USA Athlete quotes - Olympics, Day 6

USA Athlete quotes - Olympics, Day 6

Provided by USATF


Athlete quotes - Olympics, Day 6



EVENING SESSION



Women’s 100m hurdles


Nia Ali, silver medalist


“To see Kristi get the bronze, it was great. It was everything we prayed for. We were gonna be happy with our medals and we were gonna be happy with our performances because we know we did our best. But to have something come to fruition that you just prayed and prayed on, and have it be history and the first people to sweep, and it be with them, it was just the icing on the cake.



On what they said to each other in a pre-race huddle: “We said it’s our time. Let’s go, let’s do this. We wanted to do it and make it happen, so we made sure everybody stayed calm and did their part.”



“You can’t take anything for granted out here. We don’t discount any of our competitors, and we respect them. That’s why I think we were able to be successful.”



Kristi Castlin, bronze medalist


“I was happy to come out with a medal and be part of U.S. history. I typically race in about seventh place until the last three hurdles. I’m a closer, I’m a finisher. It’s always good. I would be so surprised when I actually get a good start one day and see how good I can be.



On waiting to find out how she placed...


“I really couldn’t breathe for one second. My thing wasn’t so much a bronze for myself but upholding the team. We came into this together. Track & field, a lot of times athletes go into it as individuals. But we had a different perspective. We came into it as a team, for girl power, for USA. We were able to do the first sweep in U.S. women’s history. It feels good to be a history-maker.



On what she has overcome...


“In 2012 I actually had the fastest time going into the U.S. Trials but strained my hamstring and didn’t even make it into the finals. So I was told a lot of times that my career was over, it was dead, nobody was thinking about me. No one even thought that I was gonna make this team, but I knew when I started training in November that I would be on this Olympic Team and I would be on the podium.”



Brianna Rollins, gold medalist


“I feel great. I’m relieved that I was able to come out here and do the best that I could to achieve a gold medal. I was able to just execute and relax and do the best that I could and I’m so grateful. I knew that I go the gold. I just wanted to make sure that my teammates medaled as well so once I saw that on the board it just gave me an excitement that I wanted to have today.



On the friendship between the three...


“It’s like a sisterhood. I’ve known these girls for quite a few years. Kristi and I, we train together. This evening we came and we prayed together and we just asked god to give us the peace of mind and the confidence that we need to get us through these round and come out here and fulfill our dreams and we were able to do that. I’m so grateful and blessed that we were able to accomplish this together.



“I didn’t feel any pressure at all. I knew that we were capable of achieving this dream.”



Women’s 200m final


Tori Bowie, bronze medalist


“I feel like my execution, the overall start from the blocks is not the way I normally execute. I’m not really sure what happened, I haven’t gotten feedback from my coach yet. But overall, I’m thankful with how the race went.”



On doubling between the 100m and the 200m...


“I am, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I mentioned to my manager, ‘oh my god I am tired,’ and she was like, ‘well you have to finish what you started.’ That was my goal today, to finish the best that I could, and I’m leaving with another medal and who can’t be thankful for another medal. I have two.”



“Hopefully team USA can come out with a gold in the relay. This meet is my first championship in the 200m. so overall I’m just thankful for the experience. I know what it takes to be a champion right now, and I know I have something to go back home to work towards, and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.”



On coming all the way to the Olympics...


“It’s an amazing feeling, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m coming from a small town and right now I’m leaving with two medals, so I couldn’t ask for more.”



Deajah Stevens


“It wasn’t how I wanted it to happen. You can never really know how a race is going to turn out especially one where there’s so many talented people in it, and they’re all fast and their times are going to be fast. I just set such high expectations for myself and when I let myself down it bothers me. But overall it’s a great experience, I didn’t think I was going to make the final, so just being in it was a great opportunity.”



On the execution of the race...


“I usually know when I am running if I am in a good space. I feel like this race I just wasn’t in a good space. I kinda wasn’t running my race, and that’s where I always mess up. So I just have to keep working at that.”



On her journey to the Olympics...


“It’s huge. Did I see myself here six months ago? No. Right now I am just living in the moment and I’m just happy to be here right now.”



On feeling tired following a long NCAA season...


“I don’t feel like I’m worn down. Once i got here I wasn’t even practicing that much, I was just staying sharp and staying strong. So I don’t feel worn down. Do I feel tired? Yea, it’s been a long season but I had that one more race and I’m happy with it.”



On how long it will take to realize that she made it to an Olympic final...


“Not long, because when you realize that you were in an Olympic final, how could you not be happy about that.”



Women’s long jump final


Tianna Bartoletta, gold medalist


“The beginning of this week was interesting because I had the 100 and I didn’t make the final and it was mostly because I was feeling fatigued. I didn’t recover like I wanted to from the Trials. I needed to run 10.7 to make the team, it kind of takes it out of you. And then to do that on top of jumping right in between the rounds was difficult, I wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders, but i had to go home after the 100 and refocus. We knew that we prepared for this and I knew that I was strong and could handle the jumps and I knew that Brittney [Reese] and everyone was going to bring it every round and I just focused on executing each little step, each little tiny thing. Because when you start thinking about the outcome you skip steps and don’t execute perfectly, and that’s what I did today. It’s just a great feeling.”



On having a particular goal coming into the finals...


“No I did not. For me the trouble that I have been having this year was taking that 10.7 underspeed and translating to the approach. So my goal was to have a smoother approach. To be that fast on the runway can translate to longer jumps if I can just have that control on my takeoff the board. The distance was going to be the distance no matter what, I just had to get the approach.”



On seeing Team USA succeed...


“Yes I saw Tori [Bowie] in the 200. I saw the hurdlers go 1-2-3, that was pretty incredible. And with  Brittney and I going 1 and 2 that was an awesome hour for sure.”



On Brittney Reese’s final jump...


“Honestly it was like of course.  I expect that from Brittney. Every time, I never count her out. I never count any jumper out, every jumper has the ability to have an awesome jump. You get six jumps to get one good one, so everyone is a threat. But on the same note, so am I. So I just kind of stay with it and focus on my next jump.”



On her longevity in the sport...


“I kind of packed some horrible seasons where I wasn’t really training and wasn’t competing so well. That’s where the longevity comes from. But to win this medal after all of that time, and still be here and be a more mature athlete. more serious athlete, more deliberate in my approach to the sport and more business like, it’s really validating for sure.”



On when she realized she won gold...


“It was one of those things that at any minute someone could jump something huge, so I didn’t really celebrate. Once the competition ended, my next thought was that I have to be back in the morning for the relay. So my work is not yet finished, but I am really happy to have pulled this off. I still have one more job to do for my country then after that celebrations can commence.”



On her celebration plans...


“I am going to eat pizza. I have been on a strict diet for about 10 months now, so it will be nice to just not to think about what I am eating. I will definitely give my husband a big hug. I just look forward to taking a deep breath and just soaking it all in.”



Brittney Reese, silver medalist


“I’m not disappointed at all, I’ve been through a lot these past two years emotionally, and physically battling back from surgery. Today I kind of got off to a slow start and it costed me at the end but I am really pleased to be on the stand again and represent the United States.”



On the impact of her son on her career...


“He changed my life tremendously. Battling back from slight depression, things like that, thoughts of retirement. Just talking to him and my psychologist and getting myself back to where I need to be, I am just really grateful to be here.”



On the rhythm of the jumps...


“It went faster than I had thought. Yesterday, I just did one jump and I was done, but the track was faster and it just took me a minute to get my rhythm. I got it towards the end but it was too late.”



On her final jump...


“I thought it was around 7.20 honestly, but I am going home with something so I can’t be upset. I’m actually fine with it, Tianna [Bartoletta] battled for it and she won, and I can’t be a sore loser if it comes from somebody else from your country. I am just grateful to be here.”



On whether she watched Tianna Bartoletta’s World Championship in 2005...


“I didn’t see it. At the time I wasn’t a jumper, I was playing basketball. So I didn’t see it, but she’s a great person and she deserves it.”



On whether the competition with Tianna Bartoletta brought the best out of the competition...


“I feel like when I jumped the seven meters that woke everybody up. She’s [Tianna Bartoletta] a sprinter, so she ran down there and jumped and she got it. So you can’t be mad about that, she just out jumped me for it. I’m going home with a silver and I can’t be more proud.”



“I am really grateful. I am still battling back spasms, on and off throughout the season still from the surgery. Just for me to be here and still going home with something and able to stand on the podium, and I still get to see the flag go up because Tianna won, so we’ll be good.”



Men’s 200m semifinal


Justin Gatlin


“There’s a lot of athletes that only make it to one Olympics. I have been to three in the span of 12 years. For me it has been an honor to be able to come out here. And from this point on I’m taking it year-by-year, and I’m going to come out as strong as I can for each year. Someone like Kim Collins gives me inspiration for Tokyo. But at the end of the day seeing all of these young guys and young ladies out here doing a great job, it’s an honor to be able to be a part of the team and run for my country.”



On ankle stiffness during the race...


“Beginning the season I rolled my ankle in late November, and it has just been flaring up on me this season. That’s why I didn’t run as many races as you’d know me to run. Tonight it just got really stiff on me in the warmup area. I wasn’t able to properly warm up where I needed to warm up at. Having that lane three, coming off of the turn I felt pain in the last 20 meters and I looked over. I tried to hold on as long as I could and I saw Alonso Edward and I saw Churandy Martini’s head on the other side and I just tried to hold on where I could. I just tried to do the best that I could.”



On preparation with an injured ankle...


“I was out there with swollen ankle, and i should have rested it instead of running on it. It stiffened up on me here and there but I was able to grit through it and I ran some good times. Next year it’s actually made me hungrier to compete as a 35-year-old. At the end of the day, being able to be mentioned as a top athlete in the Olympics is an honor. To be able to be here in Brazil and we put on a great show, you can’t ask for a better exciting crowd. The venue isn’t the biggest venue that we have had for track and field Olympics, but I’ll tell you it’s one of the most electrifying stadiums for sure.”



On the wait after the race for qualification times...


“I wouldn’t even say tense, at the end of the day I’m just glad I could walk off the walk without a real harmful injury. I’ll be able to rest myself and get the treatment that I need for my ankle and come out here and help my teammates in the 4x100m.”



On the success of Team USA on the track...


I was blown away seeing the 1-2-3 sweep with the women’s hurdles. You’d think something like that happens on the collegiate level, but our ladies have did a great job, and outstanding job to come out here on the biggest stage possible and rise to the occasion as a country, teammates and training partners to be able to come across the line 1-2-3.



Ameer Webb


“It’s not my best race, but I thought I gave a pretty good bend. I put a lot of energy into it but just didn’t have enough down the straight. I wish I would have finished better but I didn’t.”



On his preparation for the semi-finals...


“It was a similar race, I just didn’t put myself in the best position during the prelims and so I kind of hurt myself putting myself in a lane that I never been in my life. That hurt me a lot. Kind of a new territory and such a big stage, so that kind of put a dent in my gameplan. I did the best that I could just to come out the way that I wanted to.”



On his lane preference...


“Somewhere in the middle, or at least on the outside, digging from all the way in lane two was just different.”



LaShawn Merritt


“It was a physical race, it’s warm outside. I’m starting to feel a little bit of those 400s. I’m keeping my mind right. That’s what it’s about, I’m having fun. I know tomorrow I just have to run harder and I’m excited and ready for it.”



“I hate to hear that (about Justin). Tomorrow I just have to represent for the 400 and 200 runners. It’s funny and it’s cool, I have new supporters now. A lot of the 400 meter runners who I compete against are cheering me on that didn’t know I was doubling. They say, ‘do it for the quarter-milers.” It’s kind of cool.”



On feeling the 400...


“Just a little sluggish. I’m still running well. I trained for this, obviously it’s something new for me to have a day break and run three 200s. I’m enjoying myself and the main thing is to stay focused, recover well and go out tomorrow and give it all I’ve got.”



On feeling more comfortable in the 200 than the 400...


“I have a love for the 400. I love the 4, I study the 4. I feel like I could have did some things different preparing for the 400 this year. But that’s neither here nor there. I take it a year at a time. The 200, I enjoy the 200. I know I don’t really know how to run it like an expert. I have a little 400 meter strength so I use what i know and what I have and just run to the best of my ability. That’s all I can do.”



Men’s javelin throw qualifying


Cyrus Hostetler


“I felt like I needed three more throws. Progressing really well throughout the series, I had the legs, I had the power there, I just missed on a few throws. But it’s better than four years ago. I came in with a lot more experience, a lot more realistic expectations. I came out really proud of myself, I hope my mark holds but it probably won’t. I am really proud of what I did and I gave it my all.”



On his competition plans following Rio...


“Next up, there’s a couple more meets in Europe that I would like to go. I know I have a big throw in me. The Olympic Games is a different setup for a javelin thrower, a really hard call-room situation making a lot of pressure on us. So I know I have this big throw in me that’s left over so I want to get into a couple more meets and unleash that big throw.”



On the possibility of making an effort for the 2020 Olympics...


“I’m an old man in the field now for Americans, the javelin is no friend of old people. We’ll see how finances work out, we’ll see what support is there, that’s always the biggest issue with field events in general. We’ll see, I’d love too. My body has been holding up really good, one of the best years that I have had maybe in my entire career. I know there’s a lot left in the tank, it’s just whether I have support.”



On his confidence level now compared to his experience in Olympics...


“Four years ago, I think I have the same confidence level coming in. I had a little bit of ignorance four years ago. So now I have this experience coming in. I wish I had four more years in the tank, maybe I do. Maybe things will be better. I am really just happy that we have young guys like Sam Crouser in the mix. There’s a lot of guys that are building their experience that. Maybe they don’t make it this year, there have been a lot of little mistakes this year with people not making finals, but I know we’re developing this awesome team, very young team and they are going to be amazing this year, as well as in four years, and in years to come.”



Sam Crouser


“It was kind of tough, I would have liked to have thrown a little farther and make the final. It’s a good experience to throw with these guys and all the great competitors. It is what it is and i”ll take it into next year.



Overall, it was a great experience. Practice was going really good. I tightened up a little bit, didn’t stay relaxed, but I’ll hopefully take that into next year and use it for motivation.”



Sean Furey


“I am just grateful to have had this opportunity, I have such a great team with my family, my wife, the rest of my family, my mother, my coach, the whole team of doctors and scientists and everyone that has helped me. I went out there and did my best to execute my plan, I didn’t really get the results that I was hoping for, but I can’t say that I didn’t prepare as well as I could. It was awesome to represent Team USA and to meet all of the other athletes from the rest of the countries that I have been competing against for the past decade. So I’m just grateful.”



Men’s decathlon (after five events)


Ashton Eaton


“I feel okay about day one. It’s going through the motions, nice and smooth. The whole thing so far is going, I don’t know how to say it...smooth, actually. I liked my shot put. From the first throw, that was awesome for me to throw 14.70, maybe one of the farthest and the series was good. That was for Harry, you know, throwing well.”



Jeremy Taiwo


“Day one was a little slow to start in the 100, but I just forgot about it and went to the long jump, had an ok jump there. Then I picked up momentum with a near [personal best] in the shot put, so that was awesome. Then I was smart with the big break between high jump, so I rested well and then got back and jumped 2.19m, which was close to my best outdoors in the decathlon. So that was great, and then I finished with a quarter in the 48’s and still feel good and I just got to go to sleep now. It’s been awesome, I am just happy that I am here.”



Zach Ziemek


“I didn’t have the best day one that I’ve had before. The first three events were a little struggle and I pulled it together in the high jump and right there I went after it and was just a little short. But there’s tomorrow.”



On his expectations for the second day of competition...


“I am just going to focus on hurdles and then go from there.”



MORNING SESSION



Men’s 3,000m steeplechase final


Evan Jager, silver medalist


“Like I said two days ago, I wanted to be ready for anything. One of the things Jerry and I had talked about was if it did go out fast and you felt it slow up at any point, don’t be afraid to take the race. Take the lead and kind of not push but keep it honest. We knew that my strength was one of the best. I was stronger than just about everyone in the field and I wanted to make sure that if the race didn’t play out the way I wanted to, keep it in my hands and keep control of the race. I definitely wasn’t planning or thinking about taking the lead from that far out and controlling the whole thing but in the moment it was something that I felt like I needed to do. I saw a break happen were it was just me, Conseslus [Kipruto] and [Ezekiel] Kemboi. I felt good enough at that point to keep it going and secure the top three."



“I didn’t want to get flustered, if anyone passed me in the last two laps. Kipruto and Kemboi went around me, I just tried to stay relaxed as I possibly could and not tighten up and just hang on to Kemboi. He kind of looked back at me, took a glance on the back stretch and I thought at that moment I might have him. I just stuck with him and tried to have a good water jump and came up on his shoulder, he didn’t really respond going into a 100 meters. I just wanted to have a clean last barrier and sprint as fast as I could in the last 60m. I’m extremely happy.”


 


On the emotion of passing the finish line...


“It was indescribable. It was a lot of years of hard work and daydreaming and dreaming about this moment with all of it coming true. Being able to truly enjoy the moment and those emotions and experiences. It all happened in five minute times. I was completely calm, I didn’t know I had a medal wrapped up, basically in my head until I had 100m to go and as soon as I got over the last barrier I could enjoy it. That was very fun.”


 


On having a feeling of relief or joy crossing the finish…


“That was total joy. Last year, it would’ve probably been a relief but this year, in the last couple of months I had cleared my conscience and I was thinking ‘whatever happens, happens’ all I can do is try to have my best race on the day. if I had my best race and it wasn’t good enough for a medal I was going to be more content with it this year, more than any other year. I just wanted to make sure I was focused on having a good race. I think I had the perfect race today and it was just pure emotion. I was just enjoying every second of it.”


 


On staying relaxed in the race…


“It has been weird this whole year for myself and a bunch of my teammates. I think it was because we were up in altitude removed from everything. We really didn’t feel the pressure of it being an Olympic year. In 2012, I was stressed for two to three months for trials about making the team. All year we were just saying ‘it doesn’t feel like an Olympic year’ I feel really relaxed and somehow I was able to carry that all the way here. I kept that and I was able to do that during the prelims. I made it a focus of mine to just get out on the rail and relax as long as I could. I think being able to do that in the prelim I proved to myself that I could do it in a race and run really well.”



“My main focus today was trying to run the shortest distance possible, staying on the rail and just staying relaxed. That was all I was thinking about in the race ‘even though you are in the front, just relax don’t press, don’t try to break these guys they are really strong, so just be okay with them being on your shoulder’ and just keep the pace honest. Soon enough, the race kind of broke open and it was just us three and I just went back to thinking ‘just stay relaxed and see what else happens’ and I got two laps to go and I got past and I was able to just hang on and snag a silver.”


 


On the reflection being the first American to medal since ‘84…


“It’s very cool. I know the history of the sport especially in the U.S. and I know how dominant Kenya has been in the last twenty or thirty years. I do know how big of an achievement it is. I don’t know if it has hit me yet. The happiness has definitely hit me but outside of that I haven’t really thought about anything.”


 


On Kemboi Ezekiel who has ran his last Olympics…


“I told him that ‘I was proud of him, good job, you are the greatest of all time, don’t be sad, you’re incredible’. For me personally, I know he is older than probably everyone else in the field but he still in my eyes the greatest of all time. No matter how old he is, it’s still a big achievement. I am very proud to have beaten him in a championship style race.”



Hillary Bor


“I tried to hang in. I don’t think I was ready for that kind of pace. They were running an 8:00 pace and I ran an 8:30 before, so I think that itself. I tried to hang in with them but I’m not ready for that kind of pace.”


 


On getting a personal best…


“That was my personal best but that’s not what I came here for. I tried to hang in with them as much as I could. I feel good with my effort and thinking of how I thought I would never be here but to come here and finish in the top ten. That is such an accomplishment. It’s a good experience. I’ve never been in this kind of atmosphere.”


 


On running in the Army brought him to the Olympics…


“When I transferred there from college, I think I was last in events there so I thought I was not going to run again. I went back to graduate school, I started to just run for fun and then started running a ten mile and last year I was in the world military in October. That changed my mind and you know what let me try to improve my personal best and that came this year in April when I ran 8:30. That was my personal best.”



Donn Cabral


“It was a really frustrating day out there for me. Right from the gun I got a bad jump, I was toward the back. It was probably for the best, at no point in the race did I feel quite as springy as I had wanted to, my legs didn’t have that same fire that I felt a couple of times recently, even in prelims. I really came in with a lot of focus, a lot of preparation, mentally as ready as I have ever been. There’s only so much you can do when your body is not cooperating, so today was frustrating, I was really stoked for Evan [Jager] but really upset that I got to be a spectator for it in the last lap or two. I’m so happy for him, it’s kind of a silver lining I guess.”



“There is an explanation, I just don’t know what it is yet. I have to talk to coach. I really don’t like saying that it was a bad day and that bad days happen. I just executed poorly. Whether it was not taking precautions to the heat when it comes to the ice vests that athletes wear. I don’t really like doing that, maybe that was a thing that my body was overheated at the starting line, probably not. I think that it was probably more something serious in training, having taking out the legs or doing something wrong in training. But I’ll chat with my coach and see what he has to say for me.”



On his ability to see the front of the pack...


“In the last two races, I have had a big gap in front of me, so I was able to see the barriers and also see the jumbotron, I saw Evan take a lead at one point. I got really excited when I saw him cross the line. I just had to put the race behind me and congratulate Evan.”



On his ability to make a push to catch teammate Hillary Bor...


“He [Hillary Bor] had a pretty good gap on me for most of the race. I saw him a couple of times, I was trying to make a push to catch him but my race was quite uninspiring, I never was able to close that gap and work with it.”



Men’s hammer throw qualifying


Kibwe Johnson


“My training going in has been the best that it has been in a year and a half or two years, I was not expecting that. But I also planned for my peak to be in the final, because I know the caliber thrower that I am, and because I know that it wouldn’t take a monumental effort to get into the final. Anticipating that is where we were at. Versus in London I planned my peak for qualifying. So I planned to do my best in qualifying because there was a lot more pressure and backstory.”



On his biggest take away from competition…


“Life. There’s bigger and better things. Sport is sport, because there is more things to life than throwing hammer. I am fully aware of that but I also want my best when the time comes. I was definitely ready for my best either today or in two days. But since it’s not there, I have my family and my kids.”



On Rio plans following competition...


“I’ve been here before, I have seen just about all of it. Well I haven’t seen Christ the Redeemer yet, so maybe I will go do that. My family is here too, so we will hang out for a bit.”



Conor McCullough


“It was a decent start, 70 meters. And then i was just trying to find it and really let it out there. My last throw was close but not quite enough.”


On his overall Olympic experience...


“It has been great here. The support staff are amazing. The people of Rio have been gracious, the stadium inside was awesome, competing in there was really surreal.”



“My dad, brother, aunt and uncle all made it out. They were in the stands watching, it was pretty great. They were waving and making plenty of noise.”



On what’s next...


“Now i’m going to take a little bit of time off and prepare for next year.”



Men’s 5,000m qualifying


Bernard Lagat


“It felt good. I felt relaxed but when they showed one mile I was thinking to myself ‘It’s good. The heat is not killing me today,’ because that was a factor but I didn’t want to put that in my head. I think maybe when we’re warming up at the youth nationals for the 10k, I think that was in my mind ‘It’s going to be hot’ and that really affected me. Today it was good and in the last mile I felt strong and I was counting the numbers. Coach Lee told me ‘don’t finish sixth, make sure you finished fifth,’ because if you finish sixth the other five times might come for me too. That was the strategy and I didn’t want to do anything. I was looking back for two reasons. To see where Hassan was and to make sure nobody was going to past me in that last 100 meters.”


 


On Hassan Mead falling down…


“I was right behind him. I saw him going down just a little distance from me and I had to actually jump over him. You train for four years thinking about one thing and then it ends. You see your dream of almost making the finals and in 200m it’s all gone. I hope they can do something to reinstate him, because really if you think about it he was going to go in anyways. I hope they will be lenient and put him in the final, because he didn’t trip on himself something happened. I told him ‘to keep your head up, I think there is a chance you can still go in’ because I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t distraught about it and I wanted to make sure he knew he had my support 100 percent.”


 


On the probability of falling down with Hassan Mead…


“I wouldn’t say it was close because I saw it happening. I saw him going down, so I had to just jump up.”


 


On the probability of closing in a fast final…


“The good thing is I’m not a morning person, I don’t like to run in the morning, so this is going to be really playing to my advantage. A night race, I can’t wait for it. Saturday I’m going to race up and enjoy watching on television.”


 


On the block of training between trials and the Olympics…


“I had a good one in Germany and a good race, which I said at the end of the 5k. I needed a hard race before coming here, which was London. I ran my season best and that was the fastest time in three years, so even last year I ran a 10.14 in 2015 but this was 13.49 actually faster, so I was quite happy with that.”


 


On medaling sixteen years ago in Sydney and now going for another medal…


“It’s crazy, but it’s hard work too. You just believe every day. You had to tell me when I was running 2008 in Beijing that I would ever come back and run in 2012 & 2016. I would have said ‘no.’ Even last year in the Olympics of 2012, I went for my last opening ceremony and my last closing ceremony. I was in London full swing because that was my last, but then here I am. This is something I’m enjoy doing right now.”


 


On taking daughter to go see Gymnastics…


“Not yet. They arrived late. I’m going to take her to the gala, which is going to be Friday so my wife is going to take her to the gala. They were in the village yesterday looking like ‘Where Gabby, Simone and Allie’ all these girls but we couldn’t see any. When they are not there I find them all the time.”


 


On who his roommate is in the village…


“Ashton [Eaton]. He is my motivation. I always think of I’m rooming with champions and it’s something humbling to be with those guys. It’s amazing.”



Hassan Mead


“I felt great, I was maybe in the top 4 with 200 to go. I was in a good position, it’s just racing.”



On the fall with nearly 200m remaining...


“I think Mo [Farah] was in front of me, this is what I think happened, it was all pretty blurry because by the time I realized anything happened I was on the ground. But I think I was outside of Mo, and moved in at the same time he moved in so I didn’t have the full stride and I ran into him. That’s what happened, then I was on the ground and tried to get up as quick as possible to finish. But that’s that, and hopefully we can advance and see how it goes.”



“You stay down, or you get up and finish. You can protest and worry about that later. But at that point you can control how fast you get up and how quick you finish, and I just worry about what I can control. I can’t get that back, the fall has happened already so I just tried to get up and go.”



“I have a few cuts, but it’s nothing that I haven’t had before.”



On the support following the race...


“He [Bernard Lagat] is always being positive, he’s a good sport. Mo and I were just talking about the fall, it was just me and him so he was just making sure that I was alright.”



On his track positioning throughout the race…


“I pretty much came and went on the inside. There was a few times when I was on the inside and then I realized with two or three laps to go that I wanted to be in a comfortable position whether I was running between one or two. We weren’t really running too fast to worry about how far wide I was running, it was more of a position game. I would rather be between [lanes] one and two, than be on the inside three-deep.”



On potential goal for the final…


“When I was at the USA Trials, it was top three that was relevant. And here that’s the goal [too]. If I get a chance to go to the finals that’s what I am going to try to do.”



On the large sizes of the heats…


“You can’t really, because they set the standards and anybody that qualified to the standards came. I think that the other option was to make it three heats, and that means only the top five go, so I think you’d rather take the additional times instead of just five [per heat].”



Paul Chelimo


“I really feel strong right now, and I am ready for the finals. There was nothing that I could do different in that race, I made the right moves, I made the moves that I wanted. Coming in I was like ‘stay top five as much as I can.’ My wife back home yells, ‘don’t stay in the back, stay at five,’ and that’s what helped me a lot. Staying top five I was able to relax and make the moves.”



On running in the heat and humidity in Rio..


“It’s good for me, I’m normally from [North] Carolina so it’s pretty much the same thing, it’s hot. Humidity is fine. I stayed in North Carolina and I am used to humidity so I am happy about it.”



On Army’s World Class Athlete Program…


“I just want to say that’s the best program in the world. I am able to train and train consistent. Before I say anything, I did this for all of the soldiers out there, all of the soldiers who work hard everyday, I represent them. It’s really good to represent them, I do it for my soldiers. They always support me and they work hard everyday just to make the US Army the best army in the world. I am happy to be a part of that.”



“I wouldn’t be here without support, there’s people that live behind you. There’s people that sponsor you. I want to thank the US Army, they’ve been able to support me and I’m able to relax and not worry about money to buy shoes, clothes and everything. They have been there for me, and the US Army and the World Class Athlete program is the best program in the world.”



On preferring a slow or fast race in the final...


“I would prefer anything that goes there. Anything that goes I am ready for it.”



On the Rio experience…


“It’s good, I’m happy and really for me ‘ about staying at the village and recover, recover and focus. I came to the Olympics to medal and do my best, I haven’t been able to go to the views but after my finals definitely it should be something I’ll think about.”



Women’s 800 qualifying


Ajee Wilson


“My coach, Derek [Thompson], just told me to get out and found myself in the lead just kind of comfortably and I found myself there for a split second and then someone lead the way. I had to tell myself to stay relaxed and the rest of the pack was with me, so if we weren’t going to caught her it would be all of us.”


 


On being in the same heat as Caster Semenya…


“My coach kind of looked at it as a positive and he said ‘Clayton Murphy was in [David] Rudisha’s first round and a medal came out of it’. Shawnee [Miller] and Allyson [Felix] were in the same heat and they both were able to medal, so we looked at it as a positive.”


 


On her focus entering the race...


“When I step on the line I’m not running to get second, I’m running to win. My coach and I have been training to do what we need to in order to win, no matter who is in the race.”


 


“I think at this point what I think doesn’t really matter. We are all on the track. Whoever on there is racing, so my focus right now is to make it through the rounds.”


 


On revisiting the rules for athletes competing…


“Honestly, I haven’t thought about it. I think that it’s something that should be revisited. You know there is a lot of commotion and a lot of talk about it. I’m like a tunnel vision when it came up to the month of this competition even with some family and friends, so I kind of just had my head in my spike bag and training not focusing on anything else that is in the outside world.”


 


On recovering for semis on a quick turnaround…


“We’ve been training to model this format, so we will go hard two days then take a day off and then go hard again. My coach had the utmost confidence in what he’s prepared.”


 


On communication with coach being in Philadelphia…


“What’s app has been God send. I FaceTime him. He figured out how to FaceTime, so we face timed each other the other day. It was nice to see him at home and have a little normalcy.”


 


On staying in the village…


“I’m rooming with my teammate Marielle Hall. She did the 10k.”


 


On training between the U.S Olympics trials and the Olympics…


“At the trials coming up a little short, we went back home and went back to things we were doing last year and kind of even what I was doing in High School. Like ruts with short recoveries, we got away from those and strength runs.”


 


On being successful at the Olympics…


“First off, it would be to make it to the final. I don’t take that for granted it’s been a lot of crazy things happening so far so making it to the final first off and then hopefully grabbing a medal.”


 


Kate Grace


“I made it through. I was nerve-racking to the very final race, but I am happy to live to another day.”



On waiting to run at the Olympics...


“Waiting for my race to start was pretty smooth, we were under the grandstand, and we had ice vests and water so I didn’t stand out in the sun for too long before the event started.”



“I didn’t get here until five days ago, so it was good. If anything my friends at home have been watching for weeks now, so they are all like, ‘why haven’t you raced yet?’ For me it was fine.



On adjusting to the heat in Rio…


“We actually ran in Houston for a week before, so we were joking at first when we came down here that is was cold, so we were like, ‘oh my gosh, we just died in Houston, what was that for.’ But I was happy to have done that after today. I did some 200’s in like 90 percent humidity, 90 degree heat, so this was like nothing compared to that. The humidity is lower, which is always good.”

Comments