Hammy costs Sanya

Texas-ex Sanya Richards ‘snakebit’ by bronze

10:04 PM CDT on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

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BEIJING – This time, for sure, Sanya Richards was in the clear.

In the biggest race of her life, Tuesday’s Olympic 400-meter final, the University of Texas product who had overcome debilitating illness and major-meet misfortunes powered through the final turn leading by five meters.

“I tell you, I knew that gold was mine,” she said. “I thought I was going to run 48 seconds. I felt so good. I was already getting a bit elated coming off the turn, because I know how my races usually go.”

But with 80 meters left, the unimaginable happened. Richards felt her right hamstring tighten. She tried to push on, but more excruciating than the pain was the helpless feeling that her gold medal was slipping away.

Richards, 23, was fortunate to cross the line third and earn bronze, but she sure didn’t feel lucky. This latest episode in her track career was anything but.

Most of the crowd in the sold out Bird’s Nest sat in stunned silence as Richards crouched on the track, covering her face. Later, she stoically accepted her bronze medal and posed for the obligatory pictures.

But when she reached the media mixed zone, she alternately fought back tears and expressed utter disbelief.

Someone asked if she felt snakebitten.

“More than snakebitten,” she said. "I don’t want to tell you what I’m thinking right now, because it’s not positive. I feel so betrayed by my body once again and it’s just such a tough break for me.

“I feel like I worked so hard in vain.”

Hadn’t Richards been dealt enough setbacks? Sure, she is engaged to New York Giants cornerback and former Longhorn Aaron Ross, the diamond on her ring is larger than popcorn and she has made-for-TV looks.

But she spent most of last year hiding a rare chronic disease, Behcet’s syndrome, which causes disturbances in the immune system.

Suffering from fatigue and camouflaging mouth ulcers with lipstick, her performance dropped so badly she was unable to qualify for last year’s World Championships.

But she arrived in Beijing having won the U.S. Olympic trials final by a full second. And she easily posted the fastest semifinal time.

“Once again, to lose at a major championship – and not just any championship, the Olympic Games – and thinking of waiting for four more years is just way too much,” she said.

The winner, Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu, had the audacity to say, “It’s not luck. I worked damn hard for this.”

She was deserving of victory, certainly. But not lucky? Try telling that to the woman who led her so handily, the Clyde Hart protégé who now can only hope she can heal in time to compete in Friday’s 4x400 relay.


“It’s almost like, I don’t know, I don’t want to say,” Richards said, again fighting back tears.

"I have a really strong faith and I know that everything happens for a reason. I just don’t know what this one is for. I don’t know what lesson I have left to learn.

“Last season, I wouldn’t wish it on my own enemy. To come up short again is just …” She paused and swallowed hard.


Should have fixed the HS before she ran then! Christine was clever enough to fix hers!

Christine had audacity???
After Sanya complained that she shouldn’t be allowed to run, are you f**king kidding me??
If this was the first time Sanya crapped out after an early lead, some would buy it but not any more (outside of the US)

I used to like Sanya…but after all the BS I keep on hearing I now can’t stand the girl. Glad she lost…humble pie. If in doubt just blame a dodgy ham. If she had won would we know about the ham? I doubt it.

I cramped a ham during a sprint in Early June, it took a month to totally recover… and I stopped running immediately… Sanya struggled through the line and has been fine to run the relay days afterwards…:rolleyes:

Just hasn’t been the same since Zurich a couple of years ago.

she ran 48.70 at athens 06 world cup which was after her 50.XX result at zurich 06 golden league