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Team USATF stars ready for IAAF World Indoor Championships


BIRMINGHAM, England – Team USATF on Thursday hosted a press conference in advance of the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Below are excerpts.  


Sam Kendricks 2017 World Champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2016 World Indoor Championships silver medalist, 2018 world leader, pole vault. On setting a personal best indoors this season: “My last competition in France, when I jumped 5.93 (meters), I was a guest of the world record holder. And he put on a meet that was dazzling. So many guys jumped high. My personal best was an accident in a perfect storm of a bunch of guys jumping well together. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out Sunday at all. I think the silver bullet this time will be 6 meters. It’s all about this championship on Sunday. It’s going to be real competitive when the bar gets to 5.85, 5.90.”


On the women’s vault: “When I first learned to pole vault I wasn’t looking at Bubka or Brad Walker. I had a little flip book that had Stacy Dragila jumping 15 feet in it. That’s how I learned to jump. I have so much respect for those ladies.”


Brittney Reese3-time World Indoor Champion; 4-time World Outdoor champion; 2012 Olympic gold medalist, long jump. Going for an historic 8th world title in Birmingham: “Right now I’m real confident in what I’m capable of doing. I know the competition will be tough. I feel like everybody sitting here are role models. We have to be at our best when we are on TV. I’m a competitor. I don’t like to lose. I train with guys and am looking to beat them also. It’s just the inner beast in me. I want to win, and I need to do what I do to win. If it means winning on the last jump, which is what I do a lot – which I hate – that’s what I’ll do…. USATF sent me some videos of my fouls (at USATF Indoors). One was 7.26, one was 7.11, so I know I’m where I need to be coming into these championships.


Sharika NelvisAmerican record holder and 2018 USATF champion, 2018 world leader, 60m hurdles. On setting the AR at USATF Indoors: “It was very very exciting. We’ve been racing each other over and over. I took it like it was another race. I didn’t panic and I came out with the win and a bonus, the American record. I’m confident going into these rounds and I’m extremely excited to go against these girls once again.”


On rivalries with fellow hurdlers: “Everybody wants us to have some kind of thing going on. I am perfectly fine with everybody that runs hurdles.”


Donavan BrazierU20 American record holder, 2018 USATF champion, 800m: “I’m feeling confident. I came off a string of three PRs so coming into this meet I’m just trying to adjust to the time zone difference. I think it’s gonna take something special to win.” On world leader Emmanuel Korir of Kenya: “He’s been really good ever since he stepped on the track at UTEP last year. I think it will be fast. I hope it is fast. The last 200 I can’t think, I’ve just got to go. Every race I get better. Last year at (USATF) Indoors, I didn’t even make top 3. At the Olympic Trials, I didn’t even make the finals. Last year at USATF Outdoors, I made the team. Every race I learn something.”


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