Athens Olympics 2004 - Women's Marathon - Post-Race Quotes
The Race - As It Happened
Women's Olympic Marathon Starting List
The winners (and Radcliffe) were intereviewed the day after the marathon. Following are some notable quotes as provided by the Olympic News Service:
Noguchi and Ndereba talk about winning the gold and silver.
Deena Kastor on her race, training and strategy.
Paula Radcliffe speaks about her marathon experience and the upcoming 10,000m
Japan notched gold in Women's Marathon
ATHENS, 23 August - Comments from the gold and silver medallists of the Women's Marathon, after the end of their Event.
Mizuki NOGUCHI (JPN) - Women's Marathon gold medallist
On her feelings:
"As soon as I set eyes on the medal, I could not hold my tears back; tears of joy and pride."
On whether she believed she could win the race:
"I had prepared well and knew that I had a chance of winning a medal, although as the race turned out there were 28 other athletes ahead of me. That woke me up and I began passing them over one by one, on my way to victory."
On the day after:
"I went back to the Olympic Village, but having been exhausted from the heat, I was dehydrated and they had to give me saline solution intravenously."
NDEREBA Catherine (KEN) - Women's Marathon silver medallist
On the itinerary:
"I enjoyed the itinerary very much, but I cannot say the same for the heat. It is one of the most beautiful races I have ever run. It was not harder than the one in Boston, though. In fact, there are a lot of hills in Boston, which is not the case here."
On her medal:
"I am not disappointed for not winning the gold medal. These things happen in major competitions. I feel like I am the one that won. I am very happy and thank God for this experience."
Women's Marathon : Deena KASTOR (USA)
ATHENS, 23 August - Comments from Deena KASTOR (USA), bronze medallist.
Deena KASTOR (USA) - Athletics, Women's Marathon
On her medal-winning performance:
"It was an incredible night. Other people would be disappointed with a bronze medal - not me! I had never even been close to winning a medal at a competition of this calibre."
On choosing to run the Marathon rather than 10,000m:
"At the start of 2004, I focussed on the Olympic Marathon. I wanted to bring home a medal, no matter what colour it was."
On the sacrifices made to achieve her medal:
"I am elated to have put in all the work. It was not just me that made sacrifices. My coach only went home for two weeks last year. Three former college friends gave up their vacations, even their jobs, to train with me. I am getting all the glory last night and today, but it was a team effort all the way."
On retracing the original Marathon route:
"It was just an incredible, spiritual feeling to retrace those historic steps and take that journey from Marathon making our way into Athens. It was a brutal march."
On not knowing whether she had won a place on the podium:
"I had heard conflicting reports along the way, so I did not want to celebrate until I heard something official from the stadium announcer. When I heard my name in bronze medal position, I burst into tears and ran hysterically around the track."
On how her training environment in California prepared her for local conditions:
"I did heat training in long sleeved clothing in 75-80 degree Farenheit heat at altitude to prepare, but there was a sense of panic when I first got off the athlete bus and the temperature read 101 degrees Farenheit. But I knew I had prepared the best I could.
"Hills are my strong suit, so I would have preferred the race to have carried on uphill to the finish, and maybe then I would have finished with a shinier medal! I love harsh conditions."
On her race strategy:
"I ran exactly to my race plan, which was very conservative: the first 10km was at warm-up pace. I did not want to start too aggressively - I saw a lot of girls stumbling off the road, throwing up on the side of the road, hooked up to intravenous drips - and my biggest fear was that I would be one of those people.
"I felt completely fresh at the half-way point. When I moved into a top-five position, I knew I had to be super-aggresive to win a medal."
On the heat and humidity of the race conditions:
"The cruelty was that someone decided to put a neon temperature sign up at half-way which read 86 degrees Farenheit and 56% humidity!
"There is no way I would run those conditions unless it was the Olympic Games, but given the way the race went, I would not want it to have gone any other way. If the race had been in the morning, or in cooler conditions, some of those girls may not have faded."
Women's Marathon : Paula RADCLIFFE (GBR)
ATHENS, 23 August -
Paula RADCLIFFE (GBR) - Women's Marathon, Women's 10,000m
On her general reaction to not finishing the Marathon:
"I don't really have an explanation. I'm struggling myself to comprehend what has happened and find a reason for it.
"The conditions were tough, but I had prepared. I don't think the heat was a factor. I got to a stage in the middle of the race where I had nothing in my legs. My mind just did not want to let go. People kept shouting at me to get going again, but I didn't know what to do.
"I am totally devastated. This is was it was all about. It's very hard at this point."
On the aftermath of the race:
"After the race the doctor checked me over. I went back to the Olympic Village to get some sleep. I had some tests this morning and I am still awaiting the results."
On the race itself:
"I felt good in the first part. I intended to put in the effort and felt good on top of the hills. I had stomach problems at the 15km mark and a bad stage when two other girls broke away from me. I felt better when I got back into second and believed that the gap was not too big if I could hold it together. Then I was running off the side of the road and hitting the bumps. It wasn't like any part of me was hurting; all of me was."
On whether she will compete in the 10,000 metres:
"It is not a decision I will make today. I came to run and win the Marathon. It's hard to think. I am desperate to redeem something from all that work. But I will not put myself into that arena if I am not right."
"I've had pressure and, yes, there was probably more pressure on me in this race. But the biggest pressure came from myself. I was more nervous, but I can't use that as an excuse. The conditions were what I expected. It was just as hot in Spain when I was training and probably more humid. I've coped with these sort of conditions before. I can't say it was lack of preparation."
On her reaction after the race:
"Last night I was just in shock and numb. I was almost unable to cry. I am probably more able to cry today."
On the reaction of the family:
"There is very little anybody can say to you. They are hurting just as much as I do."
-Reported by the Olympics News Service
Also of interest:
--The Fight To Establish the Women's Olympic Marathon
--The First Women's Olympic Marathon
--Interactive Chart/Information of past Olympic Marathons