Hurdler ready for worlds after giving birth

By Amy Rosewater, Special to USA TODAY
After Anjanette Kirkland had her first child May 3, her doctor told her to make a follow-up appointment in six weeks. She replied, “Oh, no. Four weeks. I’m an athlete and I’ve got things to do.”
The 2001 world champion in the 100-meter hurdles, Kirkland trained throughout her pregnancy, running until the day before her daughter, Jadin, was born. Less than three months later, Kirkland is preparing for the IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Aug. 23-31 in Paris.

It hasn’t been easy. Two weeks ago she competed in her first race at a meet in Houston and finished fourth.

Such results are uncommon not only for Kirkland but for her boyfriend, Jadin’s father, sprinter Bernard Williams. He won a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics and is the U.S. men’s 100 champion. He also plans to run in Paris.

Kirkland’s coach, Tony Ross, says she will compete in several meets in Europe to gauge her fitness for the championships. At the moment, Ross says, Kirkland is not ready. But, he adds, that doesn’t mean she won’t be. “She’s probably the most dedicated athlete I’ve ever had — male or female,” Ross says. “I never, never put on a barrier on her.”

One of her major obstacles has been losing weight from her pregnancy. She weighs 164 pounds; Ross says her ideal running weight is 140.

She trains nearly 2 1/2 hours a day and a month ago added Pilates to her routine. Sometimes Williams babysits while Kirkland trains. Sometimes Kirkland brings Jadin to workouts and Ross’ wife, Danielle, takes care of the baby.

“People tell me … I’m not going to be ready for worlds,” she says. “That just inspires me even more. We might be tired, but women like me find strength.”

Her real goal is the same as her boyfriend’s. “If we both win golds in Athens, wow,” Williams says. He laughs and adds, “It sure would secure Jadin’s college tuition, wouldn’t it?”

Who’s Tony Ross?
Who has he coached in the past?

I know Wilbert Ross but not Tony… Is this a typo?