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|Quotes from U.S. wrestlers Kristie Marano and Katie Downing, and National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner, after Sunday’s evening session at the World Championships|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Kristie Marano, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
"This is good. It is always good to come to the World Championships and win a medal. It's not the ideal medal. But it is still third in the World.'
"I would definitely rather work for my medal. I had a bunch of hard matches. It makes it feel better to know I had to go out there and work hard."
(about the bronze-medal match against Ohenawa Akuffo of Canada)
In the first 30 seconds, she came after me hard. I realized I had to step it up a couple of knotches or I 'd take a beating. All that the coaching staff worked on in the last eight weeks really paid off here."
(about moving up to 72 kg)
"This is a step forward. I have a lot of work to do. Luckily, it was still a good year for me. I'm going to try to get to as many overseas tournaments as I can. I hope to grow from this. I also hope to grow into 72 kg. It is a step up from the smaller girls. It is not overpowering. But they have the strength to capitalize on your mistakes."
"This was pretty successful, but also disappointing. You will always be disappointed if you set your goals high and don't reach them. But I can't complain."
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Katie Downing, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
"I'm disappointed in myself, knowing everything that went into this year. I get to carry this with me for the whole year. I know how much our coaches put into us to get prepared. My whole town is behind me here. It's like I let more people down."
"The challenge now, like in a tournament, if you lose and your person goes on, you have to wrestle back. It's the same thing for me, at the larger level. The only thing I was thinking about was being on the podium. This wasn't an option in my mind. So what do I do next? I have to change something. I improved in the things I am good at this year. But, I learned here that I need to score at will. Unless I change something, nothing will happen. It is kind of ground zero now. I have to step back into the practice room with no pride and put myself out there more and take more risks. I have to do things that are hard to do. I need to get out of my comfort zone."
(about the match against Marisa Admiral of Netherlands)
"I just didn't get it done. I didn't feel frustrated. I was doing what I always do. But, obviously, I needed to force something to take it. She wasn't going to give me anything. I had to take it and I didn't get that done. I am used to people wrestling defensively."
(about moving forward)
"I need to put this behind me. It is hard to let people down. Now that we all have a job to do, we are all working together. The question is what can we do as a program to get it done?"
National Women's Coach Terry Steiner
"Kristie showed true Kristie. Her character always comes through. She's one of the best competitors I have been around. It was time to focus. She did not have a good match when she lost. She clawed her way back in and beat a girl she hadn't beaten before. It was a year we knew she had to move up in weight, because this will be her Olympic weight class. She has a long way to go in filling the weight. One thing about Kristie is when she is on the mat, she gives every ounce of energy that she has. I am proud of her and how she competed."
(about the U.S. team)
"We have some changing to do. In situations like this, it is easy to point fingers and blame. The first thing I have to do is look in the mirror and make some changes myself. From there, we also will look at changes in the program. There is a reason that we went from 2003, when we won seven medals, to now when we have to scrap to get two medals. It starts with the leadership down. I have to make changes. That is where it starts."
"We have people who are great workers. We have to change in the way we are working as individuals. We have to change our focuses, both as individuals and as a team. It is time to intervene. We have to change now or it will be the same next year. We have the right people to win. We have to change how we do things. It's a battle. We need to want it. We need to stick with the changes when we make them."
"We have a clear vision. We have gotten away from being a team. We are too much individuals. The programs that win here are teams. They work together, they feed off each other. We have to have that. We use to be like that. We need to return to it. It is time to change."
"It was a great effort. The coaches are great. I can't fault the efforts. We have to be working together, pushing each other, learning from each other, following a plan."