimming duet in 18-year-old Olivia Allison and 19-year-old Jenna Randall.
The two teenagers spoke to the media yesterday at the Westin Resort, Macau, about the changed perception of the sport and its true difficulties.
“Everyday, we’re training full time,” says Allison, adding that “all we do is eat, sleep and train.”
To be more precise, the girls are required to practise up to seven hours a day for six days a week, during this crucial period, although not all of this is intense, with practice involving different phases of training.
“We’re a lot fitter!” says Randall, who explained that they used to achieve scores in the “low 7’s at the European Championships” but were now achieving high 8’s to low 9’s, “so we’ve improved by a whole category of marks.”
And as far as the girls’ Performance Director, Biz Price is concerned, this is only the beginning.
“I think they have another two years to go” before become ‘really fit”, she says and Randall agrees, adding that “I feel pretty fit at the moment but for my sport, I’m not that great yet.”
Biz explains that, despite public opinion on the sport’s place as an Olympic event, the amount of work that is required of the girls is far more than simple twirls and spins. Read the rest of this entry »

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Britain’s Olympic taekwondo trio in with a fighting chance

Posted by Kimberly on August 1, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 1, 2008 (667 words)

None of Britain’s three taekwondo Olympic athletes have ever been knocked out in a tournament, with 25-year-old Sarah Stevenson stating, “that’s why we’re good!”
So good in fact, that Stevenson currently has a tattoo on her left foot to represent each of her two wins as European and world champion.
But that doesn’t mean any of them expect that to remain the case, especially when facing the likes of the United States’ Steven Lopez, two-time Olympic champion.
Stevenson’s quick to add, “anyone can get knocked out. You can make a mistake or they could do something good. I wouldn’t say anything bad about anyone who’d been knocked out,” she admits.
Speaking with the media yesterday at the Westin Resort, Macau, the taekwondo team were joined by their Cuban coach, Nelson Miller and Performance Director Gary Hall, who was quick to applaud the local facilities as being first class.
“We’ve come a long way in terms of preparation,” says Hall, adding that the team’s realistic Olympic expectation was obtaining a medal. Read the rest of this entry »

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