21 AUG 2009 General News

Gold - LaShawn MERRITT, USA

(to the audience) This is a great crowd and a great track.
(to the media) You know what: It was all about putting it from my head to the track. I had already won the race in my heart. Everybody trains hard. I am playing the A game. This medal is for Jesse Owens, my family, my nephews and my fans. Warriner is a great champion. But I really wanted it. Warriner told me his gratulations. I ran this race a million times in my head. At 300m I felt good and at 350m I knew I had won the race, so I just needed to bring it home. I am planning on getting better and better every year. Only the sky is the limit. With all my many medals now, I will get more room for them in my house. And maybe get a bigger house, too (laughs). Now Jeremy and me need to get together to get the medal in the 4x400m.

I felt good coming up for the first part of the race. I think I was on good position coming up for the turn. Exactly where I wanted to be at. I had to kick for it but unfortunatelly it was the slow finish. Before the USA's I had an ankle injury and it took time to heal it. It affected my preparation. I am in great shape but not race shape. I feel kind of disappointed because I wanted to defend my title. It was the slowest season for me but the next is going to be different, I guarantee.

It feels good, but I'm a little disappointed. It's a huge accomplishment, the hard work paid off. I tried to run my own race and not see what the others were doing. But I wasn't that tired. The rain kind of messed up everything with the delay. In the future, I think I'll try to work my race plan a bit more. I'm still young, I still have a couple of years to prove myself. In the next years, I'll focus on getting the gold.

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