Sanya Richards-Ross seeks fast 400m
Veteran American quarter-miler Sanya Richards-Ross is looking to get her final season off to a good start at today's Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, as she takes the first steps towards what would be her fourth Olympic Games.
Richards-Ross, who has endured an injury-riddled couple of years, says she is at peace with her decision to hang up her spikes this year, bringing to an end a career that has spanned 13 years, five Olympic medals (four gold) including 400m gold at the London 2012 games and seven World Championships medals including five gold and two bronze.
"I always love running at Pre and for this to be my first race of my final season, it just feels right and special, so I am looking forward to it. Hopefully we get some good weather not too much wind so we can navigate a fast 400m," she told The Gleaner yesterday. "I've got some really good competition in this race so I am hoping to run a really good time."
She will face Jamaicans Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Shericka Williams as well as Shaunae Miller, Natasha Hastings and Francena McCorory.
Richards-Ross says she has accepted that this will be her swansong
"I have decided that this is my final season so I am at peace with it. I knew that at some point I wasn't going to be able to run anymore. I have struggled with this toe injury since 2012 and it's been tougher than most people know," she said. "2015 was tough, once again my toe had a bad accident on a plane that I didn't share with the media and it kinda made my season go downhill from trials. I feel mentally and physically strong but it's tough when you have to deal with injuries like these.
"This year I've felt better and stronger so I'm hoping my body can hold up and I'm ready for this final lap in Rio," she said.
"Honestly I just want to go out there and execute my race really well tomorrow (today). I have been training really hard. My coach tells me if I execute I will be surprised and happy with myself. So If I can open up with a 50 point something here then I will be happy with that. If they can drag me to something faster, I will be happy but it's just to get my body used to running at speed again and hopefully building from there," said Richards-Ross.