The first day of the World Championships was a great start for Team U.S.A. Fourth place in the marathon World Cup, followed by the gold and silver in the shot with Reese Hoffa and Adam Nelson. Then, to cap off the night, Kara Goucher kicked it in for a bronze in the women's 10,000 meters--the first time a U.S. athlete, male or female to win a medal at a World Champs at 10k. Here, Craig Masback, CEO of USA Track & Field gave us a few minutes this afternoon on his thoughts on the 11th IAAF World Champs. The process of the interviews is straightforward, I send Craig the questions (LE), he answers via email (CM). Thanks to Craig for his time!
LE: Congrats on the Shot put 1,2-what did you think of the shot?
CM: It was a great event for the USA and the Georgia connection. Reese's
series of throws was incredible -- to throw over 22 meters in a major
championship is impressive enought but to put together the series he had
was truly remarkable. You couldn't ask for a better person to be
champion -- he is humble, thoughtful, appreciative of the support crew
that got him to the podium, and amusing, whether or not he has a turkey
leg in his hand. Adam's accomplishment in throwing a seasonable best at
the World Championships is equally impressive. The fact that he could be
the second best in the world in a year in which he moved and completed a
year at one of the world's best business schools is very special. He had
to get up at 5:00 am every day to work out because he was involved in his
studies from early in the morning until late at night. I know he was
disappointed not to win, but even he can deal with the fact that he was
up against one of the best performances in shot put history. Also, it's
worth noting that Adam has had success at every World Championships and
Olympics dating back to Sydney in 2000 -- a true model of consistency!
LE: The women's 10,000 m had alot of drama, tell us about your thoughts on
Kara Goucher making history by being the first US runner, male or female to win 10,000m medal at Worlds?
CM: The women's 10K was one of the most emotional events I've ever experienced. Katie, Deena, and Kara all ran awesome races (top three in the top 13), but Kara ran one of the boldest races I've ever seen. Her determination in sticking her nose in the race and going with it no matter what the change of pace and rhythm was a joy to watch. Her bronze medal and Deena and Meb's races in Athens show that championship distance race medals don't go to the people with the best personal bests in ideal conditions but to the people who are best prepared for the conditions at the particular championship. Kara was superbly prepared for the race, had a great race plan, and believed in herself. Still, it took great courage to run as she did in the latter stages of the race and the last 250 meters were over-the-top exciting for those of us lucky enough to be in the stadium.
LE: What do you think of event so far?
CM: The Championships obviously got off to a great start for Team USA yesterday with the 4th place finish by the marathon team and the events discussed above. We have a ceremony at the team hotel to welcome back the medal winners and it was great to share a sip of champagne with the shot put guys and Kara last night. The team members who didn't go to the stadium last night because they had early events today had gathered in the athlete hospitality lounge we've created here and cheered on Kara and the ceremony created that same team spirit and emotion. Every day at a major event like this has its own dynamic and we will have good days and bad
days in the week ahead, but last night was truly one to remember.