USA Athlete Quotes - Olympics, Day 2
Provided by USATF
Men’s Pole Vault qualifying
“It was a lot of fun. They had some technical difficulties that put everybody on edge, but that about the third bar we all came together and helped each other out. We had nine guys over 5.70 and three over 5.60 on the first attempt who were able to advance to the final.
I jumped every bar on my first attempt and the auto-qualifier was 5.75 but it didn’t quite take that. After 5.70, they said, “The competition is over and we will take everybody to Monday,” which I think is 12 men exactly.
On how he’s feeling for the final: The only challenge for me is to come recovered with the same legs I had today which is always a challenge for me. I recognized that last year and I’ve got a great medical staff to help me out. As soon as I can come out, I think all those bars are just as manageable as they are today and we really need to push the envelope on what it takes to be competitive with those great men.
“I graduated from the AFA and I’m stationed back at the Academy training in the world class athlete program. It’s [been] an amazing experience. I loved every second of it. I gave it my all. I’m proud to have had this experience and represent my country and my nation. You know everyone wants to jump higher but sometimes it’s not going to happen that day. I’m proud of the competitors out there. Sam Kendricks, I hope he makes it. It’s a great place to be, I love jumping here. Hopefuly I can stay again a little longer.”
On being nervous...
“It’s a lot to take in. This is the biggest cut I’ve been in times ten. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, it’s the same elements. It’s just another track meet. But, it sometimes doesn’t go as well as you want.”
Men’s 400m semifinals
LaShawn Merritt, (44.21, 2nd)
“It was cool. The second round is a little faster than the first round. I didn’t get out as hard as I wanted to. My body feels good. I’ll get back and get some rest and lay it all out tomorrow.”
David Verburg (45.61, 5th)
“Obviously, I’m disappointed today, but I’ll be out here to support my teammates.”
Gil Roberts (44.65, 4th)
“I should have got out harder. I was trying to save a little bit for the final. I didn’t realize that I was in that type of position. Coming home I thought I was going to have a stronger finish and finish 1-2 easy but it didn’t work out like that. I misjudged it.”
Men’s Long Jump final
Jeff Henderson (8.38m/27-6, 1st)
"I knew it was far. I knew I won this jump, this competition, after that jump."
On Coach Al Joyner:
"He gave me his gold medal here and he said, 'I want you to give me back my gold medal and keep your gold medal.'... He did the same thing with Flo-Jo (Florence Griffith Joyner)... Him and Jackie (Joyner-Kersee) are just like family to me. Anything I ask of them, they'll do it. Any advice they'll give me, I'll ask. They're like family and they always say 'Jeff, you're a champion.' And that's what happened today."
Jarrion Lawson (8.25m/27-0.75, 4th)
"That was my my best long jump competition. I got on the board four times. It was my first time jumping off six jumps in a while and all of them made 8m so I can't be mad about that."
Men’s 10,000m final
“I was almost able to run a season’s best, I was almost able it was a top race to run against those strong guys like Mo Farah. At the end of the day I can’t complain too much. I’ll be ready for next time.
“With about a mile to go I felt like I was still strong, I had a little advantage. I said let me just try to push and see what happens, so I’m okay. It’s a good experience. I have to thank everyone in the Army who gave me an opportunity because to run for the US and the Army, it’s a good fit.”
“I’m a bit disappointed. I obviously came in here with some high hopes and it was a good race, almost perfect for me. I pushed it for a long time. Lot of even surges in there. I thought I ran pretty well tactically and put myself in a good spot, I just didn’t quite have the wheels at the end.”
On Marathon training affecting the race...
“Maybe a little bit. Obviously that was the focus for a while, doing the longer stuff the last four or five weeks. I’ve been doing some great speed work and I’m sprinting as well as I have. I was confident in my kick, I just didn’t have enough at the end like I had hoped.”
“I tried. I tried to follow the leaders as I could. I went as far as I could. I tried to shoot for the lead pack. With 5k to go, I went really hard as I could. It is what it is. I just wanted to go with them, my goal was to go with the main pack as long as possible. My gas ran out with about 5k to go.”
Men’s 800m semifinals
“I felt a lot better than yesterday. I felt a lot better than yesterday. I was a bit smoother race for me than yesterday. I think I recovered well and I’m excited we both made it.”
“I feel a lot better today. It was a lot smoother, more relaxed. It was good.”
On the difference in today versus yesterday:
“My legs were pretty relaxed, not as heavy as they were yesterday. My coach told me that yesterday, to relax and not take lead this time, to stay second or third.”
Women’s 100m final
“Honestly, I did everything my coach told me to do. I can’t even tell you what went wrong. I woke up this morning feeling not myself, but I always feel like if you step on the line you’re ready. I can’t blame it on anything, I just didn’t have it today.”
“They’re not unbeatable. They’re running right around the same times as the Americans are running. We just have to put the race together. Unfortunately, we don’t have to cruise to the line in our national championships. We have to give it then and hold it for now. Tori Bowie went out there and represented like a champ like she always does. We’ll come back in the 4x4 and break this world record.”
“I’m just extremely excited. It’s a little overwhelming, the first time being here and we won a silver medal. I’m not giving up on me being a gold medalist here. I have the 200m on Monday, just the heats. I’m just going to try to continue to try to leave here with a gold medal.”
On how you beat the Jamaicans...
“Just continuing to learn how to run this race. I started learning how to run the 100 meters in 2014. I’m right at 2 years in. I feel like my next time around I’ll be a real professional.”
“In the semis, I didn’t set myself up to execute well. My coach told me that I brought my glutes up way too high in the position. So everyone else was shooting out and I was still coming back down. I knew that if I just brought my glutes down in my set position, I’d be fine in the finals.”
Barbara Nwaba (6,309, 12th)
"I'm really, really happy that I made it through this event overall. I know the heptathlon's never easy but it's such a compliment to be out here and doing what I can, even though it's pretty much an uphill battle the whole time... I had to do my country proud and hopefully take the win on this race [800m] for Team USA. I'm just so, so happy for that."
Heather Miller-Koch (6,213, 18th)
On running a personal best in the 800m...
"Definitely a nice way to finish. Not a great score. I had some bright spots. Last night, the evening session was pretty rough for me. I came back this morning, two solid events and nothing great but, I knew I was in shape to run a good 800m. I just had to trust my training and put a personal best out there."
Kendell Williams (6,221, 17th)
"Today was better than yesterday, still wasn't what I would have liked. I think I was expecting a lot more out of my long jump just because I'd been working at it a lot... I'm excited to go back to practice next season and really fine tune that training. I just really wanted to finish up with a good, strong lead after everything... I was glad to get over 6,200 points again. It was really important for me to at least get over that and I did. Not the way I expected to end at the Olympics but I can't be mad at the ending."
Women’s 3000m steeplechase qualifying
Colleen Quigley, (9:21.82q)
"I felt okay. That's my PR and I just wanted to get out there and run better or faster than the Trials. Hopefully it's fast enough to make the final. Some of the girls in the second heat are faster than I am, so hopefully the third heat is more tactical and I can get in on time.”
“I felt like it was a little kamikaze but there were a few girls that shouldn't be up there doing what they're doing. Figured it wouldn't go well for somebody. Too many people up there but it evened itself out. There were 4 or 5 people strung out about a mile into the race. It took a while to settle into a spot. Once I did, it felt pretty normal."
Emma Coburn, (9:18.12Q)
"It's a very fast track and the final is going to be very fast. As you say, Jebet ran 9:11 and I don't think it's ever been 9:18 to get second in a heat. But I felt good leading and I felt comfortable and I felt like I had another gear that last kilometer if I needed it. I'm feeling strong going into the final, but it's going to take every ounce in me to finish high."
"I was looking at her because the women from Tunisia and India had been around me also. So when she passed me, I wanted to make sure it was just her going by me. So I looked around to see Tunisia behind me. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't passed by 3 people. So I put my ego aside and just cruised to the finish."
Courtney Frerichs, (9:27.02Q)
"That's the fastest prelim I've ever been in. Most of my finals are that fast. I noticed at a kilometer, we were at about what I normally go through, so I was prepared to wind it down. There was a lot of tripping going on, so I had to keep my cool. Especially when the girl stopped in the middle of the track, I was really fortunate to avoid that. I even led for a bit, which I didn't expect. I'm really excited. It was a hard effort but I think I have enough left for the final."
"It was crazy (leading a lap at the Olympics). I never even led the Trials. I managed to get around that fall and I felt the pace slowing. I couldn't tell if she was just trying to go with the leader, but I knew more people would try to stay in it if it was slower. My last kilometer is always my strong point, so I knew I needed to push from there and that was the plan."
Women's Triple Jump qualifying
Keturah Orji, (14.08m/46-2.50q)
"Warming up felt like the usual, but when I took my first attempt. It was a big jump but it was a final. My coach was kind of upset I fouled it. My second jump, I just needed to get a mark. So I got that mark in, but the third one I fouled again. I was kind of upset with the two fouls, because both were good jumps. Hopefully I can get back for the final and come back stronger. I'm happy to make the final, too. I'm in the Olympic final. That's crazy."
Christina Epps, (14.01m/45-11.75)
"I had a great morning and great warmup. It was an awesome atmosphere and a good experience. I can't complain about much. I went out there and did the best I could. It just didn't work out in my favor."
Andrea Geubelle, (13.93m/45-8.50)
"I've been dealing with a few little bumps and bruises throughout the season, but I felt great coming out. I was a bit nervous, which is normal. My first jump, I was definitely a little safe. I learned you can't do that at the Olympics. You have to go for it. First jump was a little short, so I adjusted my steps a bit. The runway is super fast and I'm really fast, so controlling that is something I definitely need to work on and we'll get there. Second jump, I took my speed through the board and fouled a little bit. The whole day was a lot of adjustments, which is never fun when you don't feel confident on the board. I told myself I'd give it my all and I did. I'm here and I'm excited to see what the next years hold."
Men's Discus Final
Mason Finley, (62.05m/203-7)
"Getting out there, my first throw was about the same as my qualifying round. I tried to correct some things, but I kind of felt numb with nerves. We were trying a few technical things, because I don't think I had too much of a shot being on the podium. So it was kind of experimental, which I think left me in a place where I couldn't get after it. I guess I was thinking too much. When I was done, I started to be able to analyze things better. Watching the others compete was definitely beneficial. To see how they can turn it up...I need more meets like this. I need to get over to Europe to compete more so I'm more comfortable on a stage like this. I'm unsponsored and unfunded, so I need to get over there and get after it."
Women's 400m qualifying
Allyson Felix, (51.24Q)
"I felt comfortable and excited to get that first round under my belt. It's always a lot of waiting around, so once you finally get moving, it feels good."
"I was just focusing on the first half and feeling my way through. I've made a lot of progress since Trials and feeling very close to how I was. The recover is key. From here on out, I need to position myself well and go out strong. Focus on what Bobby wants me to do and move on."
Phyllis Francis, (50.58Q)
"The Olympic experience has been amazing. I'm just soaking it all in. I think I'm taking it day by day. There were a few days where I was just taking it all in. I just needed to tell myself to calm down and take it a step at a time. I've been here over a week now. The race went according to plan and I just wanted to run my race and set myself up well for the semis tomorrow night. I know I'm a lot stronger than I was last year and I'm faster."
Natasha Hastings, (51.31Q)
"It went pretty well. The goal was to set my race up front like I normally do and just set it up nice enough so I could take it easy coming home."
Men's 100m qualifying
Marvin Bracy, (10.16q)
"I feel like I executed the start well. The finish wasn't where I needed it to be. If I get to the next round, I'll take care of that as well. I'm confident I'll make it through. It was all nerves in that first one. Now I know what to expect. It's my first Olympics and I didn't know what to expect. It was scary. It felt like my first year running all over again. The nervous are out and I know I have to bring it. Training with Tyson [Gay] means I train with someone I really look up to. I admire him and his technique, everything. To see him put it together day in and day out in practice gives me inspiration."
Justin Gatlin, (10.01Q)
"I'm just trying to focus on what I need to focus on and I went out there, executed my race in the first round, cruised to the finish line and now I'm getting ready for tomorrow. Shoes feel good, outfit feels great, so I'm glad to get out here with my teammates and finally race. Every Olympics is special, but as you become a more seasoned athlete, you understand the importance of running at the Olympics. In 2004, I was just a young guy, running. I didn't really understand the difference between regular racing and the Olympic finals. I just went out there and did what I had to do. But you try to bring that same feeling back as you get older and just have fun with it."
Trayvon Bromell, (10.13Q)
"I'm focused on trying to make it through the rounds. I don't get nervous. It's the same 100m I've been running all year. [For me], no stage is bigger than any other. I've always had that mindset since I was a young boy. Now that I'm a man, I still have that mindset. At the end of the day, my job is to run fast. It's not my job to try to get a title. I'm out here to run and have fun."
"Achilles is feeling good. Next round, I'll push it a little harder. I love competition, so I hope I can make it into the final and give a good show. I raced him in the semis and finals [in Beijing] last year, so I know what to expect. I can't wait. I just do what I have to do. I don't believe in expectations."