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Sanya Richards-Ross is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Sanya Richards-Ross will look to make her third Olympic appearance for the U.S. this summer in London, where she figures to be a gold-medal contender in the women's 400m and a key member of Team USA's 4x400m relay. Richards-Ross won 400m bronze and 4x400m gold in Beijing.

Richards-Ross would be the first to admit that the greater portion of her 2011 season was forgettable. Her international ledger was devoid of victory or a sub 50-second 400m performance through July. Things hit rock bottom at the Diamond League meet in Birmingham where she finished fourth in 51.11 seconds on July 10. It was then that Coach Clyde Hart began retooling her race, particularly the third 100. In her next outing, the Diamond League London meet, Richards-Ross won the 400m in a season-best 49.66. She wound up finishing seventh in defense of her title at the World Championships in Daegu.

Sanya Richards-Ross saw her 2010 season cut down by injury before it even began. While practicing ahead of the Penn Relays in April, she tweaked a quad muscle while receiving a baton handoff from Carmelita Jeter. That injury forced her to miss most of the spring. Things got worse at the USA Outdoor Championships when she injured an ankle and bruised her tailbone when she fell moving about the bleachers inside of Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Richards-Ross wisely shut it down for the year after that.

Richards-Ross' husband is New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross. The two met at the University of Texas, where Ross won the 2006 Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. Despite having speed in common, Ross and Richards-Ross didn't take the fast track to the altar. Patience has factored into their life plan so both could focus on what they wanted to achieve in their respective sports. The couple tied the knot on February 26, 2010, and worked out regularly together on their honeymoon in Abu Dhabi.

Richards-Ross hasn't had the greatest fortune in major championships in her career, but in 2009 she put an emphatic end to that misfortune at the World Championships in Berlin, where she won the 4x400m in 49.00, beating Shericka Williams of Jamaica by 32-hundredths and Antonina Krivoshapka of Russia by 1.11 seconds. In typically understated fashion, Richards-Ross' reaction to her victory afterward was, "Whew! It just feels so great to finally hear I am a world champion." After the World Championships, Richards-Ross also won all of the remaining three Golden League meets over 400m to share in the $1 million jackpot with Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (men's 3000m/5000m) and Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva (women's pole vault).

After Richards-Ross won her first world title in the 400m in Berlin, many of her competitors were quick to acknowledge how hard she had labored for the elusive victory and were effusive in their congratulations, a true rarity in sport. "I've been running second behind her all season," Jamaica's Shericka Williams said. "For her, this is a major blow. I'm very, very happy for her." American Debbie Dubb, who finished sixth in the 400m final, said, "She did it, finally, and I'm happy for her." And this from Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain, the 2008 Olympic champion, fifth Tuesday night, "Sanya Richards ran a splendid race."

With her flare-ups of Behcet's disease under control, Richards-Ross stormed her way to qualification for the 2008 Games. She won the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400m in 49.89, a victory so emphatic that in Beijing she seemed like a lock to win her first individual Olympic gold. But in the final, she went out too hard in the first 200m and her hamstring seized. She labored down the stretch to a third-place finish behind Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and Shericka Williams of Jamaica. Richards-Ross recovered a few days later to anchor the U.S. 4x400m relay to gold.

In the spring of 2007, Richards-Ross was forced her to pull out of several early meets due to a mystifying illness, Behcet's disease. In just her third meet of the season, Richards-Ross ran a world-leading time of 50.02 in the semifinals at the 2007 U.S. Outdoor Championships, but suffered her first loss in the 400m since the 2005 World Championships, finishing fourth in the final. Richards-Ross bounced back to a runner-up finish in the 200m to qualify for the World Championships. Richards-Ross finished fifth in Helsinki, but did pick up a gold medal at Worlds on the 4x400m relay.

At age 21, Richards-Ross had one of the greatest seasons ever by an American 400-meter runner in 2006. She ran under 50 seconds nine times during the season, including breaking the American record on September 16 with her time of 48.70 at the IAAF World Cup in Athens. The win put her #7 on the all-time world list. Richards-Ross ran the five fastest times in the world in 2006, the six fastest times by an American and 10 of the top 11 American performances. She was undefeated outdoors in the 400 on the year, winning a $249,999 portion of the jackpot for sweeping the Golden League series and taking the USA Indoor, USA Outdoor, World Athletics Final and World Cup titles. All told, she won 15 consecutive races and added the World Cup 200m crown as well. For her extraordinary season, Richards-Ross added the 2006 Jesse Owens Award to her trophy case

Richards-Ross qualified for Athens by finishing second in the 400m at 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials with a personal-best 49.89 seconds, lowering her own U.S. junior record. She finished first at the 2003 U.S. Nationals, her senior level national championship debut. At the 2003 World Championships, Richards-Ross reached the semifinals in the 400m and won a gold medal running the anchor leg of the 4x400m relay. At the 2002 World Junior Championships, Richards-Ross won a silver medal in the 400m. As a 17-year-old at the 2002 Prefontaine Classic, she finished second to 2000 Olympian Michelle Collins in the 400m, beating two-time Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Jearl Miles-Clark.

At the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Richards-Ross finished third in the 400m behind future Olympic teammates Monique Henderson and Dee Dee Trotter. At the 2004 NCAA Indoors, Richards-Ross won the 400m to set a collegiate record time of 50.82 seconds. She also won a 2004 NCAA Indoor Championship running the anchor leg of Texas' 4x400m relay team. In 2003, Richards-Ross was the NCAA Outdoor 400m Champion, won the 4x400m Indoor NCAA Championship, and won the Big 12 Indoor 60m and 200m championships.

In eighth grade, Richards-Ross' mother, Sharon, gave her daughter a necklace with a bullet (representing her running speed) attached. Richards-Ross still wears the necklace when she races as a good-luck charm.

When Richards-Ross was a senior in high school, her parents transformed the family's garage into a weight room where she and her mother would have weightlifting competitions. At age 16, Richards-Ross could squat 250 pounds. Her father, Archie, also contributed to his daughter's development by showing her his old soccer drills. Archie also put together a video library of Richards-Ross and her opponents.

Richards-Ross turned pro in June 2004, hiring former U.S. hurdling great Renaldo Nehemiah (the first 110m hurdler to break the 13-second barrier) as her agent and signing a deal with Nike. By turning pro, she gave up her final two years of eligibility at Texas. She is now represented by her mother, Sharon.

Born in Jamaica, Richards-Ross moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her family at age 12 because her parents thought the U.S. would be a better place for her to continue her track career. Her younger sister, Shari, was a sprinter and long jumper at Texas. The two sisters lived together in Austin.


How tall is Sanya Richards-Ross? How old is Sanya Richards-Ross? Where does Sanya Richards-Ross live? Find out here.

Age: 31 years old
Birthday: February 26, 1985
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 137 lbs.
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Current Residence: Austin, TX
Husband: Aaron Ross (2/26/2010)

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