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Lausanne Press Conference summary – Samsung Diamond League

Usain Bolt in Lausanne (ATHLETISSIMA/Denis Roulet)Usain Bolt in Lausanne (ATHLETISSIMA/Denis Roulet) © Copyright
Lausanne, SwitzerlandA stunning lineup of athletics talent brimming full with Olympic champions has been assembled for the Athletissima 2012 - Samsung Diamond League meeting which takes place tomorrow night (Thursday 23) in Lausanne.

A series of press conferences took place today ahead of the meeting and what follows is a summary of what was said…

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)

"I am very excited to be here. I am feeling good, not sore after the London Games. You focus so much on the Olympics and then it’s over. But I am here, ready and looking forward to competing."

"I went directly to our base camp in Venice, Italy. The season is on-going, I will return home when the season will be over. There will be a lot to celebrate for me, my Olympic title, my graduation in November, my birthday in December. My sponsors will probably organise something for me."

"After 2008 in Beijing I did focus on London. Now Rio (2016) seems far away. For the time being, I will focus for some time on being in the moment."

"As for starting a family, I am still young and don’t plan it for the moment. When I’ll be ready, we’ll discuss it with my husband."

"When I’ll have a child I would like to have a girl, with the name "Zalaty" (Shadow), a strong woman who overcame many difficult situations in life, I would like my child to follow her mother’s shadow."

"I don’t like the 200m as much as the 100m, but it does help me for the 100m. In the 100m final in London for example, I didn’t start too well but managed to make up for it, which I owe to my 200m training.

"There were three phases this year, the pre-season training, the Olympic Games and after the Olympic Games. The season is not over until I return home. I continue to train and to better myself."

Brittney Reese (USA)

After the Olympics "I then had some ups and downs but I came to Lausanne to win. It will be the final meeting of the season."

"Until now, I have jumped 7.20m, the objective for tomorrow is 7.30m and next year 7.40. Back in college, I tried the Triple Jump but the results were not that great. I rather like the High Jump and I managed to jump 1.88."

"Since I won the gold medal nothing has really changed. I am still training to make good results. It is true, after winning the gold medal I get more attention but I am grateful for that."

"When I want to relax, I like sitting around and listening to music or doing shopping. I am also into fashion. My plan would be to create my own brand."

Kirani James (GRN)

Teenager Kirani James when asked if it is easy to manage everything replied: "I always get that question, it is easy to manage, with a very strong family base and right people around you."

"There is always room to run faster," added James who ran under 44.00 for the first time at the Olympic Games and is well known for his quick recovery rate.

"The secret is the fish I eat (laugh). It will be a lot a fun once home. I don't drink, I like to go out with friends, but prefer to stay quiet, rest with family."

Emphasising his motivation he stressed: "Of course I am, as long as I am running and represent my country, I will do it with a lot of fun."

James about pre-race nerves, said: "Not really. I have a lot of pleasure and enjoyed running the 400m, because it is a sophisticated race, that is what I do best and there is where I am the best. I don't worry about anything, the 400m is the same everywhere."

"I do not have a specific strategy, I run fast the all-time. The emergence of Caribbean athletes is due to the development in infrastructures, and we will see even more very soon."

Renaud Lavillenie (FRA)

"Yesterday I flew in a helicopter to reach the youth training. It was an amazing gift from Jacky Delapierre (Lausanne Meeting Director). Flying a helicopter is quite new to me whereas I have been pole vaulting for the past 20 years. It requires an intense concentration and a lot of finesse."

"After my good results of the season, I have my feet back on the ground. I have been relaxing and have not trained much lately reflecting on what I have achieved throughout the season. Now, I just want to enjoy myself."
"Clearing 5,92m which is one centimetre higher than the meeting record is something I think about, but it is not my primary objective. My main objective is to earn points to remain at the top of the Diamond League ranking. I know myself, I will work hard towards it."

"If the Germans push me, I will compete hard against them. But it would be good to have other competitors as well."

"The end of the season depends not only on my preparation but also on my past performances. I was quite surprised to clear 5.83m during my last meeting whereas I was hoping to clear 5.70m. As it is a technical discipline, I manage to perform well even though I am tired. I know myself well enough to know when I should stop training to avoid injuries."

"I have the ability to adapt to various situations. This summer I have encountered various conditions during the meetings. As I do a lot of jumping during practices, it allows me to adapt."

"At the beginning of the season I was one of the few who cleared 5.80m. Following this, my competitors have improved and their performances have got closer to mine."

Aries Merritt (USA)

"I have tested the track at the Pontaise, it’s a very fast track but a different surface compared to London. The times recorded in the previous meetings in Lausanne have proven it."

"My trick to my regular progression has been hard work, consistency in my way of training and staying healthy with a good diet."

"Now the Olympics are over, I feel more relaxed and I’m hoping to break the World record here in Lausanne. So far I haven’t been able to run a perfect race. I can concentrate more on the execution of my race."

"I had to change my food diet, no more pizza, ice-cream and candies. Instead I eat vegetables, meat but no dairy products. I also pay attention to my hours of sleep."

Usain Bolt (JAM)

"Yes, I reached my goal of becoming a legend. I worked hard for it. Having reached my goals this season, I want to finish the season uninjured so as to be able to prepare the next season in the best condition."

"Athletissima is a great meeting indeed and I am happy to be here again: usually great weather, great food, great public, one of the best tracks. When the conditions are right, a (World) record is definitely possible. But right now my priorities are to put on a good show and to finish the season uninjured."

"As for gaining time, it is hard to say, it depends on so many conditions."

"I have reached my goals this season. Yohan Blake is a great sprinter and should he run faster than me this season, it’s ok. Warren Weir has done well recently. I didn’t expect it at the beginning of the season but then I saw Warren progress. He has a great heart and is a great athlete."

Next year's World Championships are on Bolt’s agenda but definitely not over 400m, he added: "You will see me there. As for the distances, I don’t know yet."

Yohan Blake (JAM)

Blake asked which was his favourite medal said: "The 4x100m relay, because it is a team race and because of the World record. The relay is special, you give everything for the team, so yes, you sometimes run faster. We have an excellent coach who prepares us to run in all situations.

Recalling the Olympic 100m final: "It was a great race! Only one man on the world – the fastest – beat me. Only four years ago, I was still in High School and watching the Olympics on TV, so it was amazing for me to be among these athletes in London."

Blake who is not expected to clash with Usain Bolt again this season, said: "I leave it to my manager to decide. Usain is my training mate and I love to race with and against him. My priorities are to always better myself and to defend my medals more than to beating Usain Bolt."

Dave Martin for the IAAF