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Athlete Quotes - Men's 800m Final

Nicholas Symmonds, Olympic Qualifier, Winner

"I've been working on that kick for a couple years now. I just ran a smart race, and I knew that I was going to wait until the last 100 meters to flip the switch. It felt so good to burn it on the last 100."

"Wheating and I run so similarly, and ran very smart races in the back. We were waiting for each other to move."

"The last two years Beijing is the main thing on my mind."

"I was boxed in and couldn't sneak by on the inside. Fortunately, I saw the gap and got there just in time."

On slipping through the crowd to make his final move: "That was a little hockey move I picked up in high school. I gave (JJ) a bit of a shoulder to get by. I wasn't even hurting, I just had to get through. Once I had that opening, I was able to just take off."

"I have a shorter stride, and I'm able to fit into these pockets that other people can't find. It's a fine combination I've been working on. I practice sprinting when I'm tired, and that's made me really strong. I've found that a couple of steps is all I need to get around people."

On the crowd: "I don't think it would have been quite as loud if (Andrew) wasn't doing what he was doing. He's such an amazing, untapped talent. It just shows that America has amazing talent. We've got a young group of guys going out to take everyone on."

"The hard part about the U.S. Trials is that we're still seven weeks out of our event. We're going to shut it off for a little while and then get a couple of meets in Europe to stay fresh, and then go at it in Beijing."

"I'm not going to be content winning the Trials. When we go to Beijing, I want to make the finals and I want to make the U.S. proud."

On Khadevis Robinson: "I was surprised, I like to compete with him. But, if I had my choice, I'd want to have my two Oregon boys with me."

On Christian Smith: "Seeing that he made the standard was one of the happiest moments for me. I knew he was capable of it. And it just shows how much of a competitor he is to bring it out when it really counts."

"I knew I had the potential to one day be great. It's one thing to say that I have the potential to do it, it's another thing to do it on the night everyone else is trying to."

"They say it's hard to win from the back like that, but you just have to know your own skills. For a guy like me who doesn't have the raw speed to take it out in 49 seconds (for the first lap) I'm able to see and take advantage of the gaps that appear."

Andrew Wheating, Olympic Qualifier, Second Place

"The first thing I saw was that Nick was first, I was second and Christian was third. It's going to be a great representation in Beijing."

On the Hayward crowd: "They really pushed me through that last 100...all I heard was the crowd. I believe Oregon was 1-2-3 because of this crowd."

On being exceptionally tall: "I was convinced I was a 5k runner, but my high school coach saw that I could keep a steady pace through repeat quarter(mile)s. Then I tried the mile and then he saw that I could do some speed work, so we tried the 800 and it worked out."

On improvement in just two years: "The transition from high school to college was big last year, I didn't develop right away. This year it started to fall into place."

Wheating: "It hasn't really hit me yet. Give me a couple more minutes and I'll probably shoot up out of this chair and scream 'I made it!'"

Christian Smith, Olympic Qualifier, Third Place

"It was just all I had left, and I knew it would be that close."

On passing Khadevis Robinson on the inside: "Usually people tend to move out to protect their outside lane, so I knew I might be able to come through the inside. The whole race I ran from the inside."

"The last 100 I knew I was going to be in it, I knew it was going to be close. Khadevis and I were right there. It was just like excitement and fear and everything. It was so close. At first I thought I was in fourth, and then when I saw I was in third...."

On coming back from having a burst appendix in 2007: "Nobody knows how low I got except for my coach and my girlfriend, walking around the hospital, hunched over for three months... I just can't imagine being here, 15, 16 months later."

"I struggled indoors with injuries, and I wasn't getting consistent training. I had concerns about whether I was as good as I used to be. Mentally, I had to go back to what I knew that got me there originally."

"I knew I could have a chance if I got here and that's all I wanted."

"I saw Khadevis and I knew he was the guy I had to get. I just took the lean and dove. I don't think a lean would be enough."

Khadevis Robinson, Fourth Place

"We both fell and I was hoping anyone was there, if Jesus would've been there I would've grabbed him."

"I knew coming down the last homestretch that it was going to be tough. I tried to fight for it, but I had nothing left. I had a great ride and now its time to get back to the drawing board and go from there. You know, when God closes one door he opens another. I have to take my hat off to those guys, they ran really well and deserve to be on the team."

"On this level if you don't run well, you don't make it. It's that simple, I didn't run well. I'm fit and I can run that tempo, but I hadn't been feeling good during any of the championships and that's amazing because I feel that I am in the best shape I have ever been in."

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