The WC is here. This is part 1 by Stuart Weir, on the voices of the defending World Champions. Everyone is gunning for them, and they know it. Check out the varied responses. I am particularly amused by Mr. Bosse.
Thanks, Stuart, see you in the Stadium in less than a day!
Being World Champion
By Sunday, next week, a new batch of athletes will be able to call themselves “World Champion”. What does it mean to be world champion? Stuart Weir asked a number of 2017 champions that question. He got some interesting answers:
Barbora Å potÃ¡kovÃ¡ – Javelin
“That is why you do athletics – because you want to be world champion. It happened to me twice – three* times actually. Once I get them back after eight years. It’s a beautiful feeling and I know about it so I can tell people. It’s nice to have had once but I’ve had it twice and it’s a beautiful feeling definitely”.
[*She won in 2007 and 2017 and was awarded the gold medal in 2018 after Mariya Abakumova’s disqualification for doping.]
Brittney Reese – long jump
“There is a great feeling to have world champion and Olympic champion by your name. It something that athletes really want and I’m lucky to have had it four times. It’s a great feeling. You get ‘world champion’ in front of your name and you get a lot for attention. But at the end of the day, I am still the same person. I’m still Brittney Reese, I’m still around my son and showing him all the great things life has to offer. But yes, it has changed my life a lot”.
Christian Taylor – triple jump
Christian Taylor, (center), with Will Claye (left), Nelson Evorria (right), who will challenge him? photo by Getty Images/IAAF
“Incredible. From 2011 I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal. I used to think “I want to go to the Olympics one day” but to go as world champion is crazy. As I say, you never know what God has in store. Why should he choose someone like me to be on top of the stage? How can I use this platform? I don’t take it very lightly. I don’t take it for granted. It is nothing less than the dream come true”.
Dafne Schippers – 200m
“I’m very happy to do that and it’s always special to win the gold medal at the world championship. It was very cool to competing in London because it’s a very nice stadium. And the atmosphere was great”.
Justin Gatlin – 100m
“It felt like home. It felt good to be able to cross the line and be on top of the podium. Being introduced as World Champion feels good. But it comes with the responsibility of the need for hard work. I can’t come into a race now, slack and not give a good performance because people are going to recognize that”.
Emma Coburn – Steeplechase
“Being introduced as world champion is something that will probably stick with me – definitely throughout my running career, possibly beyond that. That has certainly been a little different. But I’m still as eager as I was before and hungry to have greater successes and to improve my times and performances and have consistency in the sport. So my approach to racing and training has not changed at all but it is a nice thing to hear, being introduced as the world champion”.
Pierre-Ambroise Bosse – 800
“I don’t introduce myself as world champion. I introduce myself as the crazy guy, the guy who can drink a pint of beer in less than 3 seconds. That’s how I introduce myself. I don’t care about being world champion”.