ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- At a team meeting Thursday prior to the 14th edition of the World Indoor Championships, Bernard Lagat and Sanya Richards-Ross were selected by their peers as Team USA captains. Two veterans of the sport, this is Lagat’s sixth time being a member of Team USA in World Championships and Olympic competition and the eighth time for Richards-Ross.
Lagat qualified for the team in hopes of defending his World Indoor 3,000m title. He advanced into the final Friday, which will be run Sunday. Lagat owns a total of seven indoor and outdoor American records and has won a pair of World Indoor Championships gold medals.
Richards-Ross will take the fastest time from the preliminary rounds into Saturday’s 400m final. The American outdoor record holder, Richards-Ross will make an attempt at a gold medal and the American indoor record in the final. She is the 2009 World Outdoor gold medalist and the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist.
Athlete Quotes - Morning Session
Jesse Williams - men’s high jump
“I have some things I need to work out. The track is fast and I think I can make adjustments into the finals. There are going to be 10 guys left. I wanted them to take eight, but unfortunately they stopped at 10 so it’s two more guys to worry about. I think the finals are going to be something special. My legs are feeling good. If I get the rhythm on the track I think my legs are going to be there.”
Brittney Reese - women’s long jump
“My coach just told me to ‘see it, feel it, trust it.’ I’m going to try and get the American record in the finals.”
Janay DeLoach - women’s long jump
“I’m happy that I made it into the finals. This is my second national team, but my first World Indoor team. The track is fast and I felt good. I feel good about tomorrow.”
Will Claye - men’s triple jump
“It’s good to come here and get the automatic. It’s not as good as I wanted, but I feel good. I’m still fresh and luckily I didn’t have to take three jumps. That will definitely help me. Coming here this morning and doing the triple jump I think is really going to help my long jump.”
Christian Taylor - men’s triple jump
“I felt great. I don’t want to be a one and done jumper. That jump felt all right. I was a little flat, but a lot of that was nerves. I think I got that out of me. I jumped a season best so I am confident. God willing I want to keep going. I just have to keep the faith.”
Aries Merritt - men’s 60m hurdles
“It was very easy. I just wanted to stay relaxed. I’m happy to get through. It was an easy round. I want to come here and execute my race. If I execute my race I am confident that I can get a medal.”
Barbara Pierre - women’s 60m dash
“I felt great. I thought there was a false start, but I kept running. I thought I ran slower, but I guess that just shows how good I feel. I’m very superstitious and I want to keep doing the same thing I did at USA Indoors. I’m going to take it easy now and come tomorrow go out and get it.”
Quentin Iglehart-Summers - men’s 4x400m relay anchor leg
“We wanted to come through and get in first. We are going in on time so we wanted to get a good lane. We won comfortably. We have four good legs and right now we are working things out. I think if we were tested we could have run faster.”
Michael Rutt - men’s 800m
“I just wanted to race smart. This is my first international competition and the plan was to have fun. The pace was relaxed through 400m and it started to get quicker after that. I just wanted to stay in front. If I took the lead with 400m to go then two people would have to pass me. In the final I just want to come out and have fun. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I knew I had the potential to do this.”
Tevan Everett - men’s 800m
“On the international level guys can get frisky. They are not afraid to bump you. I thought I was in a good place at 600m and then people started making moves. I was glad for Michael (Rutt). This was a great experience and I won’t take it for granted. I’m going to be ready to race outdoors.”