Mohammed Aman speaks to the press in Monaco (© Philippe Fitte)
Ahead of the 2013 World Athletics Gala in Monaco, world 800m champion Mohammed Aman spoke to the press about his past season and his goals for next year.
“This year for me was a perfect year. I won the World Championships and the Diamond Race and set a PB.
“The Olympics was a big thing for me. In athletics you either win or lose. I lost in London, but it made me stronger for this year.
“After last season my coach told me to not worry about what happened in London at the Olympics and to prepare for the World Championships instead. I told him that I was going to win the World Championships for me and my country.
“I train hard and I believe in myself, which definitely helped when I beat David Rudisha. On both occasions we were also running in the rain, which I like but David doesn’t like.
“I want to go to Sopot to bring another gold medal to Ethiopia. Next year I will try the 1500m and 1000m, but at the next Olympics I will only run the 800m.
“If everything is perfect, I think I can run 1:40. Next year, inshallah, I’ll try to run 1:40. David has run very fast, so if I run with him that will make the tempo fast.
“Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie were my idols when I was younger, even though they didn’t compete in my event. In Ethiopia most young runners get into the sport because they want to be like Haile or Tirunesh (Dibaba), but now there has been a big change and young athletes have seen what I have achieved in the 800m.
“I played a lot of football when I was younger, but one day my father looked at my feet and told me that I would be a famous runner.
“When I started in athletics, I began running distances from 100m to 1500m. Running 100m improved my speed, which helped me in the 800m. But when people asked me what event I did, I didn’t want to tell them I did the 800m because I thought they’d think I was lazy.”
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF