Richards-Ross after winning gold medal of 4x400 relay during the 2012 olympic games
February 26, 1985 |
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||137 lb (62 kg)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||400m: 48.70 (2006, AR)|
Sanya Richards-Ross (born February 26, 1985 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican American track and field athlete who competes internationally for the United States. Richards-Ross won the Olympic gold medal in the 4×400 meters relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China and in the London 2012 Olympics. She won the individual bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics for the 400m. The following year, Richards-Ross became World Champion, winning a gold medal in the 400 meter race at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. She won the gold medal in the 400m at the 2012 Olympics.
Richards-Ross started running at 7-years old. At St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, she lettered in Track and Field and Basketball in high school and is a member of the National Honor Society, ending her high school academic career with a 4.0 grade point average. In 2002 she was named National High School Female Athlete of the Year, USA Track and Field's Youth Athlete of the Year, and Track and Field News Women's Prep Athlete of the Year. She became a naturalized American citizen in 2002.
As a freshman at the University of Texas in 2003, Sanya Richards won the NCAA national championship in the 400 meters with a time of 50.58. After her sophomore year in 2004, she turned pro.
At the Athens Olympics in 2004, Richards was part of the US team which finished first in the 4×400 meters relay. She has won a silver medal in the 400 meters at 2005 World Championships in Athletics. In 2006, together with Jeremy Wariner (400 m) and Asafa Powell (100 m) she won her sixth out of six IAAF Golden League events in the same season, which earned her a total of $250,000. She broke Valerie Brisco-Hooks' US record of 48.83 with a 48.70 at the end of the 2006 season and was named IAAF 2006 Female World Athlete of the Year. After failing to qualify for the 400 m at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka due to illness which caused her to finish fourth in the US trials, Richards-Ross was the favourite to win gold in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and qualified fastest for the final, but went out of the blocks too quickly and was overtaken in the finishing straight by Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and Shericka Williams of Jamaica, consigning her to the bronze medal.
During the 2009 season, Richards-Ross took the 400 m national title in 50.05 seconds, finishing over half a second faster than the second placed Debbie Dunn. Although she expected faster times, she stated that winning the 2009 World Championships in Berlin was her number one goal. A win in 49.46 s at the Golden Gala in Rome broke Marita Koch's record for most sub-50 second runs, bringing Richards' career total to 36. Coming up to the World Championships, Richards won her fourth Golden League race in the 400 m with the time of 49.34 seconds and won her first global championship in the 400 m at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin with a world leading time of 49.00 seconds. Richards-Ross also anchored team USA to a gold medal in the women's 4 x 400 m relay in the sixth fastest time in history of 3.17.83 minutes, Richards-Ross split time in the relay was unofficially 48.43 seconds. After a career defining World Championships, Richards-Ross went on to win her final two Golden League races with a new world leading times of 48.94 seconds (Zurich) and 48.83 seconds (Brussels) to share in the $1M dollar jackpot with men's 3000 m/5000 m winner Kenenisa Bekele and women's pole vault winner Yelena Isinbayeva, each receiving US$333,333; this was the third time Richards had won the Golden League Jackpot. Sanya Richards-Ross ended her massive season on a high by winning silver in the 200 m at the IAAF World Athletics Final behind world champion Allyson Felix with a time of 22.29 seconds, and by winning gold in the 400m with a time of 49.95 seconds; achieving her 41st sub-50 second 400m run.
Returning from an injury that prematurely ended her 2010 season, in 2011 Richards-Ross ran an impressive 49.66 just prior to the World Championships, in Daegu, South Korea but wound up seventh in the final. She later returned to top form in the 4x400 m relay, this time running the lead-off leg in an impressive 49.1, setting the team up for victory. It was her record fifth gold medal from the World Championships.
At the 2012 London Olympics on August 5, 2012, Richards-Ross finished the women’s 400m in 49.55 to win the gold medal for the US. Richards-Ross also ran the anchor leg of the gold medal-winning US women's 4x400m relay team. Following the Olympics, Richards-Ross won the remaining Diamond League meetings over 400m in Stockholm (49.89) and Zurich (50.21), the win in Stockholm improved her career total of sub-50 second races to an unchallenged 46.
In August 2007, Sanya was signed as a global brand spokesperson for Nutrilite, the world's leading brand of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements (based on 2006 sales). Nutrilite products are sold through Amway corporation.
Personal life 
Richards attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School and returned in 2011[when?] to give a speech at the Homecoming pep rally. Before leaving Jamaica she attended the Vaz Preparatory and the Immaculate Conception High School. According to the Registrar's public database on the website of the University of Texas at Austin, Richards attended the University between 2002 and 2005. She is a singer and a dancer, regularly putting on shows for family and friends. In 2007, she became engaged to NFL defensive back Aaron Ross. They had been dating since 2003. The couple were married on February 26, 2010 and their wedding was featured on an episode of Platinum Weddings.
In 2010, Richards starred in "The Educators", an Antoine Fuqua-directed Foot Locker commercial featuring Rajon Rondo, Amar'e Stoudemire, Justin Tuck, and DeSean Jackson. This commercial was mocked by The Onion.
Competition record 
Personal bests 
|60 meters||7.21||Lincoln, Nebraska, United States||February 28, 2004|
|100 meters||10.97||Shanghai, China||September 28, 2007|
|200 meters||22.09||New York, USA||June 8, 2012|
|400 meters||48.70 – National Record||Athens, Greece||September 16, 2006|
- All information from IAAF profile.
Diamond League Wins 
- Track and Field News High School AOY
- $100,000 the richer, Powell and Richards are the World Athletes of the Year
- Morse, Parker (2009-06-28). World season leads for Demus and Merritt as team takes shape in Eugene – USA Champs, Day 3. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-06-30.
- Ramsak, Bob (2009-07-10). Gay powers back with 9.77 in Rome – REPORT – ÅF Golden League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-07-23.
- "London Olympics: Richards-Ross takes women's 400m gold". Retrieved 06-08-2012.
- "Richards-Ross golden again as U.S 4x400m cruises to fifth-straight Olympic victory". August 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- Amway and Nutrilite Athletes
- Track star girlfriend pushes Texas' Ross
- Townsend, Brad (2008-08-19). Sanya Richards: More than snake-bitten. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-08-19
- Sanya Richards and Aaron Ross
- "Platinum Weddings – Sanya & Aaron – WE tv". Wetv.com. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- "New FootLocker X Nike Commercials". SportsBiz.Biz. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- "No One Knows Who Female Star Athlete In Nike Commercial Is | The Onion Sports Network". Theonion.com. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- With fastest performance since 2006, 'the old Richards is back' – ÅF Golden League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
- "Richards, Sanya biography". IAAF. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- Official Website
- Sanya Richards-Ross on Twitter
- YouTube Videoblogs
- IAAF profile for Sanya Richards
- USA T&F – Sanya Richards-Ross
- Sanya Richards-Ross: Defending The Dream series
- Sanya Richards Pictures
- Sanya Richards discusses her goals and disappointments coming into the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan
- TheFinalSprint.com's interview with sprinter Sanya Richards
- Flotrack Interview with Sanya Richards
|USA Track & Field Youth Athlete of the Year
|Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
|Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year