She lost steam and eventually took the Bronze during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing but Saya Richards-Ross didn’t sputter out this time around, pulling ahead of her competition to win gold in the 400-meter dash with a final time of 49.55 seconds.
Unlike her last opportunity Richards-Ross managed to pick up speed heading into the final 100 meters, winning by nearly a body length while provide Team USA with its first gold medal in track and field for the 2012 London Olympics.
Richards-Ross defeated Britain’s defending champion Christine Ohuruogu who ended the race with a final time of 49.70. Taking the bronze was American DeeDee Trotter who finished in third place with a final time of 49.72.
Wrapped in an American flag Richards-Ross hugged her husband, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Aaron Ross. Aaron received permission to leave his teams training camp to watch his wife perform at the 2012 summer Olympics.
As they embraced Aaron said to his wife:
“You finally did it, you finally did it, babe. Enjoy the moment.”
The gold medal was Richard-Ross’ first in an individual event, although Richards-Ross already holds two previous golds in Olympic Relays with the chance at yet another gold medal next week in a team relay.
During her failure to capitalize on a lead in Beijing doctor’s believed it was likely the result of Sanya suffering from an autoimmune disease called Behcet’s syndrome, several visits after the Olympics reveled that she was misdiagnosed and was instead suffering from an illness that was treated in time for her triumphant London Olympics return.