Emotional Sanchez turns loss into victory

Emotional Sanchez turns loss into victory

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Emotional Sanchez turns loss into victory

AFP Photo

Felix Sanchez stormed to an emotion-fuelled victory in the Olympic men’s 400m hurdles on Aug. 6 as he finally made good on a promise to win a medal for his adored late grandmother.

The 34-year-old from the Dominican Republic cut a forlorn figure at the 2008 Beijing Games when he was eliminated in the heats just hours after being informed of the death of his grandmother Lilian, who had raised him as a child.

But on Aug. 6, the 2004 champion provided one of the signature moments of the London Games as he reclaimed his crown in 47.63sec.

Sanchez produced a photograph of his grandmother from his vest after crossing the line and kissed it before breaking down in tears.

He later sobbed uncontrollably as he stepped up to collect his medal.

Sanchez later wept again as he recalled the dark day in Beijing four years ago when he had learned of his grandmother’s death.

“I made a promise that day that I would win a medal for her,” Sanchez said. “It took me four years.”