Team USATF stars ready for IAAF World Indoor Championships

Team USATF stars ready for IAAF World Indoor Championships

Provided by USATF

BIRMINGHAM, England – Team USATF on Thursday hosted a press conference in advance of the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Below are excerpts.

Sam Kendricks – 2017 World Champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2016 World Indoor Championships silver medalist, 2018 world leader, pole vault. On setting a personal best indoors this season: “My last competition in France, when I jumped 5.93 (meters), I was a guest of the world record holder. And he put on a meet that was dazzling. So many guys jumped high. My personal best was an accident in a perfect storm of a bunch of guys jumping well together. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out Sunday at all. I think the silver bullet this time will be 6 meters. It’s all about this championship on Sunday. It’s going to be real competitive when the bar gets to 5.85, 5.90.”

On the women’s vault: “When I first learned to pole vault I wasn’t looking at Bubka or Brad Walker. I had a little flip book that had Stacy Dragila jumping 15 feet in it. That’s how I learned to jump. I have so much respect for those ladies.”

Brittney Reese – 3-time World Indoor Champion; 4-time World Outdoor champion; 2012 Olympic gold medalist, long jump. Going for an historic 8th world title in Birmingham: “Right now I’m real confident in what I’m capable of doing. I know the competition will be tough. I feel like everybody sitting here are role models. We have to be at our best when we are on TV. I’m a competitor. I don’t like to lose. I train with guys and am looking to beat them also. It’s just the inner beast in me. I want to win, and I need to do what I do to win. If it means winning on the last jump, which is what I do a lot – which I hate – that’s what I’ll do…. USATF sent me some videos of my fouls (at USATF Indoors). One was 7.26, one was 7.11, so I know I’m where I need to be coming into these championships.

Sharika Nelvis –American record holder and 2018 USATF champion, 2018 world leader, 60m hurdles. On setting the AR at USATF Indoors: “It was very very exciting. We’ve been racing each other over and over. I took it like it was another race. I didn’t panic and I came out with the win and a bonus, the American record. I’m confident going into these rounds and I’m extremely excited to go against these girls once again.”

On rivalries with fellow hurdlers: “Everybody wants us to have some kind of thing going on. I am perfectly fine with everybody that runs hurdles.”

Donavan Brazier –U20 American record holder, 2018 USATF champion, 800m: “I’m feeling confident. I came off a string of three PRs so coming into this meet I’m just trying to adjust to the time zone difference. I think it’s gonna take something special to win.” On world leader Emmanuel Korir of Kenya: “He’s been really good ever since he stepped on the track at UTEP last year. I think it will be fast. I hope it is fast. The last 200 I can’t think, I’ve just got to go. Every race I get better. Last year at (USATF) Indoors, I didn’t even make top 3. At the Olympic Trials, I didn’t even make the finals. Last year at USATF Outdoors, I made the team. Every race I learn something.”