Split, CroatiaAt today’s preevent press conference ahead of the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup in Split were US 110m hurdler and Samsung Diamond League winner David Oliver representing the Americas and World and Olympic Shot Put champion Valerie Vili of New Zealand competing for the Asia/Pacific team. Here is what they said...
- David Oliver (USA / Americas Team) -
You have dipped below 12.90 this season and won the Diamond League. Is there anything else you want to achieve this year or have you anything left to prove?
I don’t have to go out and prove anything. It has been a hard year without any Olympics or World Championships, but these meet directors still pay appearances fees, so I know I have to give a good account of myself every time I step on the track.
The competition record of 12.96 was set by Allen Johnson. Is that a target?
When I go to a meet I always try and break the meet record. I know I’m more than more than capable of running that time, so hopefully it will come out. We’ll see what happens on Sunday. I’m ready to run now.
You’ve enjoyed a great season winning the Diamond League, and although we don’t want to look too far ahead, what do you expect from next season?
I’ll try to stay healthy. Last year I missed the majority of the season being injured so that was a lot of motivation for this year. It is always the same, just to stay healthy. You can’t win too many races lying on your couch. I know when I’ve been healthy the last few years I’m one of the best hurdlers in the world. If I stay healthy next year I’ll push to win the gold medal (at the 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships).
What are the strongest and the weakest parts of your race?
We (my coach and I) always have things we can develop and correct. My trail leg is not really where it needs to be, but the strongest part of my race is hurdling. I’m a very good hurdler and I’m very aggressive. You can’t be too weak-minded trying to run the 110m hurdles.
You have come within 0.02 of the World record (Dayron Robles holds it at 12.87) this season. Is that a possibility here in Split?
Who knows? The world record is the world record for a reason. You can’t just wake up in the morning, yawn, and say you are going to break the world record. I think a meet record is more realistic. Also when you think about it about my body has never run 12.86. A meet record at say 12.99 or 13.01, I know I’m capable of doing that. You never know, I might run here in Split and if it says 12.80 on the board and the wind is legal who knows, but I don’t really have the world record as a goal or something to chase after.
You are representing a combined Americas team are you confident you can win this competition?
Most definitely. We’ve got the best team going in the hurdles both the 400m and the 110m hurdles. Now we’re incorporated with the Cuban team, that improves our throws and triple jumps and long jumps. So I think we’re a pretty difficult team to deal with. Our relays are better than anyone else so we should win.
- Valerie Adams (NZL/Asia-Pacific Team) -
You face yet another re-match against Nadzeha Ostapchuk, how do you feel coming into this?
This year has been pretty long competition-wise. I’ve never done so many comps in one year and I look forward to Sunday’s competition. I spent ten days up the mountains with Jean-Pierre Egger (former coach to Werner Gunthor) and Werner Gunthor, the three time World champion. It’s gone well and I’m looking forward to putting into place some of the things that I learned against Ostapchuk. She’s done really well this year but this is the last time I’m going to see her for the season, so we’ll see what happens. For me this is not my last competition, so I can’t go partying too much. I have another competition in a month’s time at the Commonwealth Games.
You recently stated in an IAAF Diry piece that Werner Gunthor is your favourite athlete. Why?
He’s always been my favourite all-time shot putter. He’s just an amazing athlete, he does amazing things, he’s a big man and he is just awesome. He’s a really nice guy. He has an excellent technique but his way of training and way of doing things is excellent.
How useful has it been to link up with Werner and his ex-coach?
I’ve has feedback on my overall programme my weights programme and other things, so I look forward to getting back home and taking all the information that I have.
Is it something you would consider again?
Definitely. I will try and come back over (to Switzerland) twice or maybe three times next year.
You are the defending champion what memories do you have that competition in Athens in 2006?
I just remember having so much fun and I thinking it was the last competition of the season and after that it was time to have a holiday. I remember I threw 19.87m. I’d just broken 20m that year, so to finish off on a high was pretty amazing. I had a blast. Then I was competing for Oceania, but this time it is Asia-Pacific and we can’t even speak the same language as half of the team. Some of the team speak Chinese or Mandarin, and the rest speak English, so from that aspect it is difficult. Although I think that this year we will be able to challenge Europe and the Americas and Africa a bit more than what we have in the past.
Steve Landells for the IAAF
IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup
Composition of Teams
- Each team will be allowed to enter two athletes in each event (three in the 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 3000mSC but only the first two finishers from each team shall score points).
- Only one athlete from any one country may compete in each individual event.
- individual events: 1st: 8pts – 2nd: 7pts – 3rd: 6pts – 4th: 5pts – 5th: 4pts – 6th: 3pts – 7th: 2pts – 8th: 1pt
- relays: 1st: 15pts – 2nd: 11pts – 3rd: 7pts – 4th: 3pts
- teams: Points achieved by men and women will be combined and the overall winner of the IAAF Continental Cup will be the team with the most combined points.