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Sanya Richards almost loses US$20,000 broach but pulls through in 200 heats

Sanya Richards almost loses US$20,000 broach but pulls through in 200 heats

Sanya Richards must be the only sprinter to ever race in the world championships with a US$20,000 diamond broach pinned to her chest.
She did it in Wednesday's first round of 200-meter heats. And guess what? She almost lost it.
"I'm coming off the turn and it clinks off my knee and it goes over to lane eight," Richards explained. "And I'm looking like: `no.' But I have to be focused and finish the race."
Seconds later, a dozen volunteers raced down the track to recover the jewels _ a generous gift given to her by a top executive at one of her sponsors.
"He told me it was my good luck charm. So I thought: `Run with it, which wasn't a good idea."
She said she won't run with it again in Osaka _ her mother Sharon has it _ but the near calamity didn't seem to faze her for long.
"Just for a second it did," she said. "I know what my goals are when I step on the track, so nothing was going to distract me _ even if US$20,000 just fell off of my chest."
Richards ran the second heat later Wednesday, clocking the fastest time _ 22.31 _ going into the semifinals on Thursday. The finals set for Friday. Veronica Campbell of Jamaica, aiming for a sprint double after winning the 100, had the next quickest time (22.55) followed by Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka (22.55).
Defending champion Allyson Felix, who skipped the 100 to concentrate on the 200, advanced in 22.61, marginally faster than U.S. teammate Torri Edwards (22.62).
Richards, who was favored in the 400 but finished a disappointing fourth in the U.S. championships, now has an outside shot at a 200 medal. But the favorites are Felix and Campbell.
"Today we were just focusing on the start, so tomorrow my phases will progress a little bit more," Felix said.
Asked if she slowed with 70-80 meters to go, she replied: "That was definitely the plan today because I didn't want to put out any more energy than I had to. It's going to be a tough final."
Only 21, Felix has already been a world champion and Olympic silver medalist. That helps.
"It just makes me really comfortable," she said. "I've been here before and I'm more focused."


Updated : 2021-04-19 04:20 GMT+08:00