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Sanya Richards-Ross wins 400 meters; first gold for U.S. in track at London Games

Sanya Richards-Ross from the U.S. holds her national

Sanya Richards-Ross from the U.S. holds her national flag and celebrates after winning the women's 400-meter final. (August 5, 2012) Credit: AP

LONDON -- Sanya Richards-Ross got her gold medal.

Four years after a late fade left her crying and wearing the Olympic bronze medal, Richards-Ross won the 400-meter gold she always thought she should.

Nearly banging elbows with runners on both sides of her -- and with the defending champion making up ground on the outside -- Richards-Ross got stronger, not weaker, this time over the last 100 meters.

She surged to the finish, won by about a body's length and punched her fist when she crossed the line in 49.55 seconds last night to give the United States its first track and field gold medal of the London Olympics.

"I just kept saying, 'You can do this, you can do this,' " Richards-Ross said. "I just dug really deep and I'm very happy."

Defending champion Christine Ohuruogu of Britain was second in 49.70 and American DeeDee Trotter, decked out in red, white and blue glitter on her face, won the bronze in 49.72.

Richards-Ross wrapped herself in the American flag and went to the stands to embrace her husband, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Aaron Ross, who took time off from NFL training camp to travel to London. "You finally did it, you finally did it, babe," he told his wife. "Enjoy the moment."

Imagine what the trophy case at their house must look like. Ross has two Super Bowl rings, from when he played for the Giants. His wife now has an individual gold to go with two others she won in previous Olympic relays, with more possible in this year's relays.

New York Sports