USATF pressers wrap

23 August 2007 - Osaka, Japan - Several U.S. athletes met with the media today to discuss their preparations and expectations for the World Championships. Here are some excerpts of what they had to say:

Bryan Clay (Reigning World Decathlon champion) -On the expectations of others:

I’ve been the underdog many times. I don’t think I was picked to win a medal this year and I’m not sure why. Track & Field News didn’t even have me in the medal count. So for me this is usually the position that I’m in and it was the same in Athens, and I don’t think there were many who thought I’d do well in Helsinki either. It’s a familiar position for me and where I like to be. I like to know that I’m the underdog and then go out and show everybody that I can do well.

On his own expectations:

All of my throws have been going very well and technically I’ve been doing very well, so I expect to be on American record pace throughout the meet, but more importantly for me I expect to be ahead, or at my personal best, and how far ahead I don’t know, that will depend on the conditions and how the competition is going. All in all, with no mistakes, I think it’s going to be a very good competition.

On his concerns about the conditions:

You always worry about the weather when you’re a decathlete because you’re out there for so long, but you just keep it in the back of your mind that everybody is competing in the same conditions and you know it’ll come down to your mental toughness and how much you want it. The crowd will play a big role and if they can help us to get excited you’re going to see very good performances.

Allyson Felix (Reigning World 200m Champion, Olympic silver medalist) -

On how she’s feeling heading into the championships:

I feel really good. Everything is going according to schedule. I feel so blessed just to be healthy and I want to take advantage of it because I feel really good.

On her expectations:

I’m kind of anxious to get on the track and get started instead of just waiting around to get going.

Sanya Richards (2006 World Athlete of the Year) -

On how she’s feeling heading into the championships:

I’m feeling really good. I’m really looking forward to the 200 and really running well there, and I’m excited about the track meet.

On her disappointment of not making the team in the 400m:

I had to get over that really quickly when I had to step back on the track to make the team in the 200. I’m definitely over that and I believe everything happens for a reason. I want to be known as a complete sprinter and adding the 200 to my forte ( :confused: :rolleyes: ) is exactly want I wanted to do. I would’ve love to have been able to win the 400 especially here at the World Championships, but I have a chance to win the 200 and of course hopefully, next year everything will go according to plan and I’ll be an Olympic champion at 400.

On her toughest competition in the 200m:

No doubt Allyson Felix and Veronica Campbell. I think Torri Edwards will run really well too, but I think Allyson will be the favorite going in, she really knows the 200 and she’s the defending World champion, so I think she’ll be the toughest competition, but I think I’m prepared to run with her.

Michelle Perry (Reigning World 100m Hurdles champion) -

On her health:

I’m healthy and looking forward to the 27th, 28th and 29th (of August when she will compete) so everything is on pace.

Is she getting anxious to compete:

No, I’m just focusing on practice day to day, and taking it one day at a time.

On the pressure of being defending champion:

I definitely have a target on my back because everybody wants to be the World champion. I guess it’s pressure if you allow it to be, but I just simply go out there and do what I have to do to keep the success that I do have. You don’t worry about everyone, but you are aware of who has the potential of taking it from you.

Wallace Spearmon (2005 World 200m silver medalist, 2006 World Cup Champion) -

After winning the silver medal in Helsinki, would it be wrong to assume that you have even more on your mind here in Osaka?

In 2007 I’m shooting for nothing less than gold. That’s my main focus this year.

On his season up to this point:

In the beginning of the season I ran a few indoor meets going into outdoors, and everything’s been going well. I’m staying healthy and everything’s been focused on USA’s and towards the World Championships. Now it’s time to perform.

On the depth in the 200m:

We have a group of young guys who all want to be the best. None of us like to lose and all of us like to win. Two of the guys are at home right now, Xavier (Carter) and Walter Dix, but myself, Tyson (Gay) and Usain Bolt (of Jamaica) are all here and it’ll be a great competition.

On the possibility of a US medal sweep in the 200m:

We have myself, Tyson and Rodney Martin, and we have a great chance of repeating. We can’t do a one through four like we did in 2005, but one through three is very possible.