Well, since I was last on here, I have eaten at the Golden Arches twice, had practice and picked up so much gear it is unbelievable. We received three luggage bags full of stuff, about 10 Ralph Lauren Polos, exclusive for the Beijing Games, shoes, shirts and of course uniforms. Anybody that knows me, knows I stay Polo'd out, so I'm happy about the severe come up.
On my first trip to the McDonalds, the workers there knew who I was. They kept saying "Liu Xiang" and pointing at me and saying I was a superstar. They had me autographing all kinds of stuff. I'm sure everyone here knows who the 110 hurdlers are because of Liu, so I thank him for my minor celebrity. LOL.
The Village is very nice, of course my roommate is Kenta'. They have everything you could possibly need. I won't be here too long, myself along with the rest of team USA track team is heading out to Dalian, where we will be at training camp until five days before the beginning of our individual competition. After I leave tomorrow morning, I won't be back to the village until the 13th.
I have shot a few videos with my Lenovo flipcam, I will post them when I get a chance. Until then......
Just touched down in Beijing not too long ago, the flight was great, had the first class action. Extra pillows and seat back love (shout out to Hughes, Aub and Gobo! LOL). I checked in to the village and now I'm in dire need of some physio! I will get back in a minute.
Is a quote that I take from Brooks to heart, everybody can do it when it's easy, but when the chips are down, what will you do? For those of you that were able to catch the race on wcsn, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I had a pretty decent warm-up, it wasn't great, but I knew I had more than enough to get the job done. Of course we had the customary false start from someone in the field. I came out the blocks on the re-start and on my fourth step out, I don't know what happened but it felt like I hit a dip and my hips dropped. That threw my first hurdle off, which threw the entire rest of my race off. I ended up hitting 7 of the 10 hurdles, but I was able to clean up my last two hurdles, finish in my customary strong fashion by dominating the critical zone once again and pull out a tough win.
My left quad has been tight since the race in London and that happens to be my trail leg, so today, I couldn't get the action from it I was looking for and it was causing my trail leg to be severely late, causing me to fall to the right, reverting to what I was looking like late in the indoor season.
I ran 13.11 (-0.8w), Anwar was second in 13.19 and Jason Richardson ran a strong 13.23 for third.
Like I said, if my off day is 13.11, a Super Grand Prix win and a 14 stack deposit into my Bank Of America account, then I am doing certain things correctly. I hope I got my bad one out of the way for the season, I can't afford a race like that at the Games!
I'm off to Beijing tomorrow afternoon, I think I'm going to catch a helicopter to Nice from Monaco instead of the bus to the airport, I'm going to high-side on 'em! LOL.
I arrived in Monaco last night, getting ready for my last pre-Olympics tune up meet. I love coming to Monaco, it's one of the richest countries in the World. It's a town where everybody drives a red Ferrari like they are Honda Civic's.
This is my third time here, my first time here was during the 2006 season. This meet really set my season in motion at the time. It was right after the meet in Zurich where I finished third there and back doored that with a third place finish here, which effectively clinched my spot in World Athletic Final that year.
Dayron Robles was suppose to compete here, I was looking forward to getting another chance to race him, but it appears that he will not be in attendance this year.
The line-up consists of Anwar Moore (USA), Jason Richardson (USA), Petr Sovodoa (CZE), Samuel Coco-Villion (FRA), Antwon Hicks (USA), Dimitri Bascou (FRA), Stanislav Olijars (LAT) and myself.
We race tomorrow evening at 9:30pm local time. I'm looking forward to this competition, I am going to work on my trail leg action a bit because that is the biggest hurdle I have to clear, getting that as tight as I possible can. I believe I am going to run pretty fast here. It will be on wcsn.com
Instead of hitting the track up for the final day of competition, I decided to go and venture out and about London. My trip started as an easy walk around the corner to the store to pick up some laundry detergent and some Starbucks. I ran into Andy the Dartfish guy and got an all day bus/train ticket from him that he was done using. So I hit McDonalds and Starbucks and hopped on the train.
My first stop was the London Bridge I didn't really figure out what the big deal about it was, but they have a childrens song about it so I guess I had to check it out.
I hit up the London Bridge Tombs next, they had a little "scary" segment at the end that had everybody screaming, it was quite funny.
That hard hat action Had to throw on the vest too, it was pretty dark After a full day out at the Bridge, it was time to head back to the hotel, but had to make a stop when I saw Krispy Kream in the train station! It tasted just like at home too! I had to get back to the hotel for my massage appointment, which felt great! Now I'm going to go down here to the lobby and swap some lies with these cats! LOL. I'm off to Monaco tomorrow afternoon.
I copped me a nice Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United jersey too. For those of you who don't know who that is, he's the best footballer in the WORLD!
All pictures courtesy of my Blackberry, pretty good camera on it I must say.
It was a pretty cool and windy day out in London, but I got back on the winning track by running 13.20 (-1.0w) and winning by a convincing margin. Anwar came second with 13.52 and Olijars third with 13.57.
I basically went out an executed what I had to do. It was a good race, I hit hurdle eight and that was about it. I didn't start very well but ran a great back half as usual. This might have been the hardest race I have run this season, I feel like I was digging towards the end, probably the wind was a factor at that point.
I'm happy that I was able to get back on track with a win, I have no complaints, my first race at Crystal Palace was a successful one.
My roommate Marc came second in the 100, running 9.97. He dominated the critical zone and came from around last place and had a good performance as well.
The second day of competition is tomorrow with the much anticipated 200 race with Bolt and the men's 4x1 races. I leave here on Sunday heading for Monaco, my last race before Beijing.
I've been here in London since the day after the competition in Stockholm, the internet in the hotel is pretty shaky so I haven't posted any updates. Not too much has been going on here, my good friend Gobo Speng is my roommate, so we've been catching up.
Here's basically what's been going on:
-Brooks' wife, Betsy, celebrated a birthday, her and the boys are out here.
-Cut my hair, it was a decent job. If you know me, you know I'm pretty surgical with them clippers, but I was basically cutting in the dark and you know how the voltage conversion is overseas, had my hands shaking like crazy. I rate it a 7/10, watch the meet on wcsn.com and you be the judge.
-Hit the track up for a nice pre-meet practice
-Lost my Blackberry phone case
-Dropped my Blackberry in some water, so I spent about an hour trying to get that back together, I'm thankful for the hotel blow dryer.
-My good friend Charles Shepherd hit me up and told me his wife Robina is in labor with their second child right now.
This is the first time I have competed at this meet, I have heard that it's definitely a great one. We go off at 7pm London time. Robles was suppose to be at this competition, but something happened and he won't be in attendance. I want to find a way to be the best, but I believe you can never be the best if you don't find a way to beat the best. But even in his absence, the field is still strong.
Lanes draw up like this: 1: Thomas Blaschek (GER) 2: Allan Scott (GBR) 3: Anwar Moore (USA) 4: Aries Merritt (USA) 5: Antwon Hicks (USA) 6: David Oliver (USA) 7: Andy Turner (GBR) 8: Stanslav Olijars (LAT)
I felt pretty good at practice yesterday, we will see how it goes, I am expecting to run pretty fast, but what else is new.
I took my first L of the season out there today, but I didn't give it up easy. Robles dropped a 12.91 bomb to chalk me up. I ran 13.04, which is the second fastest legal time of my career, so I'm not too disappointed.
I ran a relaxed race and didn't press. The only thing I'm upset about is that when I came off of hurdle 10, I stumbled on my second step. That probably cost me another sub-13 second clocking and I didn't maintain form in the critical zone by that stumble in the critical zone.
Robles had a very impressive performance, he has run three of the fastest six times in the history of the event. The only saving grace is they don't hand out Gold medals in Stockholm, Sweden, even though I really wanted that diamond for breaking the stadium record!!
The starlists have just been produced, and I drew lane four for the race tomorrow at 8pm Stockholm time. I will be right between Dayron Robles (lane three) and late entrant Terrence Trammell (lane five). I honestly believe that this match-up in the 110 hurdles is comparable to the line up they have in the 100 meter dash with Bolt vs Powell vs Atkins.
I am feeling very good for this race, the weather isn't looking very good, but that doesn't really matter. My main focus that Brooks wants me to emphasize for this race is to be more alert at the start and to execute in the critical zone as usual. I'm feeling that I should be able to run somewhere down in the 13.0 range, I will see how the warm-up goes tomorrow. I am going to follow the same regiment as the trials. I'm not feeling very nervous at this time, my emotion is really that of excitement. I am looking forward to racing against Robles and Terrence while we are at our best. The last time I faced Robles, we both ran our most sub-par races of the season, we both have improved markedly since June 1st.
So, I come to find out that somebody in the Great State (allegedly) of Texas has gotten a hold of my bank account number and charged up almost $1000 in gas in different cities in the state!
I spend Saturday running up all kinds of Skype minutes trying to get this resolved, the only problem is, I brought only $70 cash over with me. I use my card for every transaction and I wasn't expecting an event like this to happen. You know when fraudulent activity happens, they shut your entire card down, so I was thinking what am I going to do from now until late September when I get back States side? But being the wonderful bank they are, they rushed me another bank card over to my hotel room in Stockholm, so now I have action. I didn't even know they could do that, plus as you know we travel so often, I was scared that I would be gone to London by the time my card arrived in Stockholm. Everything worked its self out and I'm really thankful to the people who dealt with me on the phone for several hours Saturday.
I've been out in Stockholm, finally getting a chance to race again. This is the first stop on my three race tour before the Olympics. I will be racing here, London and in Monaco. Brooks is here as well with the relay team and he will be at all of my competitions.
The last time I raced here was in 2005, my first year as a professional. I had a good result for me at the time, I came second and ran 13.23 in the process. I found a picture of the race HERE and I was leading touching down at 10 and got dominated in the critical zone by Anwar. I am glad I have corrected that flaw in my race.
Robles, fresh off a 12.88 performance in Paris last night will be in the race along with Aries Merritt (USA), Antwon Hicks (USA), Stanislav Olijars (LAT), Serghiy Demidyuk (UKR) and Robert Kronberg (SWE). This is going to be one heck of a race. My gameplan is to just stick to what I have been doing and don't try to press, if I do that then I'm sure I will have a favorable result.
The atmosphere at this meet is electric! The crowd sits right on top of you and the stadium is always rocking. There will be plenty of great results here.
My protege' Kenta' Bell has once again decided to follow in footprints I have laid. He has now started a blog and it can be found at here.
I would like to thank him for taking me under his wing in 2005 and showing me the ropes in this pro game and for teaching me how to hurdle on a chair in my dining room in February, I guess that paid off! LOL.
The people at Disney's Wide World Of Sports Complex were thoughtful enough and made a sign for us congratulating Tiff and myself for our Olympic berths. We pulled up to the track and it was there hanging on the fence, I thought it was pretty cool and took a picture of it with my Blackberry and sent it to Tiff on the BBM.
On another note, USATF Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic called me the other day and informed me that they were going to give me a bonus for making the U.S. Olympic Team. That was one of the most unexpected phone calls I received and I am so thankful for them and the whole foundation because back when I wasn't really anything on the track scene, they recognized my talent levels and helped me out with a grant for the 2006 season.
I was also contacted by some representatives from the White House and they extended and invitation to me to attend an event at the Rose Garden with other Olympic athletes and CEO's from Olympic sponsors. It's a conflicting date for me, so I won't be able to make that appearance, but I will go in October.
Other than that, I've just gotten back in to a serious training mode and doing the customary phone, email and in-person interview requests that have come up lately.
I just got back to the house, I am tapped out severely! My body hurts so bad right now, it probably doesn't help that I haven't really slept in two days either. It's going to be an early night tonight though, Brooks has us hitting practice up at 9am tomorrow morning. I just wanted to share a few pictures I found on the net.
That 12.89 action in the semi-finals Last hurdle in the finals Crossing the line for the win Crunk!! Me and Kenta Bell celebrating out Beijing berths Me and Bren sharing a loving embrace
We did it!! I will be representing THE United States of America in the Olympic Games as the U.S. Champion in the 110 meter hurdles!
I woke up this morning feeling pretty fresh, my lower back was just a little stiff but I knew I good warm up would knock that out. We all met up at the track around 12:15, our semi-final round was at 3:15.
In the semi's, I got out fairly well, but Payne led through about three or four hurdles, then I went in to my race strategy and pulled out the win. When I looked up at the scoreboard and it said 12.89 (3.2w), I was like, "I'm really ready". I knew the race was windy once we crossed the line, for some reason I always know when I'm running a windy race, I think it's because I can feel the way my style changes while running in the race. It was crazy that no American has ever ran that fast ever, regardless of the conditions. The unfortunate thing that came out of the semi was both my training partners were knocked out in that round. I was very disappointed, but I knew I had my own task at hand to take care of.
Warming up for the finals was really strange. Every race I have run this season Aub or Joel had warmed up with me, so it felt funny just jogging around, doing drills and starts by myself. On the other side, it gave me time to really focus on what I needed to do and get some one-on-one time with Brooks before the race. He had me hyped up as usual.
When we got in the blocks for that final, I wasn't very nervous, I knew that if I took care of my ten hurdles, I would be on the team. I didn't get out very well, but what else is new. Terrence was GONE, I stayed in control and ran my race strategy to a T and was able to come back and pull out the win in the final steps of the race. I hit another sub 13, running 12.95, although that was illegal as well. Terrence came second with 13.00 and David Payne was third in 13.25. This is the same exact three that lined up for the USA in last year's World Championships in Osaka. I feel really bad for my friend Anwar Moore, who had been running very well through the rounds and was in third position coming off of number ten before falling.
When I saw I won, I took off sprinting another 200 meters almost. I ran in to Kenta Bell who was on his victory lap with the other triple jumpers and shared some high fives. I guess this will be the third team in a row we will be roommates! LOL. I couldn't wait to get over to my mom, we shared an embrace that lasted a long time.
After that, you know we had a long process of filling out paperwork and doing interviews. They even hit your boy for four vials of blood during the drug screening along with some urine. I'm so overjoyed, I set out this season to upgrade those two bronze medals I won last year at USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships to gold medals, and that's exactly what I did. Now I have about six weeks until the Games, I have no idea what is on the docket for that time frame. Brooks will figure it out.
It wouldn't be possible without the help of so many people, God first and foremost, my mom Bren, my strength coach Randy Hadley, Brooks, Joel, Aub, Mona, Dr. Carmen Lynch, the support of everyone who comes to this site, the list goes on and on. Thanks to everyone.
Today went pretty much as scripted for us. I went out and won my qualifying round in a windy 13.24 (2.1w) and won my quarterfinal heat in 13.07 (2.0).
Our first round was at 11:30, we left the hotel around 8:00 to get the party started. This morning it was pretty cloudy and windy out and it looked like it wanted to rain a little, but it held off. By the time we got ready for the second round, it was back sunny and it warmed up a bit. I got pump faked something serious by the weather, last weekend it was looking hot, so I didn't pack a single long sleeve shirt! I just wore one that Joel left at the track yesterday. Picture me and picture Joel and just imagine how I looked wearing one of his shirts.
The races I ran today were very relaxed, I just wanted to focus on pushing thru my hips coming out of the blocks and let the rest take care of itself. Of course in the hurdles, you have people jumping and false starting all over the place, so I had to maintain my focus for the start.
Aub, Joel and myself all made it through the first round fairly easy, but when the quarterfinal came around it was a different story. Joel and I were in heat three and Aub was in one. Aub got such a bad start, he was getting killed by the fifth hurdle and I just stopped watching, I couldn't bring myself to watch the rest of his race. When we got to Joel and my heat, I knew I had qualified for the semi, so my attention immediately turned to the scoreboard to see where Joel was at, and that was nerve racking too! It flashed Oliver, then Trammell, then Brunson, when I saw that I was like oh no, but Joel's name came in fourth and an automatic qualifier, so I was relieved. That along with the possibility that it was him with the false start had my mind everywhere, but we all are still in the running to make this Olympic Team.
The semifinals go off around 3pm tomorrow. I'm in the first heat lane 3, Aub is in there as well, in lane 6. Payne, Aires, Akins, Mitchum are some of the people in my heat. Joel is in the second heat lane 7, he's contending with Terrence, Anwar, Wilson, Hicks and others.
I'm feeling pretty fresh, I knew I would though, I know I didn't run all these 400's, 300's and tag back to back 200's for no reason!
These are a couple articles that other people have brought to my attention so far today.
This morning, coming down from a nice full night's sleep, I was told by Orrin, Brooks' right hand man, that he saw that the USA Today had me on the cover of the sports section and a pretty nice article in there. That's pretty amazing, being on a newspaper that you can read all over the world! I found the on-line write up.
I met The Washington Post's Amy Shipley yesterday morning and had a nice chat with her before my press conference. She had a great story in the Washington Post today too. Click here for the Washington Post article
I'm very thankful that I have a team that has helped put myself in a position where I can excel and have people recognizing the hardwork that we have put in, no one does it on their own.
Today was a long one, Aub-Rida had the audacity to have me up at 6:30 this morning! Aub said I was answering questions in my sleep and I woke him up, but the jury is still out on that one. I had to hit this press conference action, which was cool, but you know they hit you with the customary misquotes. They had a classic one in there where me, Aub and Joel don't turn on the air conditioner, allegedly, which was pretty funny.
Practice went well too, we did a few starts over three hurdles together and five hurdles individually. I can't wait to get out there for real. Later on, I saw on the IAAF website that I was going to run against Robles in the Rome Golden League, I had no idea I was really running there, but I guess.
I don't know what's up for the rest of the evening, I guess I need to find something to eat for dinner. We might go catch that Hancock movie, but probably not, knowing how un-motivated we are to do things at times.
I'm off from training tomorrow, if anything interesting happens, I'll be sure to update.
It has been some nice weather out here in Eugene, I hit the track this afternoon for a quick workout and it feels very fast, I can't wait to get out there for real and compete. The setup has changed drastically since the last time I was here for Prefontaine last season. There has been some awsome performances at the trials since it has started and I'm hoping to add my name to that list of people. I will have one more practice tomorrow, which will be my last before we get it poppin' for real.