Wednesday, 17 July 2013
IAAF World Youth Championships - pre-event press conference, girls' highlights.
WRITTEN FOR THE IAAF WEBSITE
Favourite for the 100m and 200m crown with 23.18 and 11.18w times to her name this season, 16-year-old Ariana Washington (USA) explained her relief of joining the competitive American team in Donetsk:
“This season, I’ve been top in both events but I had a tough time at the trials so I’m here to prove I’m the fastest female teenager on the planet.”
On her first love, basketball, Washington continued:
“My high school was really into it and my coach said I should also try out track - I stuck with it and found my god-given talent.”
On her role model, Olympic 200m champion Alyson Felix, Washington revealed:
“We both come from California and she’s opened doors in what she’s achieved and now I can’t wait to walk through those doors after her. I copy her technique and I hope to achieve what she has.”
Sixteen-year-old Morgan Lake (GBR), the World Youth leader in the heptathlon with a 5,725 score explained her inspiration behind hoping to claim her first international medal here in Donetsk:
“Seeing Jess (Ennis-Hill, the Olympic heptathlon champion from Great Britain) at the Olympics was amazing, she was really inspirational and I’m trying to be like her.
“She didn’t win the World Youth title but I hope I can win here and be like her one day.”
On her love of athletics and how she found the sport, Lake continued:
“The high jump’s my favourite and my strongest event and the 800m’s probably my hardest – it’s not anyone’s favourite.
“Athletics has always been there for me, I was about six months old when I saw my first competition and I did my first training at five years old (later winning her first national title at aged 11). I enjoy watching all events but I particularly like the high and long jump, and of course the heptathlon.”
On her preparation for the event and another role model, Katarina Johnson-Thompson whose national youth record Lake broke earlier this season, she revealed:
“The competition I did the day before we flew out was not the best preparation and best for confidence but I jumped well. Although I was upset and nervous afterwards, it’s best to get it out of the way before this competition. Also, losing my bag at the airport was not ideal but we bought some things from the local supermarket so I’m ok.
“I spoke to Katarina about two years ago but not recently, I hope to speak to her about our event soon.”
Fifteen-year-old Robeilys Peinado (VEN), the World Youth leader in the pole vault with a 4.35m best this season, explained how she switched sports to find more success:
“I came to athletics three years ago after doing gymnastics. I was too tall to be a gymnast so I switched to the pole vault. I like being in the air and I feel I can be successful.”
On her role model, pole vault world record-holder Sergey Bubka who comes from Donetsk, Peinado continued:
“We take Sergey Bubka as our example, taking his technique and replicating his style so I hope to be as successful as he was.”
On her female inspirations, she concluded:
“Aside from Sergey, I look up to Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia’s world record-holder), Fabiana Murer (Brazil’s world champion) and Angelica Bengtsson (Sweden’s world junior champion).”