In their own words

One of the privileges of being an athletics writer is not only getting to see the great races but also of chatting to them about it.  Who is interested in my opinions, when you can hear from the athletes themselves? The official flash quotes on the Diamond League website are good if often a little bland.  Here are a few comments from athletes in Paris in answer to questions that I was interested in hearing answers to:

Jakob Ingebrigtsen on the challenge of running a two-mile race

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, photo by Marta Gorczynska, Diamond League AG for Diamond League

“Two miles is, as you say, an unusual distance but there is the same challenge in every race. It is not that different running 2 miles from a 3K, you can have the same mindset going into them. I have not run 2 miles before, but I know that the 3K distance suits me very well because I am more of an endurance-type runner with a lot of strength.  The way I see it, I am going down to 1500. I know that I can run fast in 3K, so seeing the final result was good.  We started off considerably slow, but you come to realize that’s the way to go that’s the way to do it”.

In view of his interesting comment on 3K, I wondered if I could draw him into telling me what his best distance is.

“At the moment, I think the 3k is probably one of my better events, but I’m a man of every distance. I want to run fast in everything, so now my main focus is my favorite event. The 1500 is not that exhausting compared to 3K or 5K. It is a more physically demanding race.  You need to put in a lot of good work, and that’s my main focus”.

Laura Muir on running after Faith Kipyegon’s two weeks of running and trying a different distance

Laura Muir takes gold medal 5 at Euro Indoors, photo by Alex Livesey for Getty Images/EuropeanAthletics

“It was brutal tonight. I mean to be in two world record races in a week! I have not run a 5K since 2017 so I have a bit of learning to do. Not the time I had hoped for but still part of the plan for the season. It is about strength work. I have been doing longer runs in training. At least it was a PB but I was hoping for a lot better. It is frustrating because I know I can run better”.

Nicola Olysagers on another 2m jump


“I knew I was going into the competition with an uninterrupted period of preparation. When I looked at the high jump bar, I didn’t think, ‘That looks really high’ I could actually see myself jumping 10 centimeters higher each time. I’ve got faith now to match my technique. I was pretty close to the final bar. I’ve got another competition in Finland to try again. I’m excited as the season goes on. I think I can definitely jump higher. Vashti [Cunningham] was a great inspiration to me, especially as we have been looking at each other ‘s results. Yaroslav [Mahuchikh] also inspires me when I see how high she jumps, showing what is possible, so I think the rest of us can definitely start thinking maybe over 2:05”.

Gabby Thomas on a confidence-boosting win in the 200m


“It was really good for me. Mentally I needed that. It has been tough mentally, especially since I was injured last year. I have to prove to everyone that I’m still here and am a tough competitor. A lot of people might count me out because I haven’t been around in the last year running.  But I’m a competitor and I’m putting it together. 

In the race, I was in my zone, and once I got off the turn, I was just telling myself, ‘Fight. It’s mine! I want it.