Northwest Runners Head to Moscow for World Championships

Aug 7, 2013

Olympic athletes from the Northwest are steering clear of politics as they head for Moscow, Russia this week for the 2013 World Championships in track and field.

Half-miler Nick Symmonds of Springfield, Oregon condemned anti-gay bias in Russia in a blog entry he posted before departure. But he said he would avoid further comment "out of respect for the fact that I will be a guest in the host nation." 

Decathlete Ashton Eaton of Eugene stuck to his training and his recent wedding in comments during a press conference in Moscow Wednesday. Eaton said he's eager to add a World Champion title to the gold medal he won at the London Olympics last summer.

"My preparation feels good. Am I the same as I was last year? I think physically I actually feel a little more worn down, but... I would say I'm ready to go,” Eaton said.

Eaton arrives in Moscow as a newlywed. His bride is also entered in these world championships. Brianne Theisen Eaton competes for Canada in the heptathlon. The couple met on the University of Oregon track team. 

Some other big names from last summer's London Olympics will be chasing medals in Moscow. The sizable contingent of Portland-area runners includes Galen Rupp, Lopez Lomong, and Shalane Flanagan. University of Washington Husky alum Brad Walker is entered in the pole vault. Jesse Williams of Eugene, Oregon is headed there to defend his world title in the high jump.