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Athletics | International

Sanya Richards-Ross © Gallo Images

Sanya pleased hubbie has London pass

Two-time Olympic medallist Sanya Richards-Ross has expressed her delight at the thought of her NFL-playing husband actually catching her in action at a major championship in this summer's London Games.

American Richards-Ross, 27, has been a regular feature in top-level track and field going back to her teenage years.

The Jamaican-born 400m specialist, who in March was crowned world indoor champion in Istanbul, was world outdoor champion in Berlin in 2009, a year after winning bronze at the Beijing Olympics.

She also has three world and an Olympic 4x400m relay gold medals to her name.

But husband and right cornerback Aaron Ross, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, has missed it all since he began dating the track star in 2003, with the couple getting married in February 2010.

However, that is about to change.

Ross, who signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a three-year, $15.3 million deal in March, has been given a pass to travel to the British capital to watch his wife compete.

"We got word from the Jaguars that they're going to allow him – and this is unprecedented – to miss three days of camp to be able to come to London to support me," said Richards-Ross.

"It's such a huge deal. I never thought my husband would be at an Olympic or world championships because he always has to be at camp.

"So I think it's going to give me that edge I need to have my best performance and my first (individual Olympic) gold medal."

Richards-Ross said she had been given motivation by the way her husband dealt with rebounding from injury to be part of the Giants team that beat the New England Patriots 21-17 to win the 2011 Super Bowl in February.

"He's been so much motivation and inspiration for me," she said. "When he was down, it was hard because in his sport someone can take your spot and it's so hard to get it back.

"He's been a rock of support for me and it's not a distraction for me, it's helped me."

Richards-Ross added: "I went to the Super Bowl to support him.

"But I didn't go to any of the post-match celebrations because I was seriously training and competing at that time!"

Having witnessed the Super Bowl up close and personal, Richards-Ross said that improvements could be made to the world of athletics, although she understood how hard it was for fans to tune in to European meets.

"As an athlete, I'd love to see more of it in the United States but I do understand we compete with a lot of huge sports: the NFL, the NBA, baseball," she said.

"There are so many huge sports in the United States that make it difficult for track and field to always be in the limelight.

"However, I do appreciate that in an Olympic year, we do get that spot."


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