06 NOV 2007 Series

Sanya Richards enjoys last days off before resuming training - IAAF Online Diaries

Sanya Richards and boyfriend Aaron Ross in Austin, Texas (Getty Images)Sanya Richards and boyfriend Aaron Ross in Austin, Texas (Getty Images) © Copyright

Sanya Richards, the 2006 World Athlete of the Year, this year cruised to her second consecutive IAAF Golden League Jackpot victory. As she prepares to resume training next week for the upcoming Olympic season, Richards catches us up on what she’s been up to since ending her season by joining the sub-11 club in the 100m.

On her post-season vacation

This has been my best break yet. I wanted to have as much fun as possible with my time off because I know how important this off season will be. So I had something planned for almost every weekend since I arrived in the States. First I went to watch three of (her boyfriend, who plays for the NFL New York Giants)) Ross' games, one vs. the Jets, then the Falcons, then the 49ers. The games were amazing and I enjoyed being a spectator at a sporting event.

Then when Ross went to London to play the Dolphins, my entire family took a trip to Jamaica, where we stayed in a resort. It was a great experience for all of us and the highlight of the trip was a boat cruise we took for a day. I had a chance to visit the Hershey company on my time off and visit their hospital. I also did an appearance with Coke and had a great visit with their execs and other star athletes.

However the most exciting part of my break was the 25th bash I planned for Ross and my best friend (American hurdler) Nichole Denby. I worked really hard to put it together and it was a huge success. Over 300 people joined us at a club in downtown Austin and none of them knew what I had planned. It was amazing to see everyone's faces, especially Ross and Denby, as they couldn't believe I had Rick Ross, a celebrity rapper, perform for them. The party was a huge success and put a cap on a great break before I gear up for the most important season of my life.

On living in the New York City area

I have really enjoyed being in New Jersey with Ross in my off season. He lives in a nice area not too far from the city of New York and I have made frequent trips to downtown to shop and just be a part of the fast pace of the city. It is so much different than Austin, but it’s a change I think we are both adjusting to well and although we both consider Austin home we are growing to like New Jersey as well.

When will training begin again?

I will resume training next week. I always take six weeks off after my last competition so I will enjoy this next couple of days, go watch the Giants vs. Cowboys game, and then get back in the swing of things.

On the media focus on Marion Jones’s doping admission

I sincerely hope that the news of Marion will not linger too much over such a special year in our sport. I hope that the fans haven't lost too much interest, and I hope that they are just as excited to watch the Olympics as we are to compete in them.

On her reaction to running a PB 10.97 in Shanghai, to end the season as the fourth fastest in the 100m

I was extremely excited to run under 11 seconds at the end of the season. I didn't think at the beginning of the year that I would have been able to do that this year so I was more than pleased when it happened. It just proves exactly what Coach Hart always tell us, "As you get stronger you inevitable get faster!"

Will she compete more often in the short dash in 2008?

I've learnt this year that you can never make predictions too early on what the next season will hold. So as much as I'd like to say that I will run more 100m races next year, I won't know for sure until we get closer to the start of the season. However I can guarantee you that if things go the way I'd like, if I'm healthy, I'm really excited about my potential at 100m.

One last assessment of her 2007 season

The 2007 season was filled with many ups and downs. The hardest part of the season was finding out I had a very rare disease and having to cope with the flare ups at the most inopportune times. It was hard to not fulfill my goals in the 400m and also fall short in the 200m at the World Championships but I was pleased to win the Golden League and get a new PR in the 100m.

Every season won't be perfect but I learned a lot this year and I hope that all my lessons will pay dividends going into the 2008 season.


Click here for Sanya’s seventh diary installment

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