Athlete Quotes - Men's 1500m Final
Bernard Lagat, Olympic Qualifier, Winner
"My coach told me that there was no pressure [in this race], that I can run with anything that develops. The goal was to just stay out of trouble. We almost had it happen today, but we were able to get out of it."
On immigrant qualifiers: "It feels good. It shows that American is the place where dreams can happen. I can't find that in Europe or in my country. The three of us are living the American dream. My goal now is to do my best for this country."
"It was different for me last year [at World Championships], but in a different way. In Kenya I was wearing red and green, but now I get to wear red, white and blue."
On Alan Webb: "Webb has a bright future. We are sending the best team to Beijing, but I wish he was part of it."
Leonel Manzano, Olympic Qualifier, Second Place
"That is exciting. I hear everybody say it is a dream come true, but I guess you really don't know what it feels like until you make it. Let's just say I almost don't believe it. I am excited, really excited."
"Bernard [Lagat] is an incredible competitor. Every time that guy goes out everybody has a lot of respect for him. He has been one of the guys that has been there the longest out of probably any one of us. His strategy was probably one of the better ones. I think he knew that I had a pretty good kick. He wanted to make sure everything was in line to give him the best shot. I just went in there a little bit inexperienced. This is only my third race at the top national level. I just wanted to go out and compete and gain more experience. Again a lot of respect for Lagat. He is the man."
"I thought one of the guys might take it out since they didn't have the standard. It went out a little slower than what I thought. We probably went through at 2:00 or 2:01. I was like I need to get out front. Stay up front because this is going to be a race for the last 600 meters."
"I had an idea. I knew it was going to be more of a kickers race just because of my past experiences at the NCAA level. Just kind of being towards the back and not being able to react because of all the people in front of me. My best chance was just to stay up front and fight for position and just go for it on the last homestretch."
"When the gun went off, I was in like last or second to last. I just kept seeing the pace and the pace was not going very fast. I was like I need to make sure to kind of come up."
Lopez Lomong, Olympic Qualifier, Third Place
"I just have to figure out what I need to do. I was just thinking about securing a spot. I have gone through a lot of racing and I think that is going to benefit me in the long run."
"This was such a tactical race because we went out so slow, but came back strong. I was just so surprised that the timing was so slow, but hopefully we didn't disappoint the crowd."
"This is a country that I absolutely love and I can feel it and how important it is to the people. It is great."
"I could not do this without the crowd. They are so lovely and really support you. I am glad that we came out here and gave the people the show they deserve. I really had a lot of fun through the rounds, you know shaking hands, hanging out and eating some pizza."
"I told the crowd thank you America because that was my dream and it finally came true."
"Bernard knows when to go because he is a very experienced runner. I am still kind of learning, so I just need to go out there in Beijing and kind of follow his lead."
William Leer, Fourth Place
"The whole way, all three races, I stayed on the rail. I made a hard move with 250m to go. I wanted to close that last 200. I was out in lane three coming down the backstretch for the final time. I moved out way far, outside in lane three and just lifted as I hard as I could, not letting up at all."