Richards-Ross was not aware that Christine Ohuruogu was creeping up behind her towards the finishing line of that epic race. “I came off the bend and remember seeing Dee Dee Trotter and I thought I have got this. I looked up on the scoreboard and saw my name. I thought Dee Dee came second. I was surprised to see that Christine came second. Christine always finishes strong and I had no idea she was coming behind me.”
She went on further to say: “By far that was my greatest gold medal. To win gold with my relay 4x400 team comes a close second. The 400 metres was the event I felt I have had a lot of success in. But to fill that gap with an Olympic gold medal was really special.” Despite the success she has had with the 4x400 relay team at the Olympics, Richards-Ross is also looking to create some more history. “I don’t think anyone has ever won four gold medals with the relay team. That will be what we are going for in Rio.”
By her own admission her greatest rival on the track is Christine. She paid tribute to her: “Christine has definitely been one of my greatest rivals. She is a phenomenal athlete especially when it comes to major events. She shows up and she has always been a threat. I look forward to competing with her and hopefully competing with her again in Rio. If we both medal that will be three Olympics that we have consecutively medalled in. I wish her well and like I said it has been a great rivalry.”
Richards-Ross admitted things could have been done differently this season and she has had to make some changes. “This season after much evaluation I definitely feel that I over trained. I went to my coach and said I wanted to run a PB of 48 seconds I would feel great in training but very light during my races. I went through my diet and blood work and thought why am I not running as fast as I should. It all boiled down to the fact that I am not rested enough. I think that worked at 19, 20 and 21 but not at 30 now! I talked to a lot of great athletes like Kim Collins, Felix Sanchez and some other great athletes. They said I should rest more. It is very hard to rest. I have always been an athlete that works the hardest. I do a thousand sit ups a day and run with the boys. I think there comes a point of diminishing returns. It is going to be a case of holding back in practice and making sure I am fit to race.”
When asked who was her idol when she was growing up she said: “When I was growing up my first Idol was Merlene Ottey. I was born in Jamaica and of course she was the biggest star and I wanted to be just like her. And then when I migrated I fell in love with Jackie Joyner-Kersee on and off the track. I love what she does in her community in St. Louis and personally so she is also one of my idols as well.”
In spite of all her achievements on the track, Richards-Ross has one last goal on the track before the season ends. “I have 49 sub 50 second races now, so I just need one more and it has been the toughest thing to get this season. I am running the 200m here but I will run in Brussels so hopefully I will get it before the end of the season.
I would love to end my season that way, as it will be very rewarding. I have found it really hard this season and that would be a high note for me to go on my training for next year.