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Sanya Richards-Ross advances in London

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LONDON – Texas Ex Sanya Richards-Ross and current Longhorn Allison Peter began their London 2012 journeys Friday on the first day of track & field competition at Olympic Stadium with Richards-Ross moving on in the women’s 400m dash.

Competing in the opening round of the first of her two individual events, Richards-Ross breezed through her first-round 400m heat, crossing the finish line first in 51.78 to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.

Richards-Ross was able to distance herself on the final turn from the rest of the competitors in the fourth heat. She slowed considerably down the stretch and still beat closest contender Carol Rodriguez of PuertoRico by four-tenths of a second.

“It felt good,” said Richards-Ross of her first-round victory. “My coach and I wanted to come out in the first 200, control the turn and come in as easy as possible to conserve energy. I did that and I feel good.”

Fellow Americans Francena McCorory and DeeDee Trotter also won their heats to automatically advance. Complete 400m results from the opening round can be found here.

The 400m semifinals will take place on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Central with Richards-Ross racing in the first of three heats as the Longhorns’ lone competitor on the day. The top eight will advance to Sunday’s final at 3:10 p.m.

On the heels of Sunday’s conclusion to the 400m will be Richards-Ross’ second individual event, the 200m. Shequalified third for the U.S. out of an extremely competitive field at the Olympic Trials in June, becoming the first American woman to advance to theOlympics in both the 400m and the 200m since Valerie Brisco-Hooks accomplished the feat at the Los Angeles Games in 1984. The 200m begins Monday, Aug. 6.

Richards-Ross is also slated to compete for the United States in the 4x400m relay, which will be run Aug. 10-11.

Also racing Friday was Allison Peter in the 100m. After qualifying on behalf of the U.S. Virgin Islands with an Olympic ‘A’ standard time in the event, Peter bypassed the morning preliminary round and ran in the fifth of seven evening first-round heats. She crossed the finish line in 11.41 for seventh in her heat and finished tied for 32nd overall. Although not advancing in the 100m, Peter will join Richards-Ross and Longhorn teammate Christy Udoh (Nigeria) in the200m next week.

Results for the 100m preliminary and first round heats can be found by clicking here.

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