Many athletes would be more than satisfied with being a two time world championship medallist by the age of 28 but not Jenny Simpson.
As she heads towards what is sure to be an epic race at tomorrow’s Prefontaine Classic, the 1500m runner says that she is more motivated than ever to do well in 2015.
Speaking at the pre-meet press conference Simpson told RunBlogRun that she really wants to win a medal at this year’s world championships in Beijing and how she still feels the need to prove herself: “I was on a walk with my husband last night and I said to him it’s funny how you think when you have two medals in your drawer at home ‘okay no matter what happens in 2015, I have that to go home to’ but for some reason it almost seems like they don’t matter,” she said
“I want to do well in 2015 and that’s what motivates me is winning another medal at the world championships… I still have that intense and deep desire to prove myself this for a medal this year.”
Saturday’s race will be her season opening 1500m and a lot has been said about the domestic rivalry between Simpson and Shannon Rowbury after their extraordinary battles at the end of last season, yet the American was quick to play down the idea. While she accepts that the idea of the rivalry may be good for the sport, it is not one Simpson actually believes exists: “It’s funny to kind of see the trumped up idea that we’re these big rivals because for me I am a total and complete every woman for herself kind of athlete the minute we get on the start line. So Shannon is not more important for me to beat than my teammate Emma Coburn, it’s important for me to beat all of them and I’ll race hard to try and do that.” she said.
Whatever the result of their impending battle both athletes will return to Hayward Field in three weeks time for US Champs. However unlike her opponent Simpson is in a unique position of not having to finish in the top three. Having gained a bye towards this summer’s world championships through being the 2014 Diamond League champion, the athlete is able to focus all her training towards getting on the start line on the 26th August on the best position possible.
While she realises the benefit of being in such a position, Simpson insists that she is still aware of the importance of performing well at this year’s championships, given the situation she will facing at next year’s Olympic trials: “Having people like Emma and Kara and Shalaya around that do have to be ready for the US champs I think it’s a constant reminder to me that in 2016 I won’t have a bye, nobody will. So it’s a reminder of that pressure and that need to perform on that one day is there whether I have the bye or not, so I don’t get so far removed from the pressure that I forget about it.”