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Posted On: 13 May 2015 02:13 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:53 pm

Richards-Ross on motivation and inspiration: “I hope to lead by example”

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Sanya Richards-Ross doesn’t mince words when describing what is among her primary goals for the year when she kicks off her Diamond League season at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha on Friday night.

“I'd really like to win the Diamond League trophy this season,” the reigning 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 dozens that the American star shared during a near hour-long live chat with thousands of fans via Facebook on Tuesday night. 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.

Reflecting on an elite level career that began in her late teens, the 30-year-old Richards-Ross said, “I am still motivated by my desire to leave a lasting legacy in the sport. 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 upon her 48.70 national record which she set in Athens in 2006. Boding well, she’s off to her fastest start since that year as she arrives in Doha as the world leader at 49.95 from a race in Kingston last weekend and a freshly-minted world record holder courtesy of a blistering 400m leg in the Distance Medley Relay at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, The Bahamas, earlier this month.

“The start of my season has been great!” she wrote. “Really happy with my runs in the Bahamas and Jamaica. Happy to be fit and healthy. 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 3-4 times a week,” she continued. “It's a big part of my routine.” As for nutrition she added, “I stay away from supplements and juice my fruits and vegetables.”

Like that of other athletes, her career has not been bereft of illness and injury that forced her to the sidelines for extended periods in recent years.

“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 good worth ethic and the earlier you start the better.”

And finally, replying to a fan who asked about her ability to be a role model, she said:

“I hope to lead by example! I believe that's the best way to inspire others.”