LONDON, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Triple Olympic gold and silver medallist, Ben Ainslie CBE, joined Premiership Rugby Club Harlequins for a pre-season training session today. The sailor was at the club's training base at Surrey Sports Park to compare fitness programs and to see how the club's sevens squad are preparing themselves for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series 2011 which kicks off on Friday 15 July at The Recreation Ground in Bath.
Ainslie, who is focusing on his fitness training in his bid to compete at the London Olympic Games in 2012, joined England sevens player Ollie Lindsay-Hague and the rest of the club's sevens squad for an intensive, four hour training session. The training included a conditioning session, aimed at the athlete's aerobic fitness, followed by a session in the Sports Park's science unit to test Ainslie's vision and decision making ability. After a short break the training continued with some strength work in the gym and a series of ball handling drills on the club's practices pitches.
Ainslie, a keen rugby fan, who recently won gold in the Finn class at this year's Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, qualifying him for the Olympic Test in August, commented:
"Today was physically very challenging but hugely enjoyable. Since Team Origin closed down in November last year I've been working every day for the last seven months to get my fitness levels as high as possible. I'm pretty happy with where I am but there's always room for improvement, one of the key areas for me is body weight as I have to bulk up an extra 10 kilos of muscle to compete in the Finn, so being with the Quins sevens squad today and seeing how they train during pre-season has been an invaluable experience. I've definitely learnt a few new things which I'm going to include in my current fitness regime going forward. It's always good to meet new people too and I'm looking forward to seeing Ollie and the rest of the boys compete in the J.P. Morgan Sevens later in the summer."
Harlequins Assistant Academy Manager and sevens coach, Howard Graham, said:
"Having Britain's most decorated Olympic sailor attend one of our training sessions is a huge boost for the squad and has given our sevens players a real lift as they prepare for the J.P. Morgan Sevens. As expected, Ben worked really hard and took to the conditioning and fitness sessions like a duck to water. He's clearly very focussed on getting himself in the best possible shape to defend his Olympic title."
Harlequins winger and England sevens player, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, commented:
"It's not every day you get to train with a world class athlete so today has been a very special experience for me and the lads. As an Olympic athlete Ben keeps himself very fit, so we weren't the least bit surprised with how well he coped with the conditioning training and some of the gym work. He's a very impressive man and a fine athlete. It was great to get a few stories out of him about his Olympic experiences and how he prepares both physically and mentally ahead of competition. The lads in the sevens squad will certainly take a lot out of today as we prepare for the J.P. Morgan sevens in July."
To see Ben Ainslie in action at Surrey Sports Park today please click on the following link:
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series 2011 kicks off on Friday 15 July at The Recreation Ground in Bath where Harlequins face Exeter Chiefs, London Irish and the home side Bath. Quins will be hoping to qualify for the finals at The Stoop on Friday 5 August. For more information please visit http://www.jpmorgan7s.com Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by calling +44(0)844-847-2492.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 7S SERIES 2011
The J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series is set to sweep across the country again this summer. The 12 Premiership Rugby clubs will be split into three groups for the tournament, with the winner and runner up of each regional event going through to the final.
There will be six games on each evening, with each match consisting of two seven minute halves with a two minute break, ensuring a high-energy and high-scoring game. Events kick off on Fridays at 7.30pm, finishing at 10.30pm and feature, live music and family entertainment, ensuring a storming night out for all.
Friday 15th July, The Recreation Ground, Bath
Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins, London Irish
Friday 22nd July, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
Gloucester Rugby, London Wasps, Northampton Saints, Saracens
Friday 29th July, EdgeleyPark, Stockport
Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors
Friday 5th August, The Twickenham Stoop
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final
ABOUT J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is part of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and is a global asset management leader providing world-class investment solutions to clients. With US$1.3 trillion in assets under management (the Asset Management client funds of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. as at December 31 2010) and offices in 41 locations around the world, J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global coverage with a strong local market presence, and leadership positions in most asset classes.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is a trading name of J.P. Morgan Asset Management Marketing Limited which has issued this material in the United Kingdom and which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England No. 288553. Registered office: 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AJ.
ABOUT BEN AINSLIE
Ben Ainslie is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor; in total he has won three gold medals and one silver.
Ben won his first Olympic medal at just 19 years old - silver in the Laser class at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Four years later, he achieved every athlete's dream of Olympic gold on Sydney Harbour. For the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Ben switched to the larger Finn dinghy he again won Olympic gold. In August 2008 Ben proved his was still the best by winning his third straight Olympic gold medal.
Ben's sailing achievements are unprecedented not only is he a triple Olympic gold medallist, he is also a nine times World champion, eight times European Champion and three times ISAF world sailor of the year. Ben's next aspiration is to qualify for and bring back a historic fourth gold in the London 2012 Olympics.
Ben is also the current 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Champion
SOURCE J.P. Morgan Asset Management