Veronica Campbell Brown meets with the press on the eve of the World Athletics Gala (Phillipe Fitte) © Copyright
General News Monte Carlo

Athletes meet with the media in Monaco

Veronica Cambell Brown, Meseret Defar, Fabiana Murer, Bernard Lagat and Andreas Thorkildsen met with the media today at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco on the eve Sunday’s World Athletics Gala.

Here is a sampling of what they had to stay.

Veronica Campbell Brown (JAM), two-time Olympic 200m champion, 2010 world leader in the 100 and 200m, finalist for World Athlete of the Year -

Which event, the 100 or the 200m, does she like more:
As of right now I’m not sure which I’d like to focus on.
It’s hard to make a decision on which one I like more. I feel that I’m equally good at both. I had more success at 200 but the 100 I know I can run a bit faster. You have to be more technical in the 100. In the 100m you usually win the race in the first 30 metres. I love them both, if given the opportunity to run both, I’ll continue to run both.

Going into London I’m going to just keep working hard. And it it’s part of my destiny than it will happen. It would be nice to have the title of Olympic 100m champion on my resume.

Would she consider a move to the 400m?
I do it in training to help with my preparations. I don’t see it as part of my future. I consider myself a sprinter and the 400 is a little too long.

Her plans for the 2011 indoor season:
I’m not sure right now, but it will only be a few events.

On her recent coaching change which has left her without a coach at the moment:
Right now I’m evaluating my coaching situation, and I hope to reach a conclusion soon. I’m doing my research now and want to make a decision that will be beneficial to all.

Currently based in Atlanta USA, would she consider going back to Jamaica to train?
I honestly don’t believe that your location has anything to do with success as far as training is concerned. It has to do with work ethics and talent, and having the right team and people to motivate you.

Where did her real love affair with track & field begin?
It dates back from say 1998 or even earlier. But I recall 1998. I went to Vere Technical High School. I was very young and I went into a programme where there was so much talent. The urge to win championships there was great. The drive was there. When I came to Vere, I was the best from the school I was coming from. But when I got here, I was nothing. I couldn’t even make the relay team. So it’s been a long time.

Meseret Defar (ETH), the World indoor 3000m champion and IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup 3000m champion.

On her Half Marathon debut in Phildelphia in September, where she ran an impressive 1:07:45:
Before Philadelphia I was a little scared because it was my first Half Marathon. But I only had problems in the last kilometre. But I’m still focusing on the track. Maybe in the future I will think more about the roads.

Does she plan to make assaults on her indoor 3000m (8:23.72) and 5000m (14:24.37) World records this coming indoor season?
I will try in Stuttgart and Stockholm. I will run a 3000 and a 5000, but I’m not yet sure where.

On her plans for the World Championships in Daegu:

I will only run the 5000 in Daegu.

When will she try a Marathon?
I haven’t decided yet when I’ll run the Marathon. But I am thinking about it. But not before the 2012 Olympics.

Fabiana Murer (BRA), World indoor Pole Vault champion -

Her overall assessment of the 2010 season, when she improved her South American record to 4.85m:
It was such a good season for me this year, I didn’t think I would do so well. I didn’t think I would win the World indoor championship. I thought it might be possible, but very difficult.

On her thoughts about the World Championships in Daegu:
I know next year will be difficult. I have a dream to jump five metres. I don’t know if it will be possible this year, but hopefully before the Olympic Games. I think I can jump another South American record.

On Yelena Isinbayeva’s return to competition after taking the outdoor season off:
For me it changes nothing. It will be a lot more difficult to win. I will have to jump higher to keep winning. I know this.

On the 2016 Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro:
I’ll be 35. I was thinking about competing until 2014, but maybe now I’ll compete until 2016 because it would be great to compete at the Olympics at home.

On her technique and jumping style:
Every athlete has their own style. I try to do the technique that Vitaly Petrov teaches. I watch video of Sergey Bubka who I think is the best ever technically. I have my own style but I use Ukrainian technique.

Bernard Lagat (USA), 3000/5000m winner at the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup, 2007 1500m/5000m champion -

On his secret to longevity:
Trying to stay young (laughs). Seriously, training hard. Focusing on certain performances. And focusing on certain competitions.

On his preparation for Daegu:
It’s shaping up really well. Osaka went really well and I would say Berlin went quite well. I just came back from injury. I finished second in the 5000 to a very good athlete. It’s not a shame to lose to Kenenisa Bekele. And I took third in the 1500,

Does he plan to double again in 2011?
I will run only the 5000. I’m happy to run just one. I want to be able to focus everything on just one event. But I will run some 1500s and miles.

On his goals:
Both titles and times. When I was running with Hicham (El Guerrouj), I also had to have times as goals. And now for the 5000 I have both in mind.

On running the Marathon:
It’s a bit too far. But I don’t want to rule it out entirely. First I want to go to the Olympics and do the best I can.

On David Rudisha, the World record holder in the 800m:
I look at him as a youngest young brother. One thing about him is that he’s very, very, very smart. He’s very, very talented. He works hard. He knows how to listen to his coach and to himself.

Any advice for Rudisha?
Don’t stop working hard. There will always be new challenges and new athletes to challenge you.

Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR), two-time Olympic champion and reigning World and European champion in the Javelin Throw, and a finalist for World Athlete of the Year -

On resuming training:
I’ve been training for two weeks. There’s a long winter head and I’m looking forward to it. This winter I’m changing to San Diego for winter training.

Will he compete in late winter meets this coming season?
It takes a long time to build up so you can last the whole season. To me to feel that I’m really ready for competitions I don’t want to split (the season) in halfs. To be best prepared for summer season, I want to focus on when the bigger meets start in the summer.

On the difficulties javelin throwers face and long post-season recovery needed:
After six months of competing, an ankle or a shoulder, or your back, and it takes a while to get that out of your season. And you want to start training again when you’re fresh and ready.

I think it’s javelin and triple jump are probably the worst events you can do in track and field. Everybody tries to stay healthy but the forces that go into the body are so enormous that you really have to be prepared when you start going full speed.

Will he be able to win a third Olympic title and even a fourth?
I don’t think Rio will be a problem, unless I get injured or something like that. I’ll only be 34 which is fairly young for a javelin thrower. Jan Zelezny went on to be 40 before he retired and was still competitive. I don’t think 34 will a problem. 38 or 42 could be a little bit of a stretch.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF