Sanya Richards-Ross to retire after Rio Olympics
Olympic 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross plans to make the Rio Olympics her final meet, according to her social media.
The announcement was not a surprise from Richards-Ross, 31 and a three-time Olympian.
Richards-Ross previously said she could see Rio being her final Olympics and that she (very briefly) considered retiring during this injury-plagued Olympic cycle.
Richards-Ross will be older in August than any woman who owns an Olympic 400m medal, according to sports-reference.com.
One woman has won back-to-back Olympic 400m golds — France’s Marie-José Pérec in 1992 and 1996.
Richards-Ross must finish in the top three in the U.S. Olympic Trials 400m final on July 3 to clinch a berth in the individual 400m in Rio. She likely needs to be top six to earn a place on the Olympic 4x400m relay.
Richards-Ross shockingly failed to make the eight-woman final at the 2015 U.S. Championships but was still named to the 4x400m relay team for Worlds last August.
She entered the U.S. Championships as the second-fastest woman in the world in the event in 2015.
Now, World champion Allyson Felix is the Olympic 400m favorite. Countrywoman Francena McCorory finished 2015 as the second-fastest American, followed by Richards-Ross.
Two more Americans -- Courtney Okolo and Quanera Hayes -- have already posted 400m times in 2016 that were faster than Richards-Ross’ best all of last year.