Sanya Richards-Ross, Jenn Suhr, Valerie Adams, Anna Chicherova at 2012 DN Galan Press Conference

By LetsRun.com
August 16, 2012
Stockholm, Sweden

The pre-race press conference was held Thursday for Friday's DN Galan Meet Diamond League Meet in Stockholm.

Olympic champions Valerie Adams, Sanya Richards Ross, Jenn Suhr, Brittney Reese, Tomas Majewski, and Anna Chicherova all addressed the media. Plus it was confirmed Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi will run the 800m tomorrow.

Highlights from each athlete below with video on the side.

No Bitterness from Valerie Adams
Valerie Adams
is the one Olympic champion from London who does not yet have her gold medal. Adams originally finished second but was upgraded to gold when Nadzeya Ostapchuk was disqualified for a drug positive.

Adams said there was no point in being bitter about not getting her moment atop the medal stand. "She robbed me of the moment, but we can't go back now. There are four and a half million people in New Zealand who are very happy," she said.

Valerie Adams on Her Delayed Gold

Adams was not sure when she would get her gold medal but said there was talk of a medal ceremony in New Zealand. Adams has been in Europe since March and is looking forward to going home.

"With the medal or without the medal there will be a massive celebration in New Zealand...That's the one thing I now for sure, there are 4 million people and 60 million sheeps (sic) that are going crazy," she said.

Adams said her desire is to look forward and not back. She expressed confidence in the drug testing system. "Unfortunately it happened. I'm glad the system that has been put in place is working and  is cleaning up the sport as much it can."

No more looking back for Adams. "It's time for myself to embrace the results...I'm ready to roll again for the rest of the Diamond League season." she said. As for Friday's meet Adams said her objective like in all of her meets is to, "Smash the crap out of it."

Short Clip on SRR Wanting to Run Fast

Sanya Richards-Ross Ready to Run Fast
Sanya Richards-Ross
left London with her first individual Olympic gold. She'll have her hands full in Stockholm as she gets an Olympic rematch, as the top 4 from London all square off here.

Richards said with Olympic gold behind her there is more emphasis now on trying to run a fast time. Her American record of 48.70 is nearly 6 years old. Sanya Richards-Ross also hasn't broken 49 seconds since 2009.

"My goal for tomorrow is to start chasing the times... Lowering my American record (is a goal). It's been six years. I think I have the freedom to do that now. That's definitely my goal to see how fast I can close the season out. Then next year, really, really go for great performances in the 400," she said.

Richards-Ross has been the one great female runner coached by Clyde Hart, coach of male Olympic champions Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner.

When asked what makes Clyde so special she said, "Even at 76 (year's old), he's always learning," she said.

Sanya said when she graduated from the University of Texas she planned on staying in Austin her coach Bev Kearney. Then, she said she met Clyde. He told her, "You're the best 400m runner in the world." And she said, "You know what this is going to be a great partnership." It was far from a straight line to Olympic gold for SRR, but now she has her gold and Hart has coached three different individuals to Olympic gold.

Jenn Suhr On Olympic Gold and Enjoying Vaulting

Jenn Suhr Ready to Start Enjoying Vaulting Again
For Olympic Champion Jenn Suhr, 2012 was all about winning the Olympics. After a minor injury this spring, she did not compete abroad at all, trying to get ready for the US Olympic Trials.

After winning the Olympics she thought about just going home and enjoying her Olympic gold. Instead, she reconsidered.

"I really considered going home and calling it a season, but I want to be in competitions and meets where I can relax and actually enjoy the event of the pole vault and enjoy competing and enjoy the atmosphere and the crowd and the fans. That's what I want to do the rest of the season and get back to what the competition in athletics is about and enjoy it," she said.

Suhr's best is 4.92 and the 5.00 meter barrier is on the horizon. Suhr however said she tries to focus on the immediate task in front of her. That is clearing her first bar in each competition and going from there. Suhr has longer term goals, but said 4.93 would be a place to start.

Suhr did not start vaulting until she was 22. Her goal at the time was not to be Olympic champion but to just vault 4.00 meters. Suhr was joined at the press-conference by Sweden's Angelica Bengtsson - the world junior champion who is only 19 but has already vaulted 4.50. Bengtsson said the Olympics was a good experience despite not making the final. As for the Olympics, going in she said, "I had no chance."

At the senior ranks, Bengtsson said there is a lot more time between jumps because there are more competitors left and that is something she needs to get used to.

Brittney Reese on Gold and Jumping Far

Brittney Reese has Already Been Home to Celebrate
Brittney Reese
won gold on a magical night for the US when Aries Merritt (110 hurdles) and Allyson Felix (200m) also won gold. Reese has already been back to celebrate with her family and friends in Mississippi.

"I was devastated in '08 and it was great to redeem myself," Reese said of winning the one medal missing on her resume for the people in Mississippi.

Reese played basketball in junior college and said it was ultimately her mother's advice that pushed her to go to Ole Miss and focus on long jumping.

Now the task at hand is back to jumping, something Reese does not have trouble doing.  "It's not hard to refocus," she said. "This is what I do, this is what I love to do. This is my job. It's not hard to focus on it."

Jackie Joyner Kersee's American record of 7.49 still is on the distant horizon. Reese's best is 7.23 and she talked of jumping 7.30 next year. Joyner Kersee set the bar high (JJK jumped 7.27 in her heptathlon world record) but only won one long jump gold medal. Reese would like to have the chance for number two in Rio.

Tomas Majewski at Press Conference

Tomas Majewski on the Mental Side of the Shot
Double Olympic shot put champ Tomas Majewski was not the favorite heading into London, but he was mentally prepared.

"It was one of the best competitions I've ever had in my head... I was prepared for everything. When my rivals got good throws, I got a better throw. It was very, very good for me in tactics," he said on defending his Olympic crown.

Outside of the mental side of things, Tomas said to ask his coach why he threw so well at the Olympics. He just follows his coach's instructions in training.

Tomas threw an impressive 21.89 at the Olympics and his personal best of 21.95 was set in Stockholm in 2009. A 22.00 meter throw would be a nice post-Olympic present to himself.

Gold Wasn't Easy for Anna Chicherova
Anna Chicherova
was the Olympic high jump champ, but anyone who thinks becoming Olympic champ is easy should learn her story. The Russian came into the year confident with thoughts of at some point taking down the world record.

"As the beginning of the year, of course I think about hat. After Brussels (last year), I understand it (the world record) is possible."

Then back problems gave her tremendous doubt heading into the Games.  "It was a tough month for me. I was crying every day," she said of her lead-up to London.

Chicherova on Godl and Going after WR

Not qualifying for the final was her biggest fear but Russian men's high jump champion Ivan Ukhov overcoming his problems for gold inspired her.  She left London with the Olympic gold.

"When I think about it now. I feel something special inside. I can't say what it is (it is hard to describe). I am very happy," she said.

2.10, the world record, is the one big goal on her mind, but even in talking about it Chicherova talks about how high it is. Chicherova talked about how going over a new height is always a huge barrier and she has only jumped 2.04 in practice.


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