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BARCELONA, Spain, July 28. THE mixed zone at a championship meet is where the media get to hear from the athletes about the races they just swam, and generally the media shares those quotes with their readership.
Not every word that is uttered makes its way to every article each media member writes here in the Palau Sant Jordi, an amazing thing given the hundreds of press members in attendance.
Swimming World wants to change that, and we're presenting to you quotes we got from the mixed zone today at the swimming world championships.
Elizabeth Beisel, USA, 200 IM heats
"It feels really good to be swimming internationally again. It's been a while. I was a little nervous coming in this morning, didn't know what to expect. Had a good swim, hopefully I'll swim again tonight. I think anytime I can make top eight, I'm going to be happy with that."
Caitlin Leverenz, USA, 200 IM heats
"It's tough swimming off an Olympic year. The structure, the system, everything behind it is kind of down after that and you have to build it all back up, so that's tough. But being at a World Championship, being in a venue like this, being with so many people, representing Team USA gives me a lot of that excitement back."
About Elizabeth Beisel
"She looks great in the water, she is very streamlined and I would imagine she puts a lot of training behind that."
Connor Jaeger, USA, 400 free heat
"I was feeling really good about my own race. I was really nervous about making the final. Luckily I qualified seventh so I'll get to swim again. There were a couple fast swims this morning so you know it's going to be a good race and there are going to be a lot of good guys in there, so I'm excited."
"I'm still getting used to the international speed, developing my worlds experience. This is great, this is really exciting. It's awesome to be at a competition like this. This is a really great experience "
Daniela Schreiber, Germany, 4x100 free relay heats
"I felt okay, it got a little tough at the back end. I didn't want to repeat what happened in London."
On her swimming third instead of anchor
"We just wanted to try something. It's a relay, it doesn't really matter whether I'll swim on three or four, but this afternoon we're back to the usual order."
Katie Ledecky, USA, 400 free heats
"I just go into every race and try to have fun and give my best every race and see what happens. I wanted to take the prelims seriously so I'm off into finals with a good start to race the world's best tonight. I don't think I will be the big star after this, I'm just really honored to be part of a great US team."
Matt Grevers, USA, 50 fly heats
"I had a little trouble with my start. My finger got caught in the blocks. I couldn't get it up on time and get a good streamline. But it was a good swim, faster than trials went, so I think I'm off to a good start. That first swim is always a little nerve-wracking, but I felt really good."
Steffen Deibler, Germany, 50 fly heats
"It was fun. It was great to turn around and see that time. That's how imagined things would go and that's how it can continue for the meet. The final is going to be fast and I'm glad to get to be part of the eight guys that get to swim this fast in the world. Tomorrow's going to be close. I would love to swim this fast again."
Natalie Coughlin, USA, 4x100 free relay heats
"It was good, it was better than London. It's always good to have that for a first race. I'm sure my reaction time was really safe."
How the relay swimmers get chosen
"The two fastest net times from the morning (the time, minus the reaction time) are on the team, and then there's the coaches' leeway."
On Megan Romano
"Megan is a very good anchor. She is definitely a relay swimmer. It's nice to have that going into tonight."
Ricky Berens, USA, 4x100 free relay heats
"We're all competing for one or two spots tonight. I'd love to know ahead of time, but that's the only way you could do it."
Anthony Ervin, USA, 4x100 free relay heats
"I'm happy the team has a spot in the final. My body is paying the price a little bit now, so warm down will be good. It's hard to get out of your own head when you're swimming individually, but on a relay you can lean onto each other and share that load."
Dana Vollmer, USA, 100 butterfly semifinal:
How do you feel that swim went compared to this morning?
"Not great, but I have myself a lane for tomorrow, so I'm just going to recover, and come tomorrow afternoon ready to get it done."
Is there anything you're going to change in your preparation for tomorrow?
"Nothing to change, just keep resting and recovering - just be more ready to race. I know tonight I just needed a lane for tomorrow."
Did cheering give you an extra push?
"I can hear them when I get up on the blocks. You can hear them sometimes when you breathe and it certainly pushes you and keeps you going. I was just trying to keep it and stay with my heat and save some energy for tomorrow."
Jeanette Ottesen Gray, Denmark, 100 fly semifinal
"My swim felt much better in the afternoon. This morning I was still a little tired, but I am all rested and really excited."
Connor Jaeger, USA, 400 freestyle final
First World medal - how does it feel?
"First international medal for me. You might think I only got third but I feel like I won. Really, seeing number 3 next to my name, I was ecstatic."
The difference between the prelim race versus final?
"I think that really it was the atmosphere and adrenaline. We have a great crowd here tonight and no one else was American in the final. I wanted to do something good for Team USA."
"It's the first final of the meet. I think we'll get a couple more tonight. It's going to be a good night for us."
Matt Grevers, USA, 50 butterfly semifinal
"50 fly isn't something I do that often. It's fun to go out and give it a go, but it's not my focus at this meet, so I'm fine with it. Eugene (Godsoe) snuck in eighth so USA's represented in that final. This will be good."
Eugene Godsoe, USA, 50 butterfly semifinal
How do you feel about reaching your first Worlds final?
"You've just got to relax and enjoy the moment. I hit the wall and wasn't sure if i was eighth or ninth. I was going to be pretty sad if I missed it by a hundredth but I snuck in ther,e so I'm just going to use tomorrow as a really good learning experience trying to race these guys and go a little bit faster. The 50 fly is one of those events you need a really good time to make it happen."
Prelims swim versus semifinal?
"i had a lot more energy. I think there are definitely some places I could clean up that wasn't as smooth a swim but I swam as hard as I could and snuck in."
Katie Ledecky, USA, 400 free final
"I just gotta do it, and I'm still in shock over the time. I didn't know what I was going for. It just goes to show you what happens when you get into a race with the best, and it was such an honor to be in a heat with all those girls and we push each other and it felt really good. My best time until this morning was 4.03. I felt like I could go faster. I've been second for a while, so i think i was due a little bit of a drop."
Which event is feeling best for you?
"I don't know. We'll see, I guess."
About setting a new American record and a world record Americans haven't had since 1994
"It's such an honor. The US has a great tradition of distance swimmers so I'm just going to try and do my best to live up to that, I guess."
Nic Fink, USA, 100 breast semifinals
First World Championships. Thoughts on prelim race compared to semis?
"It was better. I felt better in the water. I was high in the water and coming in the last 15, you know, a nice swim really makes that difference."
Any change in your approach tomorrow?
"I'm just going to refocus and I know I've got a better swim in me. My start, my hands were separated a little bit but hopefully I'll tweak a few things and it'll come together for a good final."
Megan Romano, USA, 4x100 free relay final
"My whole career I've just loved to race, I can't not go fast. It's just so awesome to have these girls next to me and I'm doing it for them."
Missy Franklin, USA, 4x100 free relay final
"It was amazing to watch on the deck. Natalie and I were sitting there and we knew Megan could do it and we knew the Australians had an incredible anchor, too, but watching her close was unbelievable."
"It's so loud and the venue is incredible and it gets us really excited to race. I'm really, really happy with my first swim. I'm right where I was last summer, which gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the meet."
"I think I'm a little stronger in my backstroke than I am in my freestyle, so I really hope that it's going to be up there."
Natalie Coughlin, USA, 4x100 free relay final
On the American men's performance in the 400 free relay
"Those four guys did an amazing job. Yeah, we miss Michael (Phelps). I saw him earlier today and I was so excited to see him. I haven't been on a team without Michael in 14 years, so this is pretty crazy. I would really love to see Michael back, but I really hope that he's going to be happy, that he gets to enjoy his life right now. But those four guys swimming today did an amazing job."
About Megan Romano
"She is an amazing anchor. We were really confident. I had all the faith in Megan. It's a tough spot to be in. Knowing Alicia (Coutts) had already swum tonight, I knew Megan was going to take her down, there was no doubt in my mind."
Ryan Lochte, USA, 4x100 free relay final
"We got second, we can't really complain about that. We went out there and did our best. Every time we go out there on the blocks, we want to win. Hopefully this race drives us for the rest of the meet."
Jimmy Feigen, USA, 4x100 free relay final
"First world championships, it wasn't that bad. I had a lot of great teammates, helping me put off that pressure. We didn't get first, but we did the best that we could. I always knew I was going to swim the final relay."