In Case You Hadn't Heard Department: Some Noteworthy Quotes From The 14th World Championships of Track and Field, And Some Very Personal Reactions by Elliott Denman

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LaShawn Merritt, Kirani James, Tony McQuay, midway in the 400 meters, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Elliott Denman wrote this piece about the amazing responses many athletes give, just after a race. A place, called the mixed zone, where athletes, completely spent from the event just finished, let the media, if they are lucky, know how they truly feel. Elliott Denman has written about the sport he loves for over fifty years, and we are quite lucky to have had his thoughts and comments in Moscow. 


In Case You Hadn't Heard Department:
Some Noteworthy Quotes From The 14th World Championships of Track and Field.
And Some Very Personal Reactions.

by ELLIOTT DENMAN
 
"It was not revenge for Daegu. I just came here to win this title.  I cannot forget Daegu because all you guys (the media) keep reminding me."
Sprinter Usain Bolt, after winning the 100 (first of his three gold medals.)
Reaction:  You'll never, ever forget Daegu? That was the false start of the century (this one and the last.) Don't you remember?
 
"I didn't execute the last 30 meters But I have time to correct that."
Silver medal winning 100-meter runner Justin Gatlin.
Reaction: Time to correct that?  Just how, if the results are now in the archives, where there are no delete buttons, forever and ever?  (Barring test-result revisions, of course.)
 
"I won't cry over spilled milk."
Bronze medal-winning 100-meter runner Nesta Carter, 0.10 back of Gatlin.
Reaction: How about spilled vodka?
 
'It is much better to overeat than not have enough sleep"
Gold medal winning high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko.
Reaction: Huhhhh?
 
"I think the level has risen very much this season."
Silver medal-winning high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim.
Reaction:  Just this season? The level (of the crossbar) rises every season.  It's written in the rule book
 
 
"I've said it many times already, I was hungry.  Probably the hungriest person in the field. No, I was starving."
Gold medal winning 400-meter runner LaShawn Merritt.
Reaction: Lunchless in 43.74?  Maybe full in 43.55?
 
"After the race, I had to go to medical service because of all this pumping. All I needed was just water, not infusion."
Silver medal-winning 400-meter hurdler Michael Tinsley.
Reaction: Pumping? Infusion?  Where's the fire?
 
"I don't remember anything about the final."
Bronze medal-winning 110-meter high hurdler Sergey Shubenkov.
Reaction:  So, Sergey, tell us, who was that fella on the podium, claiming the bronze medal?
 
 
"I was shocked by Kirani's (James) slow time. But he still a great athlete."
Silver-medal winning 400-meter runner Tony McQuay.
Reaction: Slow and seventh in 44.99? It was only 0.39 off James's gold medal time in 2011.
 
"I kind of relaxed too much in the beginning, if not to say I slept at the beginning."
Bronze medal-winning 400-meter runner Luguelin Santos.
Reaction:  The time schedule was published months ago. Wakeup calls never needed.
 
"My main goal now is to become a mum. Everything (about future plans) will depend on my feeling as a mother."
Gold medal-winning pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.
Reaction: Won't everything (about future plans) depend on the father, too?
 
"In 2007, I met Haile Gebresellasie for the first time. I asked him what do I need to run good. He told me that you need to train for five years."
Olympics 2012 and World 2013 gold medal-winning marathoner Stephen Kiprotich.
Reaction: Obviously, you have a very fine calendar.
 
"In the morning I felt a little pain after I ate my breakfast."
Silver medal-winning marathoner Lelisa Desisa.
Reaction: Try the "Breakfast of Champions" next time.
 
"With 'Team USA' across our chest. we had an extra chip on our shoulder."
Gold medal-winning 4x400 relay runner David Verburg.
Reaction: Strange anatomical problem?
 
"I ran like it was my last race ever"
Bronze medal-winning 4x400 relay runner Sergey Petukhov.
Reaction: Say it isn't so, Sergey. You're only 29.
 
"I am very blessed right now.  I am so proud to be representing Africa here."
Silver medal-winning 200-meter runner Murielle Ahoure (actually representing Cote D'Ivoire.)
Reaction: For sure, for sure, you even beat Blessing herself. (Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria took the bronze.)
 
"Today, I was very motivated because our president Vladimir Putin called me and my wife (javelin thrower Mariya Abakumova) and he wished us success."
Bronze medal-winning javelin thrower Dmitri Tarabin (whose wife won a bronze, too.)
Reaction: Mr. Obama, our guys and girls could have used your help, too.  And Skype really works.
 
"To compete at home is a huge responsibility."
Gold medal-winning 4x400 relay runner Kseniya Ryzhova.
Reaction: Yep, and a responsibility Team USA almost surely will never have.
 
"It was terrible, it was awful, I do not like seeing this happen."
Said Aouita, the first man to break 13 minutes for 5000 meters and 1984 Olympic champion in  13:05.39, on seeing Mo Farah win in 13:26.79.
Reaction: Well said, Said. These jog-paced, sprint-finish, slow-time races have got to go. Call them lotteries. Somebody has to "take it out." Next time's not soon enough.
 
"There was not a single glitch."
Vitaliy Mutko, Russian Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy.
Reaction: He didn't see the guy slip on the steps and spill his beer on the aged lady.  He didn't see the bus that didn't come to get the last guy on the last night out of the media center and back to his hotel.
(Full disclosure: I didn't see that bus, either.) And he didn't hear that same guy saying "a million spasibas"  to the sympathetic van driver who rallied to the cause, obviously a man old enough to remember "glasnost."

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