March 2, 2018
BIRMINGHAM, England — Tonight American Colleen Quigley advanced to Sunday’s women’s 1500m final at the 2018 World Indoor Championships (recap of that here).
With a slew of runners being disqualified for lane violations on Friday, we asked Quigley, who was DQ’d in last year’s outdoor World Championship prelims in the steeple for stepping on the line on the curve, to share her thoughts on the DQs and she sounded off. (Video below)
“I was like, oh yeah, these Brits are freaking tough. I don’t know if they’re just out to get people or they just have fun DQing people, but it is brutal out there. They are just crushing people, seems like for no reason.
“Yeah, I have a lot of complaints. But it seems like we’re barely able to warm up. We’re warming up on a 30-second loop under a parking structure outside. It’s freezing cold. There’s no place for athletes to warm up. This is the first time that we were allowed to get on the track, today. And the curves are extremely steep, so I can see how people are falling on the inside, Chelimo’s stepping on the inside and…These 400 guys don’t know where to cut in because they’ve never been able to see the track before!
“It’s, like, ridiculous. I just wish it was, like, handled a little better. It seems like it’s all about media and, like, looking good, but they’ve forgotten that it’s all about the athletes. We need to warm up properly before our race and we should probably do some strides on the competition track before we race there at a World Championships. Like, just a little thought going into that would have been nice.”
Quigley raises some valid points. The lack of warmup facilities is unfortunate, though the organizers do have a bit of excuse as no one could have expected the freak snowstorm that has left the surrounding roads and canal paths unrunnable.
The biggest issue, however, is the track itself, and the lack of practice time on it. The banks on the track are steep, the lanes narrower than normal (but legal) and many athletes have only practiced on flat tracks during practice sessions. To go from that to trying to stay in a narrow lane around steep turns with very few — sometimes none — practice strides is tough.
As for her race, Quigley left herself some work to do but closed well in the home straight to nab an auto spot to the final.
Quigley was caught up in a fall on Friday: