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Welsh players make up for lost time
Around the Academy:

How will the Welsh team cope with jet-lag?
Wales players tucked into their cereal at lunchtime

The Sport Academy investigates how Welsh footballers used some unusual time tactics to help them avoid jet-lag on their long trip to eastern Europe.


The Welsh football team flew across four time zones ahead of their match against Azerbaijan.

For most travellers that means just one thing - jet-lag.

But that was the last thing the Wales team needed as they continued their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign.

So, what is jet-lag and why were the Welsh players so keen to avoid it?
Jet-lag happens when you travel over a number of time zones in a short space of time, like the Welsh team did when they flew out to Azerbaijan on Monday evening.

Doing this disrupts your body's normal rhythms - such as when you get up in the morning, when you go to bed at night and when you feel like eating.

Having your bodyclock turned topsy-turvy will often make you feel tired and disorientated.

You might also suffer headaches, nausea, a loss of energy and a lack of appetite.

Not good if you're preparing for an important match.

So how on earth did the Welsh players cope?

Jet-lag happens when you travel through time zones
Jet-lag happens when you travel through time zones

It would normally take three days for your bodyclock to adjust to a journey like that.

But the Welsh players couldn't wait that long.

They played their match less than 48 hours after taking off from Great Britain.

That's why Wales manager Mark Hughes decided it wasn't worth adjusting training and meal times for the short trip.

Instead, his players remained on British time during their stay in Azerbaijan.

And it proved something of a masterstroke, with Wales recording a two-goal victory.

What it meant was that the players didn't have to alter any of their usual routines.

So, Ryan Giggs and his team-mates were tucking into their cereal at their usual time - even though it was lunchtime in Azerbaijan.

They went to bed at the usual time too.

It can't be too often that players are encouraged to stay up until the early hours of the morning local time!

And with the match starting at 7pm in Azerbaijan, it meant nothing more than a routine afternoon kick-off for the Welsh players.

That's what you call making up for lost time!

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Crazy Azeri facts

Open Quote
It's not often that players are encouraged to stay up until the early hours of the morning local time!
Close Quote


Right on time
The earth is divided into 24 time zones
The middle line, known as the meridian, is located in Greenwich, London.
All time zones are based around Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
There is an hour's difference between each time zone
Those to the east will be ahead of GMT, while those to the west will be behind GMT
Azerbaijan is four time zones to the east of Britain - which means if it is 3pm in Wales, it is 7pm in Baku

Tips for coping with jet-lag
If, unlike the Wales team, you've got time to allow your bodyclock to adjust:
Reset your watch to the time zone you are travelling to as soon as you get on board the aeroplane.
Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water or fruit juice.
Stretch your muscles and improve your circulation by walking up and down the aisle.
When you arrive, alter your bedtime and mealtimes to local time as soon as possible.


FROM THE BBC >>
:: Still coping with jet-lag
:: Duval's jet-lag catches up
:: Aussies don flying masks


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