Thanks to Amanda Brooks from USA Track and Field, here are some athlete quotes from the first session at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Poland.
Inika McPherson, Women’s high jump qualification
“It was okay. Working on my run-up and I felt good out there but it was good competition. It’s how it goes. You can always take something from the jumps. I need to be more relaxed in competitions and do what I always do. I’ll be ready for outdoors.”
Joanna Atkins, Women’s 400m heats
“I don’t feel good about the race at all. I had a good start, got to the break first, had a good first lap but I’m going to have to talk to my coach and make some adjustments. Just going to have to go a bit harder.”
Francena McCorory, Women’s 400m heats
“It was great. It’s a little early so it’s hard for me to wake up, but I’m excited going into the next round. I’m going to try to get out of the first 200 a little faster.”
Ryan Whiting, Men’s shot put qualifying
“It went according to plan. I stayed out there to help Kurt. The older guys did that for me when I was on my first team. He didn’t get through but it’s a good experience for him. I have a ton left in the tank. I was kind of just coasting in first gear.”
Kurt Roberts, Men’s shot put qualifying
“It was awesome. I realized I still have a lot to learn: how to turn it on, how to turn it off, how to wait 45 minutes in between throws. I think there’s a little more of a learning curve than I expected. To watch Ryan throw tonight, I wish I was throwing with him but I’m so happy for the experience. It makes me want more. I didn’t want it to just be an experience.”
David Verburg, Men’s 400m heats
“My goal was to just get out and I wanted to get out harder than I did. I got caught on the inside and I wasn’t expecting that. I just tucked down into second place, stayed calm. Someone clipped my heel on the backstretch, so that kind of threw me off mentally but I had to keep my composure. I waited until it was right to make a move and came home. I finished strong so it’s just a matter of mental (composure).”
Kyle Clemons, Men’s 400m heats
“This is so amazing. I’m so happy David and I both made it. I have so many memories already. It’s my first team, my first time being in Europe and I just can’t even explain how amazing this is. I walked out there and my eyes just got so big. I just used that energy for my race and it went great. It’s a very fast track and I like lane 6 but I didn’t get out as fast as I wanted to. I just relaxed, didn’t get tight and just kept driving.”
Shannon Rowbury, Women’s 3,000m heats
“I knew they were only eliminating three people so the goal was to just be top five so I could make the final. I wanted to see how I could do and get my legs turning over. We kind of got into 9 minute pace early and the last few laps, it was kind of a revolving door of athletes, so I just made sure I was one of them.”
Gabriele Gruenwald, Women’s 3,000 heats
“You always want to conserve a little energy to be ready for Sunday and I did that. There was a lot of pushing and I got pushed pretty hard from behind. The pack got a little frantic and that was when I wanted to make my move so it threw me off for a lap. After something like that happens, you have to collect yourself and finish the race. I kind of knew we’d be okay if we finished strong the last 1,000m. We started a little slow but I knew it’d pick up. I’m happy with my time; it’s the second-fastest indoor 3000m this season. I’m okay taking a time qualifer because it means I have five seconds more in the tank on Sunday.”
Wlll Leer, Men’s 1500m heats
“I had an idea that those guys were going to take it from the gun. We had the advantage of knowing what everyone else did. The announcer was extra super nice and let the crowd know the bubble time, so he told us too. I sat back, bided my time and I don’t feel fantastic so I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow I hope.”
Lopez Lomong, Men’s 1500m heats
“The race went a little slow so I thought I could sit and relax. But there was a lot of pushing but it’s a championship race and there’s a lot on the line. I ran the whole way and the race was just physical. But I’m so honored to have the opportunity to represent my country and wear this uniform. Final or not, it means so much.”
Ajee’ Wilson, Women’s 800m heats
“I don’t really know what happened. It just kind of got away from me. I got a little too comfortable and when they went, I couldn’t go. I need to be more aggressive and confident in myself. I didn’t have that there today and it reflected in how I did.”
Chanelle Price, Women’s 800m heats
“Coach wanted 58 and if someone’s not going to do it for me, I need to do it. I have to have confidence in myself either way, so I took it. I knew I’d have to get in on time if I didn’t win and I felt a little flat but I got my legs going, I get a day’s rest and I’ll see what my coach has to say heading into the final.
“This year is so different for me, mentally. I just don’t put all that pressure on myself anymore. I run to give God glory and just to have fun with this. We’re at Worlds, yes, but at the end of the day, it’s just another race.”
Erik Sowinski, Men’s 800m heats
“I just tried to do too much. That’s all it comes down to. I was stuck on the outside line the whole race. I never really got the chance to settle in and I paid for it at the end. I just need to put myself in better position. The tactics were poor and I paid for it at the end.”
Nick Symmonds, Men’s 800m heats
“I knew it was going to be fast. Glad to have been here. (This is) the only championship race available for an American this year. So I said even if I’m not quite ready for it, I want to be out there. So here I am. I ran a season’s best by almost a second, so I’m pleased with that. I’m a good month away from where I would need to be to be competitive with these guys. I’m very, very excited to watch the final on Sunday. They’re very fit and there are three guys who have already broken 1:45 indoors, and that would’ve been the American record if I was that fit. It’s going to be a very interesting final.”
Nia Ali, Women’s 60mH heats
“My start wasn’t great because I stumbled a little. I know Yvette (Lewis, PAN) is a great starter so I need to focus more on that. I was able to get my focus back and get into a rhythm. I’m so relieved. To win it in 7.87, which is one of my all-time best marks, I’m definitely excited for tomorrow, happy to advance and feeling good.”
Janay DeLoach Soukup, Women’s 60mH heats
“It was really about trying to feel my through. This is my first Worlds as a 60-meter hurdler so I’m really just trying to see what I can do. I think I need to get out a little faster tomorrow and hold onto it. I’m working through it. I would love to be a multi-eventer at some point, so it means a lot to make a World Championship team in two events. I need to get into some throws too but right now, it’s about having a good time out there and that’s definitely what I’m doing.”
Marvin Bracy, Men’s 60m heats
“This is all so new to me. I’m not used to being (at a meet) so long. I’m used to showing up the day before, getting a workout in and the next day, getting on the track. To be able to come and settle in, and feel a little bit at home, it’s been nice and I’m just trying to handle my part on the track. I just want to go into the semis with a clear head. I was thinking so much about the gun and false starts that I wasn’t paying attention when the gun actually went off. I’m pretty sure my coach is going to get on me about that. Just need to come out tomorrow and have a better race.”
Trell Kimmons, Men’s 60m heats
“I didn’t get out well. I missed a step on my first few steps. I need to be more patient to keep advancing to the next round. The crowd was great and it boosts your energy level a little bit. It was exciting out there, especially for a first round. I told Marvin before the race, ‘let’s go 1-2. That’s the only advice I could give him, doesn’t matter which one it is, let’s go 1-2.”
Jeff Henderson, Men’s long jump qualification
“I knew it was going to be a long day when my markers were off. It’s just really frustrating. The track was really fast.”
Tyron Stewart, Men’s long jump qualification
“My experience here was pretty good. For my first international competition, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be and I felt I could win this whole thing. I’m ready to show what I can do.”
Heather Kampf, Women’s 1500m heats
“It felt great to lead from the front. I would always rather feel like a pacer than sit and wait. I actually felt really good out there. It’s a fast track and these are the best runners in the world, so I knew I’d have to get out there and prove that I’m supposed to be here. And I did. I think I learned that I need to continue to do that in the final but I’m going to talk with my coach tonight about tactics for the final and really learn from this race. I’m really happy with how it went.”
Treniere Moser, Women’s 1500m heats
“We were prepared for anything. My last two races, I did sit and kick. At nationals, it was just go all out. I was prepared for anything. We started off really slow and then picked it up a little bit. I think I just adjusted really well. Let them kind of fight it out and I just sat back and relied on my kick. My coach told me I have one of the best kicks in the world. Just believing was the key today.”
Galen Rupp, Men’s 3000m heats
“It came down to a big kick to qualify. That’s what we prepared for and I got to the finals. That’s all that matters. I was trying to look around but there were a lot of guys. I had to be ready for that last 100. The final is going to be tough. There are a lot of good guys out there and all of them could win this race. ”
Bernard Lagat, Men’s 3,000m heats
“We had to go faster because everyone wanted to be the fastest times from the first heat. Whenever you’re in the second heat, you know someone is going to take it out fast because they want to get in. That’s a strategy that works well because there’s no boxing or jostling around. It was a good one tonight and it’ll be a great final Sunday.”
Joanna Atkins, Women’s 400m semifinals
“I ran the race the way I wanted to. I made the moves I was planning to make when I wanted to. I got clipped from behind and it really threw me off.”
Francena McCorory, Women’s 400m semifinals
“The most important thing in this race was to get a good lane for tomorrow’s final. Now I need to pray and be confident for tomorrow. I have to work on my start. I was not aware of the battle for No. 2 behind me. I focused only on myself. I concentrated on getting to the finish line. I am glad I executed well. It has been a long day.”
Kyle Clemons, Men’s 400m semifinals
“I never thought in January that I would be coming to Poland to represent Team USA. It means a lot. I’m just so excited. I just can’t believe this. I need to take care of my body tonight and get ready for tomorrow. Competitors don’t care what you did the day before. So I need to put today behind me and focus on tomorrow. I’ll be ready.”
David Verburg, Men’s 400m semifinals
“My legs were a little fatigued from earlier, I’m not used to two rounds in a day, but to make my first World Championship final, my first trip here is a blessing. My goal is to get treatment, get some rest and get ready for tomorrow. I think today shows that USA always has strong 400m runners, we’ve proven that today even without big names, we’re a group of young guys and we’re proud to represent Team USA.”
Ashton Eaton, Heptathlon
“The 60m was awesome. It’s a fast track and I PR’d. The long jump, I was struggling a little but did okay. Shot put was solid and high jump was solid. I’m happy and I’m really pleased with my high jump. I struggled last year with injury, so now my injury is gone and I feel a lot better about it. I was really excited for Brianne (Theisen-Eaton) to get silver and Ryan was pumping me up during high jump and shot put. I was really trying to cheer everyone on during the day."
Sharon Day-Monroe, Pentathlon
“I’m disappointed to come so close. Every attempt, every throw, every jump really matters.”
Ryan Whiting, Shot put
“I came in the favorite and I’m just glad I could execute because I couldn’t last year in Moscow. Now I know I can do that and I plan to be the favorite a lot in the future. It’s a good step. No one really knew who I was two years ago. To come in here the favorite, I felt like I was in a little better shape this year, a little more prepared. I threw 22 meters, but I felt like I was in shape to throw even further.”
Women’s 60mH Semifinal
“My coach just tried to tell me to get out and try to stay with them. My hurdle technique still isn’t there yet. Definitely got high over a couple of them. Hopefully in finals, I can tune it up and get lower.”
“I really wanted to work on my start and make sure my reaction was strong coming into (the first hurdle). I kind of just worked through the hurdles. I feel like I could’ve gotten off the first one a little stronger. I feel like that will come with more rounds and I’ll have an even better performance in the finals.”
Men’s 60m Semis
“I did the best I could do. Coming off of injury, making the U.S. team and making it here, that’s all I could ask for.”
“I don’t have the ultimate feeling yet. That comes in a couple hours in the final. Right now, I feel great that I was able to get out there and have a better reaction and make it to finals. It means so much to wear USA across my chest. It’s a lot more competition than college, a lot more heat, and I love it. They’re going to bring it and so am I.”
Women’s 1500m Final
“I didn’t want to lead again if I didn’t have to so when Nicole moved ahead of me, I thought I would stay behind her and keep the pace. Just go from there and make a move when I could just before 600m. Just got clipped and went down. Somehow I was the only one who got mixed up in that but I got up and finished. I had to. There was no question.”
“I was fine with the pace, it was just very physical. There was a lot of bumping and I got tripped up a bit the last 600m so I lost my momentum a bit. I tried to stay strong and keep competing but it was a pretty physical race today.”
Ashton Eaton, winner
“I went through warm-ups and felt decent and then was like, eh I don’t know. I was worried I might be going to slow but I made my move too late. I could tell I had more in the tank but I just felt like I was mentally weak. It’s been a long three years. I’m looking forward to taking a break from multis for the rest of the year and focusing on the 400mH. That way I can kind of get myself ready for 2015 and 2016.”
Women’s Shot Put
“I felt like I did well tonight. It was a great competition so it didn’t work out for me to get a medal but I thought I did well today. I showed myself some things today that I didn’t know I could do. I’m using today as a building block. It’s amazing when you can show yourself something you didn’t know you could do. I just want to continue to get better every day, build on this and move forward.”
Women’s 400 Meter Final
“I wanted to be the first to the break. My game plan was that. I wasn’t able to do that. So I had to really push and I feel like I’m really strong, that’s what my racing strength is. I was able to get ahead and make my move. Winning gold means everything. MY coach and I have been working so hard to get a title. I’m just ecstatic. I’m really looking forward to the 4x4 tomorrow. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“I gave it my best shot. It didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. This is the first time I’ve made a World Indoor team. It’s the first time I’ve truly had a good season. I’m still learning how to run indoors so the fact that I made it and made it this far, I’m happy. Our 4x4 did a great job this morning and I’m just ready to join them and perform well tomorrow.”
Men’s 1500 Meter Final
“I felt flat out there today. I think I psyched myself out a bit. I did everything I could do. Sometimes your best just isn’t good enough. Hats off to the competitors today, they ran an awesome race. AyanlehSouleimanis super tough so he was the best one out there. Making this team was huge for my confidence. 7th in the world isn’t a bad result. I have to take the positives from this, keep the ball rolling and expect from myself moving forward.”
Men’s 400 Meters Final
“All I could think was, I want to hold the flag. I want to hold the flag. I wanted to maintain my composure. I didn’t need to be the first to the break. I know I’m a strong finisher. Don’t let the race get too far ahead of me. As soon as I hit that last curve, I just went. I fed off the crowd. It was just me in my head saying, ‘hold that flag, hold that flag.’ I can’t believe this. The past couple months have been such a blessing. At USAs, I could barely afford my ticket. I didn’t buy it until the day beforehand. Then I won. On my way to the airport to come here, I got in a car accident. I just can’t believe I’m here. To make a senior national team and then medal, I just can’t describe this.”
Women’s 60mH Final
“I really just went for it. The goal was to just go for it. When the gun went off, I went as hard as I could. I was trying to relax and just be ready. I knew Sally (Pearson) gets out really well and I wanted to match that. I went through hurdles one and two really well and it was a tight race. I’m just happy I was to come up with a victory. There’s so much I take from my coach (Ryan Wilson). He always tells me, ‘you’re really fast. You’re really fast.’ I’ve been working on 60s this year. I ran two 60s this year and I haven’t done that previously. I had a lot of faith in my training. He kept telling me, ‘run it like a 60.’ So I just used my arms and ran it like a 60.”
Men’s 60m Final
“It felt great to actually get out there and race. I’m so excited to get a medal. It wasn’t the one I wanted, but that just lets me know where I stand and I have to come back harder. I know where I stand in the 60m, so now I know I need to run that much harder and faster in the 100m.”
SOPOT, Poland -- Team USA crushed a 15-year-old men’s 4x400 Indoor World Record on the final day of the 2014 World Indoor Championships and the women’s 4x400 set an American record to round out the competition at Argo Arena. Team USA picked up four other medals for a total of 12 to close out the meet at the top of the medal table. Russia was second with five total (3 gold) followed by Ethiopia’s five (2 gold).
USA’s men’s 4x400m captured the gold medal and fittingly finished with the first and only World record mark clocking 3:02.13. Kyle Clemons (Lawrence, Kan.), the 400m bronze medalist, handed off after the first leg just steps behind Great Britain, but David Verburg (Gainesville, Fla.) gave Team USA the lead on the second carry, before Kind Butler III (Indianapolis, Ind.) sprinted away with a 45.41 third leg to give the squad a solid lead. Calvin Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) went out very calm and controlled on the anchor leg and was stellar over the final 100 to clock 45.12.
The time of 3:01.96 ran by Kerron Clement, Wallace Spearmon, Darold Williamson and Jeremy Warner in 2006 at Fayetteville, Ark., was never ratified as a World Record, but stands as the American record.
Team USA front-loaded the women’s 4x400 final, leading off with Natasha Hastings (Round Rock, Texas), and the quartet never trailed as Hastings clocked 51.95 on the opening carry. Joanna Atkins (Minneloa, Fla.) kept the lead with a 51.85 before individual 400 champion Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) blew the race open with a 50.36 on the third leg. International newcomer Cassandra Tate (Baton Rouge, La.) finished off the American Record run with a 51.67 to stop the clock at 3:24.83. The previous AR of 3:27.34 was set in 2010 at Doha, and this was only the second time the U.S. has won this event.
Chanelle Price (Knoxville, Tenn.) became the first American woman to win the 800m World Indoor title, leading from the gun to set a personal best of 2:00.09 in her first international championship final since placing sixth at the 2007 World Youth. Price took the field through 200 in 27.88 and 400 in 57.73. Looking comfortable and composed, she passed 600 in 1:28.91 and staved off local favorite Angelika Cichocka (POL) for the gold.
Omo Osaghae blasted out of the blocks in the men’s 60 hurdles final and cleared the first hurdle first. Osaghae hurdled well over the next four barriers and held off two Frenchmen, leaning at the line for gold in 7.45, a lifetime best. In his international championship debut, he became the tenth Team USA man to win this event.
Osaghae (Lubbock, Texas) won his semifinal heat with a PR of 7.49. Dominic Berger (Newport News, Va.) did not start well in the second semifinal and was just outside the qualifying spot with his fifth-place time of 7.64.
Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) ran comfortably in the middle of the pack as the field went at a slow pace through 800 in 2:15.22. The group passed through the mile in 4:29, and at 2000 the pace started to pick up after the see-saw early going. Lagat eased forward into contention, pushing hard with 150 to go. He tried to move to the lead into the final curve, but was held off by Caleb Ndiku (KEN) and took silver in 7:55.22 after covering the final 400 in 53 seconds. Lagat became the oldest man ever to win a medal at the World Indoors, as he added a silver to the three golds he already had. Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) finished strongly to take fourth in 7:55.84.
Tianna Bartoletta had a strong start and executed well throughout the women’s 60m final, and only the two fastest times in the world this year beat her as she clocked a season-best 7.06 to claim bronze behind World and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) and Murielle Ahoure (CIV). Bartoletta (Tampa, Fla.) automatically advanced to the finals of the women’s 60m, finishing second in the second semi in 7.14. Lekeisha Lawson (West Covina, Calif.) was third in the first semifinal in 7.18, but did not advance to the final.
World record-holder Jenn Suhr (Churchville, N.Y.) played a passing game in the women’s pole vault, clearing 4.65m/15-3 on her first attempt of the competition. Suhr passed at 4.70m/15-5 before missing three times at 4.75m/15-7 to end up in a tie for fifth. Mary Saxer (Boston, Mass.) went over 4.55m/14-11 to take eighth.
In the women’s long jump final, Tori Polk (Plano, Texas) took fifth place with a jump of 6.61m/21-8.25 on her third attempt.
Competing in the deepest men’s high jump final in World Indoors history, Erik Kynard (Manhattan, Kansas) cleared a season best on his first attempt at 2.34m/7-8 and ended up just out of the medals in fourth. Kynard missed once at 2.36m/7-8.85 and twice at 2.38m/7-9.75.
All eyes were on world record-setting Genzebe Dibaba (ETH) going into the women’s 3000m final, but there was a pedestrian early pace as the field passed 400 in 82.36. A slow first kilometer yielded to a much quicker second kilo as Dibaba picked up the pace dramatically. Shannon Rowbury (Portland, Ore.) and Gabriele Grunewald (Minneapolis, Minn.) were near the back of the pack, but Rowbury tried to stay in contact with four laps to go, moving to 7th. Rowbury dropped back one spot at the finish, taking eighth in 9:07.82, and Grunewald was 10th in 9:11.76.
Chris Carter (Hearne, Texas) had a best of 16.74m/54-11.25 in the third round of the men’s triple jump to finish sixth in his first international competition.
Team USA medals
Ryan Whiting, Men’s shot put
Ashton Eaton, Heptathlon
Francena McCorory, Women’s 400m
Nia Ali, Women’s 60m hurdles
Chanelle Price, Women’s 800m
Omo Osaghae, Men’s 60m hurdles
Women’s 4x400m Relay (Natasha Hastings, Joanne Atkins, Francena McCorory, Cassandra Tate)
Men’s 4x400m Relay (Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III, Calvin Smith)
Marvin Bracy, Men’s 60m
Bernard Lagat, Men’s 3,000m
Kyle Clemons, Men’s 400m
Tianna Bartoletta, Women’s 60m
- Team’s USA’s 8 golds equaled the second-highest total ever for the United States. The U.S. has twice won 10 golds and eight once.
- The men’s 4x4 gave the U.S. its fifth consecutive win in the event
- Omo Osaghae’s gold medal in the men’s 60-meter hurdles was the fourth U.S. gold in the last six World Indoors