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Martin’s Olympic Dreams Postponed, Not Cancelled

Professional athletes are often asked, “What are your goals for the race?” Seldom does an athlete ever respond, “To win.” Their answer is usually something along the lines of wanting to run a good race or advancing to the next round. Ryan Martin, earning a fourth place finish in the 800 meter final—just .25 seconds short of third place finisher, Duane Solomon—wasn’t shy when he said of his qualification into the final round, “All the work I’ve been doing, I think I deserved that third spot and I got it.”
Competing for the University of California-Santa Barbara, Martin ran 1:47.37 in the semifinals to earn a third place finish in his heat, and automatic advancement to the final round tonight. This is Martin’s second time at the Olympic Trials, but this is the first time he’s made it back to the finals. “This is my first time in the final so just getting to this point is awesome. It's a big step.”
While Martin’s strategy was to run smart and stay with the leaders, he wasn't able to execute as effectively as he would have liked. “I put myself into position and they just came up on both sides. I kinda got boxed and it’s hard to come back from a tight spot.”
After running three 800s over the course of four days, Martin continued to turn in outstanding performances: 1:46.92 in the prelims, 1:47.37 in the semis and a near personal best of 1:44.90 in the finals. “I ran 1:45 last year and I ran 1:44 this year, and I just think I’m going to keep getting better. There’s certainly a lot more room for improvement.”
Martin calls his fourth place finish bittersweet, but he has no regrets about anything he did on the track this week. He plans to head to Europe for further competition this year and promises to be back in 2016. “I want to be an Olympian and I’m going to train hard these next four years to be that.”

Contributed by Amber James

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