Friday, 24 May 2013
Great Manchester weekend pre-event interviews - Greg, Haile and Jonnie
GREG RUTHERFORD –
"I'm hugely looking forward to it - these street competitions are incredibly fun with less pressure. I'm hoping for a great performance in front of an amazing backdrop. It becomes a party atmosphere, which relaxes you as it's not hyper-competitive and brings it home a bit. I genuinely believe athletics should do this more, to make the sport more accessible and attract more excitement, they should stick it in London.
"I'm very privileged I get to do this as my job and I hope we can inspire a lot of kids tomorrow. I get the real luxury of being announced as Olympic champion so hearing that will be very special.
"I was happier than the press made out in Shanghai, very few people manage to win every single event and just because I won last August but you can't keep doing that. I wouldn't say it was a bad day as it was a stacked field and my performance bodes well for this time of the season.
"I go back to America on Tuesday and I'm really hoping Mitchell will join us over there, we're good mates and it will be great and rare to become training partners.
"As much as tomorrow will be a lot of fun, I still want to win it and for it to set me up for Prefontaine on Friday and then leading into the World's - I'm looking to win every competition and the Anniversary Games is what I'm most looking forward to, that will be very special to return to that pit and hopefully jump well there. It would be amazing to call myself the Olympic AND World champion so that's what I'm working to for sure."
HAILE GEBRSELLASIE –
“It’ll be a good race and I’m looking forward to it. My training’s very good, it has been for the last few months and I like Manchester – I have good memories of racing here. The people here will expect a win from me and that is my target. This race is amazing, it has a big number of competitors and I have a lot of support here. I’m just thinking about the weather, though - I hope it is not going to be hard for me. The only way to survive in this life is running, a lot more people should have running in their life. People need to sweat more!”
JONNIE PEACOCK –
“It’s my first outing since the Games so I’m excited and a little bit nervous as I’m not too sure what kind of shape I’m in. You get fed up of training and need to see where you’re at so I’m looking forward to getting out there.
"This is the first time Paralympic events are included in this event so that’s a great step forward. I’ve competed in Manchester before for the BT Paralympic Cup so I enjoy competing here. We’re expecting a 20,000 crowd so it’s going to be loud.
"I’m going to be running on a new blade which will really smooth out my running so we’ll see how that goes tomorrow. I’m not expecting to be too fast tomorrow but obviously not a slow time either. I’m looking forward to the Anniversary Games and then the World Champs.
"I’m especially looking forward to returning to the Olympic stadium as I don’t feel like I made the most of that fast track – London 2012 was amazing and no-one expected the reception we got at the Paralympics and that has played a huge part in how we are perceived so I’m happy we’re getting more recognition now. I’ve managed to stay out of the shadows a bit, though so life’s still pretty normal. It’s progressing forward but of course after the Games, our profile goes down.”