Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Washington out for Redemption


Having been forced to concede defeat to her American team-mate, Ky Westbrook in the 100m final yesterday (11), 16-year-old Ariana Washington is fuelled with extra motivation to claim the 200m crown in Donetsk, Ukraine this weekend.

Little over 12 hours after her 11.40 silver medal-winning performance, the former basketball player cruised through to Saturday’s (13) semi-final stage in a comfortable 23.72.  

With a best of 23.18 this season, Washington is determined to seek redemption by taking the half-lap crown on Sunday (14) evening despite her hectic racing schedule:

“I want gold, nothing less,” she explained, “This (the 200m) is my baby, I’ve nurtured it, I’ve taken care of it and it’s what I’ve raced the most so I expect nothing less than gold.

“I’m extra hungry for it after not getting my gold last night so I’m going for it on Sunday.”

On whether she thinks she will need to go close to low-23 seconds and her closest challenger, Washington continued:

“It won’t take a PB to get the gold and my team-mate, Hannah (Cunliffe) will probably be right beside me, battling right to the finish-line.”

Despite Westbrook not contesting the 200m event, Washington will still have some tough competition in the form of Sweden’s Irene Ekelund, Great Britain’s Shannon Hylton and Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio and is pacing herself after her exploits last night:

“It felt really slow, I was trying to get off the curve first and just drive home, not pushing it to save as much energy as possible,” she said after her 200m first round heat.

“Last night was so chaotic after the race – all the cameras, the flag and drug testing so it was good to conserve some energy now and breathe. I only got a little sleep last night.”

“I’m tired but that’s what this was about – recovery, getting through to the next round with ease. I know when to give it my all so I’m just building up to that now.”
With her confidence still intact after losing the race many predicted she would win, Washington was gracious in defeat:

“That wasn’t my best race but I gave it my all and silver is still great,” she explained.

“I’m happy and my team-mate got gold so the US going 1-2 is all that matters. I had faith in Ky, she’s a really great runner so congrats to her.”

Eager to follow in the illustrious footsteps of her role model, Olympic 200m champion Alyson Felix who took the 100m World youth crown in Debrecen, 2001, 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.”

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