DAEGU, South Korea, (Reuters) – Sanya Richards-Ross’s coach’s description of the U.S. 400 metres world champion might not sit well with airport security officials.
“(He) kept saying I was a ticking time bomb,” the Jamaican-born Richards-Ross told a media conference yesterday ahead of the Daegu world championships. “He didn’t know when I was going to go off, but I was going to go off some time.”
‘The bomb’ finally exploded at London’s Diamond League meeting in early August when, after a so-so season, Richards-Ross ran an eye-catching 49.66 seconds, the year’s second-fastest time.
“I never lost faith,” said the American whose husband Aaron is a cornerback with the New York Giants of the National Football League.
Her turnaround came after a poor race in Birmingham, England and she and coach Clyde Hart, who coached Michael Johnson to the 400 metres world record and both Johnson and Jeremy Wariner to Olympic and world championships, returned to Texas to tweak several parts of her race.
“He shook me up a bit,” Richards-Ross said of the workouts, which included concentrating on the third 100, which “wasn’t going so well”.
“We just worked on how to make that move there.
“I have an amazing coach and I knew he would figure it out sooner or later. I am really excited to be peaking at the right time.”
With team mate Allyson Felix going for the 200-400 metres double, fellow American Carmelita Jeter running the 100 and 200 and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown also challenging for the sprint double, the championships should be eye-catching.
“One of the most exciting women’s sprint championships we have seen in a long time,” Richards-Ross predicted.