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July 21, 2017

Sport Saturday: AFL Diversity, Tour de France, Diving, British Open Golf,

Australia:  Aussie Rules Football celebrates diversity: This weekend's AFL matches will celebrate diversity. The two most friendly clubs, the Sidney Swans and St. Kilda meet each other in what promises to be a hard fought game.   St Kilda, currently ranked ninth,  looked like world-beaters when it smashed Richmond in round 16 but failed a huge test when Essendon smacked the Saints under the lights of Friday night footy. 

Now they face the rampant Sidney Swans, currently ranked sixth and on a hot streak,  at the Sidney Cricket Grounds, after having hosted this diversity bowl last year.  St. Kilda has a Swans problem, it would seem, as no matter how good they are, they can never beat the Swans, not in over five years, and the Swans are hot right now, having won nine of their last ten games. Sydney stars Lance Franklin, Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker, Isaac Heeney and Dane Rampe are all in outstanding form.   The Saints have a lot of obstacles to overcome, if they want to pull out a win. 

The Swans have done their part to recognize their LGBTIQ fans, who have a  website endorsed by the Sydney Swans club, which is called the Rainbow Swans  
According to faithful member of this blog, Grant B., a rabid Swans fan, their fan merchandise is the same as the normal fans, but with a rainbow added to it, making a visual impact on television, and a personal impact on other fans at the stadium.

As usual recent these weekends, there are four other AFL games today, and another three on Sunday, so lots to enjoy. 

Budapest, Hungary:  Aquatics Worlds continues today in Budapest, and so far has provided compelling action.  Men’s Water Polo Group Play ended yesterday at these FINA Worlds.  The  USA, after a shock lost to Japan, was left on the outside looking in.  From here on out the eight qualifying teams are in sudden death play, but more on that tomorrow.  For the teams who didn't qualify, there is a kind of consolation playoff, so no championship excitement, but perhaps some exciting action still awaits those teams.  In other action today, men's diving wraps up today, after some very exciting competition so far.  Men's 10m platform diving is the premier action this afternoon. 

The U.K.:  Golf's 2017 British Open Championship continues today on the links in England.  This is the 146th Open Championship, and it is being held through tomorrow  at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. This is the tenth Open Championship played at Royal Birkdale, which held its first in 1954.  Americans Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar currently lead the field, with Spieth in first place at six under par, and Kuchar second at four under par.  English golfer Ian Poulter and Brooks Koepka share third place at three under par. 

France:  The Tour de France has provided much cycling excitement over the last few weeks, and is almost at an end.  It has been a Tour in which greats have reached the pinnacle, and then washed out. Top cyclists like Marcel Kittel, who was leading the points competition until his unfortunate accident.    Today's next to the last stage is a Time Trial through the streets of Marseille, as each cyclist races against the clock, on his own, for the best time possible.  

Chris Froome of Sky Team (not, not Delta Airlines), is currently race leader, and is also somewhat of a time trial specialist.  Barring a fall or an equipment breakdown, he should do well.  Anything can happen, though, and other leaders are nipping at his heels.  This afternoon should provide great excitement for those who tune in.  This year's Tour de France started in Dusseldorf, Kraftwerk's hometown. This week, we'll end with Kraftwerk.

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