Stenson pumping iron in readiness for Olympic debut
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[August 11, 2016]
By Martyn Herman
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Golfers and
gymnasiums do not always mix, but British Open champion Henrik
Stenson has been pumping iron in the Olympic village in preparation
for his opening round on Thursday.
Swede Stenson will be one of the favorites for gold on golf's return
to the Olympic Games after a 112-year absence and while other top
names have shunned the event, he is taking it seriously, regarding
it as just below a major in importance.
"I was in the gym on Sunday evening and if you want to get motivated
that is definitely the place to be," Stenson said after his practice
on a rain-hit Wednesday.
"I didn't try and go for some dead lifts on 80 or 90kg when there is
some guy holding 180kg straight up on both arms.
"I was sticking to my routines and exercises that I know I can do
and looks good!"
Apart from the bi-annual Ryder Cup between Europe and the U.S.,
golfers play for themselves.
This week's action on the newly-built course on the Marapendi Nature
Reserve will see them playing for their country, with no prize money
at stake, just medals.
"It has a slightly different feel and it should have, it is the
Olympics," Stenson told reporters.
"The beauty of this event is if you are third you are actually going
to be leaving with something. If you are third at a major you get
world ranking points and a nice check -- but I would definitely
trade a third at a major with a bronze medal."
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Henrik Stenson (SWE) of Sweden hits a wedge from the fairway during
practice session. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
He is going for gold though and said in years to come no one would
remember the players such as Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory
McIlroy who decided against making the trip.
"It is up there among the best things you can win for sure," Stenson
said. "I think 10 years down the line you are going to look at who
won the gold medal rather than who wasn't here."
The tournament will be run on traditional lines with four rounds
deciding the medals.
Stenson is partnering Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Spain's Rafa
Cabrera Bello on Thursday in the last grouping.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)
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