Sanya Richards is one of the most determined athletes I have ever met. She emotes positivism. Combine that with complete confidence that she has in her coach, her health in control, Sanya went through the rounds here with no issues.
Photo from finals, US 400 meter finals, 2009, by Photorun.net.
A day break, and Sanya Richards gave a clinic on how to run the 400 meters. This is supposed to be a a down year, a bit, with Dee Dee Trottter nearly lame with leg injuries (she did not make it through the rounds) and Mary Wineberg on maternity leave. Don’t tell that to Debbie Dunn, Jessica Beard or Natasha Hastings.
Debbie Dunn, Jessica Beard and Natasha Hastings were running their hearts out, as Sanya Richards came flying off the final turn, having run a superb third one hundred meters.
Sanya Richards took the title, and the race in 50.05 ( her third fastest of the season, as of July 1, Sanya had run 49.57 earlier in the season). Debbie Dunn held on for second with a fine 50.79. with Jessica Beard in third in 50.81, closing very well. Natasha Hastings made a huge progression this season, finishing fourth in 50.89.
Sanya wasn’t completely happy with her race: â€œI donâ€™t think this was one of my best races, just by looking at the time, but the wind has been tough at Hayward all week. I just wanted to run smart and make sure I brought it home to win. Now Iâ€™m ready to move on and focus on Berlin.â€ Sanya made it clear that she wants to run quickly: â€œI want to run fast. I havenâ€™t run a 48 in two or three seasons, but my number one goal is still to win in Berlin.â€ Finally, Sanya spoke a bit about the trials she faced last year, and what she learnedâ€œI think I learned a lot from last season. I think sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself at the big meets, and I just need to run relaxed.â€
Just how will Sanya fare in Berlin? The key will be how she does in the rounds, and if she focuses on Clyde Hart’s mantra about running the 400 meters. Christine O, the world and Olympic champion is a real tough athlete. This race could be one of the highlights of the World Championships.
Women 400 Meter Dash
World: W 47.60 10/6/1985 Marita Koch, GDR
American: A 48.70 9/17/2006 Sanya Richards, Nike
Hayward: S 49.34 2003 Ana Guevara, Mexico
Name Year Team Finals
1 Sanya Richards Nike 50.05
2 Debbie Dunn unattached 50.79
3 Jessica Beard Texas A&M 50.81
4 Natasha Hastings Nike 50.89
5 Shareese Woods adidas 51.05
6 Monica Hargrove unattached 51.60
7 Dominique Darden unattached 52.19
8 Keshia Baker
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