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Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
BARCELONA, Spain, July 30. ATHLETES continue to offer up golden quotes as they pass through the media mixed zone at the FINA world swimming championships. Some of them show the emotions after a successful race, while others express disappointment over a subpar swim.
No matter the reactions our questions elicit, we're happy to bring today's quotes to you from the preliminaries and finals sessions in the Palau Sant Jordi.
Quotes from prelims
Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 200 freestyle
"I'm really happy with this time, it was my best time. It was pretty hard to come in this morning and focus, but I'm happy I'm in second place so I'm going to try to build up on it tonight."
Missy Franklin, USA, 200 free
On the double tonight (100 back final and 200 free semi)
"I'm really looking forward to it. Now that I have that race out of the way, I can really focus on my double tonight. It's nice that it's different from London and that my final is going to be before my semi-final, which is really nice. So I had to do my 200 free before my 100 back last summer and this time it's going to be the other way around so I'm really excited for that."
What's the gap between the two races tonight?
"I have no idea either. I really take it one session at a time but I do know I'll have the awards of the 100 back right before I do 200 free so, hopefully, if I'm on the awards ceremony..."
How did your swim this morning feel?
"When you have to swim each race three times, you really have to be smart about how you swim them, and I knew the goal for today was to make it back for semi-finals and I knew Katinka [Hosszu] was going to go out really fast so Todd [Schmitz] said "It's going to be a great race - stay with her and see what you can do." So really happy with that, I made it back fifth? Yeah, fifth so yeah, really pleased with it."
On Katinka Hosszu
"I think all of us were expecting that, too. She's just had an unbelievable year so we knew she was really going to come out guns blazing. It was really fun to watch her IM yesterday and I know it's just going to continue."
Tom Luchsinger, USA, 200 fly
"First swim, best time from prelims, so I'm pretty happy with that. In regards to semi-finals, just do a lot to improve. We're here to make finals. Being here is a dream come true for me. I always wanted to represent my country on an international level and it's my first experience and I'm having a blast so far. I would want a medal, but I have learned so much from just being here with the veterans, so hopefully I'll be able to use the advice they've been giving me to swim fast. This is the best time I did in prelims by almost a second so I'm really happy with that swim and I hope it will get me another swim tonight."
Chad Le Clos, South Africa, 200 fly
"I always get so nervous in the mornings, I don't know why. Tonight I will be more relaxed. It's looking good, it's a very open field, there's a lot of stars going for a 1:55 or better. It's going to be really hard tonight to make the finals, so I'm going to get my head in the game. The 50 was bad for me, I had a bad race. I'm not going to make excuses and I'm not going to say what went wrong, I just think I can learn from that and hopefully not take events like that so lightly. They're short so you think you can relax more and it's easier and I've got to be focused the whole time and I think that's a mistake I've made and I've got to get better and sharper."
On how it feels to be the one to beat now
"It's a little nerve-wracking, I'm not going to lie, but it's exciting. I like to race the best and this here is no difference. There are many guys out there who can beat me."
On him and Cameron van der Burgh coming into the meet as Olympic Champions
"I'm a little bit nervous, sure. It's always going to be nerve-wracking, trying to defend your title, but nothing really changes for either of us. We race the same. It's not going to make a big difference. Maybe I'll be a bit more nervous tonight than tomorrow night, but I'm still going to go and try to race and try to touch first."
Roberto Pavoni, Great Britain, 200 fly
"Obviously I'm very, very happy to have made it back. I was expecting to be slightly quicker so I'm glad I got in there and did what I needed to do. So now I can just come back and hopefully be quicker tonight."
Connor Jaeger, USA, 800 free
Were you expecting to go that fast this morning?
"Honestly, I was hoping for a little bit faster, I think, because you never know what it's going to take to make it into the final. I don't know if [7:]49 is going to do it so hopefully I'll just watch these next two heats and get a second swim."
Michael McBroom, USA, 800 free
On reaching his first World Championship final and his focus on the final
"It felt good. [Focusing] on just racing, racing those guys, trying to get on the medal stand so we'll see how it goes."
On his fellow finalists
"Those guys are great. I came here to race, though. I'm excited to race them. That's what we do, we try to race the best in the world and I'm just going to lay it all out there tomorrow and see how it goes for me."
On his Worlds experience
"It's a great learning experience. I'm learning a lot from the older teammates and stuff. All the different coaches, the new training techniques and stuff like that. Stuff about my strokes, stuff about my turns. So it's been great so far. I just look forward to the next few days and keep learning and improving. You've got to find the right pace or you aren't going to make it, but you're not giving it all so that you have something for the next night. That's a morning swim so the night swim should be better because it's in the afternoon, and I'm more awake and got more time to be ready for it. I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it.
Quotes from finals
Conor Dwyer, USA, 200 free
"Michael [Phelps] was texting me yesterday saying to go out quicker; I guess I didn't do that but he said to hit the last wall, come home, don't worry about anything but putting your hand on that wall so I took his advice and that turned out well."
Ryan Lochte, USA, 200 free
"Tonight wasn't my night. Right now I can't really dwell on it. I've just got to forget about that race and move forward. I mean I still have a bunch more racing to go so I can't think about that anymore. I wanted to do better; I didn't. I just have to forget about it and move forward. One thing I know how to do is I know how to brush off races and just keep going forward. That's what I'm going to have to do tonight: forget about that race and get ready for the 200 [IM] tomorrow."
Aya Terakawa, Japan, 100 back
"Last year in London I was considering if I would continue swimming. After thinking about it I started training again. It was kind of late but I tried to do my best. The more I swim, the better I feel and the happier I am. I really enjoyed this past year. Then I started thinking about capturing a gold medal at this championship but I couldn't. I'm still happy with this medal."
Elizabeth Pelton, USA, 100 back
"Fourth place in the world is definitely pretty cool. I would have liked the medal, but I'm just taking it a day at a time. I have to watch the video, but I think that I probably should have gotten my hand on the wall just a little bit quicker."
Katie Ledecky, USA, 1500 free
Was setting a new WR a goal you went into the final with?
"Yeah, I dove in and we got into our race so the main goal was to just come out on top."
On Lotte Friis
"It was really tough, my hardest race ever and I just knew we were going pretty fast and I figured that whoever was going to come out on top was probably going to get the world record. I just had to be careful not to push it too early or push it too late, just to touch the wall first."
Was there any point you said 'Alright, I have to turn it on now'?
"I kept saying that pretty much every 50 for the last 1000 meters but I knew I needed to ease into it and not go at it right away. Around the last 200, I knew I could take off."
On her reaction to her WR
"It means the world to me. Kate Ziegler, who had the world record is from my area, and I've looked up to her my whole life. I'm just really honored to break that world record and keep it in Potomac Valley."
On Zeigler's WR race
"I've seen it online before. I wasn't there. She's an extraordinary person and I'm just really honored."
On the 800
"I'm not thinking about that. It's not at the top of my mind right now."
On the potential for the 1500m free at the Olympics
"I'm pretty neutral about that. I guess I'd like them to keep the 800. I hold a special place for that in my heart but I'm fine with them adding it or whatever."
Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain, 1500 free
"Ledecky and Friis started extremely fast. I tried to follow them, but it was impossible. I'mhappy because I've swum faster than ever, under 16 minutes, and I beat the Spanish record. It was my first 1500-meter international final."
"I'm feeling very good in the pool, and tomorrow is my favourite race (200 butterfly)."
About Ledecky's world record
"She's absolutely fit. Impressive. She's probably made in the same factory as Michael Phelps."
David Plummer, USA, 100 back
"I'm very happy. Being up there with Matt, being in the top two stops for our country is really amazing. I think the whole field would have liked to be faster, but getting my hand on the wall is all that matters."
On keeping the tradition of the American success in the 100 back going
"It means a lot. For someone like me who's been around a long time, who can remember racing guys like Peirsol and Krayzelburg, we take a lot of pride in that event and it means a lot to be part of it."
On whether the second place today makes up for not making the Olympics
"Not quite make up, but it's a start."
Matt Grevers, USA, 100 back
"It was awesome. It's always fun to win these big events, so I'm happy. What I was more excited about was keeping that tradition alive. David is an amazing guy, expecting father soon, so that win is good for him all around and it's good to see we were able to do that."
"I couldn't switch on a little earlier and I should have expected that with the slow training I have done this year the last 15 to 10 meters would hurt that bad. I was just hoping I still have it."
Shannon Vreeland, USA, 200 free
"I'm excited to be in the final. I was watching that first heat and it was pretty nerve-wracking because five people in the first heat went faster than my best time ever. I was a little nervous but Missy [Franklin] was like 'You can do it, I know you can!' So I'm really excited."
On her finals prep
"I'll probably sleep in a little bit. Get a lot of rest, come in, get a good warm up swim in the morning and then just kind of prepare for everything else at night. It's always easy when I have Missy around because she's done this so many times."
"It's actually funny. We were on the same junior team together so I feel like we've grown through the sport - except she rose a little faster than I did. I've had her around for all the international meets I've been to and she's always there and really supportive so it's great."
On the atmosphere in Barcelona
"It's awesome. I know when the French are around, it gets pretty loud so that was kind of exciting in the last heat. I hadn't heard it get that big so that was fun. It's fun to find the American crowd up there."
Missy Franklin, USA, 200 free
"Super happy with that semifinal. I had a super fast heat tonight to race against so really happy with my place. My coach told me before, let's not come as close as we did last summer. I squeezed into the finals eighth (in 2012), so I'll try not to do that. I have a lane in the middle of the pool so I'm happy. It's tough but it's fun. It's awesome. It was nice to have the final before the semifinal as it was the other way around in London so a nice little change. Super happy with my 100 back; it really got me pumped for the 200 free."
On the 100 back gold
"I was right off my best time so I wanted it to be a best, but I'll definitely take a 58.4 for right now and it was really fun being on the podium with Emily [Seebohm] and Aya [Terakawa] just like last summer."
"Hopefully I'll be able to keep the momentum going. Hopefully Team USA can, too. We've had an absolutely amazing evening and I'm so proud of my teammates."
Tom Luchsinger, USA, 200 fly
"I'm really excited. I wish I would have been a little bit faster, but I have a lane."
"The atmosphere is amazing. I'm having so much fun. Just sitting in the ready room I was smiling like a maniac. I still can't believe I'm here."
Jessica Hardy, USA, 100 breaststroke
"I had lower expectations coming into this meet. I don't know if there's a better way to say it. But I am really surprised at how this meet is going so far. Winning a medal is really fun after not getting one for a while. It was a really fun race, the kind of race I will remember forever, because it was the best field I have ever swum in."
About Ruta Meilutyte
"She's a great competitor. It's an honor to get to swim against her. She is the best and it was the best field in history, ever."
Breeja Larson, USA, 100 breaststroke
On Ruta Meilutyte
"I got to talk to her earlier today and she is just such a good girl. It's always fun to see good things happen to good people and I couldn't be more proud and more happy for her."
About her own race
"I'm a little bummed. I definitely could have gone faster, but I'm really happy for Jessica and that she medalled and that's what matters. She is a great teammate and there really is no animosity against her."