Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands with Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea and Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya during the Press Conference (© Getty Images)
The IAAF / LOC Press Conference on the eve of the 2nd IAAF World Road Running Championships was held today at Udine's Castello, or castle.
In attendance were IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss, Franco Arese, President of FIDAL, Dr. Enrico Bertossi, President of the LOC, and Sergio Ceccotti, Mayor of Udine.
The athletes in attendance were: Lornah Kiplagat (NED), the 2006 World Road Running Champion and 2007 World Cross Country Champion and World record holder for 20Km; Zersenay Tadesse (ERI), the 2006 World Road Running Champion and 2007 World Cross Country Champion; and Samuel Wanjiru (KEN), the World record holder for the Half Marathon.
Lornah Kiplagat, who set a World 20km record when winning the inaugural World Road Running Championship title in Debrecen last year.
On the disappointment of missing the summer's World Championships in Athletics after suffering a calf injury in May:
"My injury wasn't as bad as I imagined, but of course knowing how fit you have to be to run for the track, I wasn't fit enough for Osaka. It was unfortunate because I wanted to do three World Championships this year. So I wasn't fit for Osaka but at the moment I am fit, that's why I'm here and I feel good."
Kiplagat, who has a Half Marathon personal best of 66:34 set in 2002, on how quickly she can run in Udine:
"I made my PR some time ago. Of course I cannot say I can do it tomorrow but I'm feeling good and fit. Everything else just has to come together. At the moment I'm feeling good and just hoping for the best. Everything is going normally and everything is going well. I'm in the right mood going into the race. I've spent the last week in Italy, so it could be a good result."
On the pressure of defending her title:
"I don't call it a pressure. I like running road and I don't have stress about it. I just enjoy it. It doesn't give me pressure - it gives me a lot of support."
On not initially being paid a World record bonus after her performance in Debrecen but being awarded USD 50,000 on the instructions of IAAF President Lamine Diack:
"I feel it was a wonderful recognition but also when a World record is broken at a World Championship there should be fair play. On the track when a record is broken there is a $100,000 bonus."
"I appreciate what they are doing, but I like road running so much, I want fairness that it should be the same because it looks bad that a World record on the track is worth more than a World record on the road."
"It's not just me, but I'm sure also other athletes who are capable of breaking the record. With the IAAF now coming seriously into road running, I don't think they should do just 50 (thousand)."
Zersenay Tadesse, who became Eritrea's first-ever World gold medallist in any sport with his 20km victory in Debrecen last year and in March won the World Cross Country title.
On his World Road Running Championship title defence:
"I'm not predicting anything. I'm feeling good. I have not yet seen the course yet. There are strong athletes here. I hope I can run to my best."
On reaction in Eritrea to his performances:
"When I run in Europe or any country, there is plenty. Tomorrow there are many, many Eritrean people who are coming. In Eritrea people will be waiting for the news."
Is he in shape to improve his PB (59:05 set in 2005)?
"I'll try to beat my best tomorrow if the weather is okay."
Samuel Wanjiru, the World Half Marathon record holder (58:33 this year).
On his fitness after being beaten in a sprint finish at the BUPA Great North Run a fortnight ago where he ran a time of 60:18:
"I'm in good condition but I'm not sure whether I can take the record but my plan is to win the race."
"Tomorrow I think will be very hard and tough. There's a half dozen who can make the race interesting."
"If the conditions are good, I will try to break the (world) record."
"Yes it is important," he added of Kenya retaining its team title.
On his preference for road running opposed to track:
"I want to do the Marathon so I cannot train for the track. I plan to run the London marathon next year and then go to the Olympics."
On their respective post-WRRC schedules:
Kiplagat: "No big plans coming up - I will be concentrating on the Olympics. I don't have anything planned at all."
Wanjiru: "My next competition, I go to Japan for the Fukuoka Marathon in December."
Tadesse: "I'm thinking of the Marathon. I will run the World Cross Country."
David Martin (Press Association) for the IAAFWomen's race - Athlete Biographies: Udine 2007
Men's race - Athlete Biographies: Udine 2007 Click here for the PDF version of latest entry list