Richards-Ross has year’s best 400m time

Richards-Ross has year’s best 400m time

Richards-Ross has year’s best 400m time

Richards-Ross celebrates her birthday with the best 400m of the season.

Former world champion Sanya Richards-Ross celebrated her birthday with the fastest 400 meters of the year as Americans sped to four season-leading performances at the U.S. world indoor championships trials at Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday.

Richards-Ross, 27, clocked a lifetime indoor best of 50.71 seconds to join sprinters Trell Kimmons and Tianna Madison and hurdler Kristi Castlin with 2012’s top times.

“The American record was my goal,” said Richards-Ross, who missed the mark by 17 hundredths of a second.

It has already been an eventful year for the 2009 outdoor world champion and her husband, cornerback Aaron Ross of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, who were also celebrating their second wedding anniversary.

Kimmons edged out 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin to win the 60m by 0.02 seconds in a personal best 6.45 seconds.

Madison, the 2005 world outdoor long jump champion, continued her domination of the women’s 60m, winning in 7.02 seconds to equal her 2012 world leading time. Castlin supplanted Briton Jessica Ennis as the year’s fastest women’s hurdler, clocking a lifetime best 7.84 seconds. High jumper Chaunte Lowe added to the strength of the American team with a national record 2.02 metres, and Gil Roberts won the men’s 400 in a fast 45.39 seconds. The top two finishers in each event qualified for the March 9-11 IAAF world championships in Istanbul. Hard-luck hurdler Dexter Faulk and three-times world indoor shot put champion Christian Cantwell will miss the trip.

Faulk, who ran the year’s fastest 60m hurdles in Saturday’s preliminaries, was disqualified in Sunday’s final because of a false start. Aries Merritt won the event in 7.43 seconds.

U.S. Olympic hurdlers Terrence Trammell and David Oliver also failed to advance. Cantwell finished third in the shot put behind former world indoor and outdoor gold medallist Reese Hoffa and Ryan Whiting.

Hoffa won at 21.75 metres. Reigning world women’s long jump champion Brittney Reese and the year’s top men’s long jumper, Will Claye, were also defeated but made the team.

Reese lost to Janay DeLoach and Claye, already the triple jump winner, was upset by heptathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton.

DeLoach leaped 6.89m twice with Reese, who jumped 6.86m on her first attempt, fouling four times.
Eaton, who will compete only in the heptathlon in Istanbul, sailed to 8.06m with Claye jumping 8.02m twice. He fouled on his four other attempts.