IAAF/LOC press conference in Kavarna, from left: Essar Gabriel, IAAF General Secretary; Shalane Flanagan (USA); Sergey Bubka, IAAF Vice President; Eliud Kipchoge (KEN); Dobromir Karamarinov, President of Bulgarian Athletics Federation and President of LOC; Silviya Danekova (BUL); and Tsonko Tsonev, Mayor of Kavarna Municipality and Vice President of LOC. (© Getty Images)
In attendance were Sergey Bubka, IAAF Vice President; Essar Gabriel, IAAF General Secretary; Dobromir Karamarinov, President of Bulgarian Athletics Federation & President of LOC; and Tsonko Tsonev, Mayor of Kavarna Municipality & Vice President of LOC.
Athletes in attendance were Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), gold medallist at the 2003 World Championships at 5000m, silver medallist at the 2008 Olympic Games at 5000m, silver medallist at the 2007 World Championships at 5000m and bronze medallist at the 2004 Olympic Games at 5000m; Shalane Flanagan (USA), bronze medallist at the 2008 Olympic Games at 10,000m and bronze medallist at the 2011 World Cross Country Championships; and Silviya Danekova (BUL), multiple Bulgarian national champion at 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m, 10,000m and Half Marathon.
Some of the highlights:
Shalane Flanagan (USA) -
On her expectations in Kavarna after a disappointing 10th place finish in the Olympic Marathon:
Yes, I was a little heart-broken with my tenth place finish in the Olympics. I ran for a medal, but then fell apart in the last few miles, falling from fifth position to tenth. After my post-Olympic lull I wanted to come back and wear the U.S. uniform one last time for the year.
I couldn’t think about this race until after the Olympics - It was another way to get excited and use my training from the marathon, and I hope to display here tomorrow something that maybe I didn’t in London and have a little bit of redemption my disappointment in London.
On winning medals at the Olympic Games and World Cross Country showing that it’s not impossible to beat athletes from west African nations who dominate distance running:
It’s not impossible (Laughs). It’s tough. You keep chipping away, you dream big and hope to be beat the best athletes you can beat. It’s a huge accomplishment and a great feeling.
On why there has been a strong resurgence in U.S. distance running in recent years:
I don’t know the exact reasoning. I think a lot of us train together now. I train with a very level marathoner, Kara Gocher, and I think that has helped elevate our performances by training in group settings. There are various groups around the country that train together. My training group is in Portland, Oregon, and it’s a variety of very elite men and women. We had about six or seven athletes go to the Olympics.
Eliud Kipchoge (KEN):
On making a switch to the road running and his expectations for the Championships:
I wanted to see an experience the challenge on the road. And I want to do very well tomorrow.
It’s good to run and good to compete. But this is a competition of a very high level. My goal is to do well. I’m not saying I’m going to win, but I want to be on the podium.
On whether this is a stepping stone to the Marathon and how fast he thinks he can run a Marathon:
That’s a hard question to answer. I am moving to more races on the roads. Next year I will still run a few track races. And of course I will be training for road races too. So I hope maybe by the end of next year I will run my first Marathon.
I’d be happy to run sub-2:05.
Silviya Danekova (BUL):
On having the World Championships in her home country –
For me it’s very exciting to run in front of my countrymen. It’s nearly the same excitement as the Olympic Games for me, perhaps even more because I can run in front of Bulgarians.
It will be an experience of a lifetime for Bulgarian athletes and I think that everybody should be happy to just be participating at this Championship.
Sergey Bubka, IAAF Vice President:
We’re very happy to be back in Bulgaria again after 1990 when Plovdiv hosted the third World Junior Championships. Especially in 2012 which is a very special year because we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the IAAF.
We’re expecting good results – the course is flat and we have very many go athletes here.
Essar Gabriel, IAAF General Secretary:
We’re very proud to be in Kavarna for these championships, and we’re very proud of this event which is integral to our World Athletics Series.
Dobromir Karamarinov, President of Bulgarian Athletics Federation & President of LOC:
We want to thank the IAAF for their trust in hosting these championships. We hope that they will give us their trust again.
Tsonko Tsonev, Mayor of Kavarna Municipality & Vice President of LOC:
I am so glad that after so many rock groups have come to and performed in Kavarna that athletics has now found a home in Kavarna. (Note: Kavarna hosts a very popular rock music festival each July and is a popular venue for internationally renowned hard rock groups.)
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF