Richards Gets One-Third of $1M Jackpot

Texas ex cements best season of career

Sanya Richards
Sanya Richards (photo courtesy of IAAF)

Last month, Austinite and former Texas Longhorn Sanya Richards won a gold medal; yesterday in Brussels, she won the Golden League.

Just as in 2007, the newly crowned 400 meters world champion went unbeaten in the six Golden League track & field meetings in Europe, giving her a share of the $1 million jackpot for any athletes who can accomplish that feat in their respective disciplines.

She was matched in her accomplishment by Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva (pole vault) and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele (5,000 meters), so her share this time was $333,333.33. Two years ago, she raked in half a million.

Richards blasted out her one lap of the track in Brussels in 48.83 seconds, far ahead of her nearest challenger and the fastest time in the world this year.

“I really wanted to go under 49 seconds but of course [it was] a little bit cold and rainy, so I wasn’t sure,” Richards told NBC’s UniversalSports.com, “but I pulled it off and got a new meet record so I’m very, very happy.

“A lot of times the bad weather can be distracting, so I wanted to remind myself that it didn’t matter what the weather was like. I know how to run my race. So I wanted to stay in the moment stay focused.”

In the past few seasons, Richards had to endure the frustration of being ranked No. 1 in the world but coming up short in global championships, including last year’s Beijing Olympics. Last month in Berlin, she lifted her curse by claiming the world title.

“The best season of my life,” Richards said. “To be world champ and also win the jackpot, it just proves anything is possible if you just believe. “

Richards still has one meet remaining, next weekend's IAAF World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki, Greece.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Track & Field
Richards Named Track & Field News Woman of Year
Richards Named Track & Field News Woman of Year
Quartermiler and two other Texas Exes get No.1 rankings

Lee Nichols, Dec. 29, 2009

One More Gold for Richards
One More Gold for Richards
Texas ex anchors United States relay team to world championship

Lee Nichols, Aug. 23, 2009

More by Lee Nichols
Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015

Beer Flights
Beer Flights
Celis: welcome home

Aug. 17, 2012

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Track & Field, Sanya Richards, Golden League

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle