Sanya Richards-Ross speaks to fans online in Doha ahead of her 2015 IAAF Diamond League debut (© Organisers)
Sanya Richards-Ross doesn’t mince words when describing what is among her primary goals for the year when she kicks off her IAAF Diamond League season at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha on Friday (15).
“I'd really like to win the Diamond Race trophy this season,” the Olympic 400m champion said. “Everyone that follows me knows I love diamonds so it's only right!”
Her comment, which was followed by a big ‘LOL’ – or ‘laugh out loud’ in internet lingo – was one of many that the US sprinter shared during a near hour-long live chat with thousands of fans via Facebook on Tuesday (12).
The four-time Olympic and five-time World Championships gold medallist answered dozens of questions and discussed a variety of topics, from training philosophy and nutrition to dealing with injury and maintaining her motivation.
“I am still motivated by my desire to leave a lasting legacy in the sport,” said the 30-year-old Richards-Ross, reflecting on a professional career which began in her late teens. “I’ve been blessed to have a long career so now I want to continue being my best and leaving my mark.”
Adding to that legacy is also among her goals by way of improving on the 48.70 national record she set in Athens in 2006.
She is already off to her fastest start since that year and she arrives in Doha as the world leader at 49.95 from her win in Kingston last weekend. She also has a world record to her name, having ran a storming 400m leg on the victorious distance medley relay team at the recent IAAF World Relays, Bahamas 2015.
“The start of my season has been great,” she wrote. “I’m really happy with my runs in The Bahamas and Jamaica. I’m Happy to be fit and healthy and I’m looking forward to a great race here on Friday.”
Several fans inquired about her training and what’s required of an athlete to become of the finest her event has ever witnessed.
“I train five days a week with two days off and I try to get at least eight hours sleep every night,” she wrote. “Rest is extremely important to training.”
“I lift weights three or four times a week,” she continued. “It’s a big part of my routine.” As for nutrition, she added: “I stay away from supplements and I juice my fruits and vegetables.”
Like many other athletes, her career has not been without periods of illness and injury that forced her to the side-lines for extended periods.
“It wasn’t easy staying sane during injury but you have to listen to your body,” she said. “You have to trust your instincts and know that the body will respond.”
Most appreciated were the words of inspiration she shared with aspiring athletes.
“It’s never too early to start training hard and setting lofty goals,” she wrote. “It’s important to have a good worth ethic and the earlier you start the better.”
“I hope to lead by example,” she added. “I believe that’s the best way to inspire others.”
Organisers for the IAAF