It was yet another commanding race for Golden League Jackpot winner Sanya Richards in the women’s 400m as the 22-year-old American completed a hat trick of World Athletics Final victories after her 2005 and 2006 dominating performances.
In what was one of the deepest field ever assembled all year, Richards equalled her own World leading time 49.27, her third sub 49.30 in less than ten days falling just 2 hundredths of a second short of her own Championships record from last year.
Richards left in her wake the likes of World bronze medallist Novlene Williams of Jamaica (second in 50.12), World champion Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain (third in 50.20), 2001 World champion Amy Mbacke Thiam of Senegal (4th – 50.33) and World silver medallist Nicola Sanders (GBR – 5th – 50.44).
“I really wanted to run sub-49 today but I guess 49.2 is not so bad,” said Richards. “I felt really strong today, I didn’t watch anyone else in the race like I sometime do.”
Just like she did a week ago in Berlin when she successfully concluded her Golden League Jackpot quest, Richards looked extremely concentrated going into her blocks. “I do feel confident every time I step on the track,” she explained. “I know I have a chance of winning every race but I know I always have to run my best race to win it.”
And she certainly did run a great race. Drawn in lane 5, Richards had already overshadowed Novlene Williams in 6 as early as the first bend was over. She then powered through and all that mattered by then was how quick she would get to the finish line.
Richards’ season is not over yet as she now travels to Shanghai where she will compete in the 100m and then finish off with another 400m in Yokohama.