Sweden's Susanna Kallur had dashed around Europe flirting with record books over the past two weeks, and had tasted history eight days ago when she came within three one-hundredths of a second from tying an aged record set in a very conspicuous time frame within the sport.
The faster she sprinted over hurdles from a standing start to a finish 60 metres down a synthetic track, the more unavoidable the question became.
Each obligatory post-race interview was a potential nirvana for journalists attempting to draw forth an answer to an obvious question Susanna didn't want to consider. Instead, she would carry on calmly talking about mechanics of her race which needed adjusting and how her start needed improvement. She appeared dazed, perhaps confused, they thought. Perhaps she needed some time to collect herself, for surely she'd want to talk about how much she was demolishing her competitors and getting closer to knocking off a Russian-who-became-a-Swede from history's record books.
Susanna had time to collect herself during practice sessions following her short travels around England, Sweden, and Germany where she'd gone through the same motions of packing down her equipment, flying to her destination, checking into her hotel, rising early to eat, relaxing before the storm she'd later create, packing everything back down, and finally checking out of her hotel.
Meet after meet — at Norwich Union, Samsung Galan and Sparkassan — the pool of journalists waiting in the mixed zone for an interview with Kallur would grow exponentially.
"Sanna", as she is known here in Sweden, just couldn't get her hands around why she was in such high demand. It was only 60 metres of hurdling, she thought. She knew she was quite quick, but there was always an area to improve on. The "perfect" race, she thought, may possibly bring her closer to an 18-year-old world record, but it wasn't something she got caught up in.
The real deal, she'd state, was outdoors in the fresh air where grit, gumption, determination, and power all wrapped up into controlled energy would be tested over a full flight of hurdles 100m from the starting line.