LONDON (WAVY) - Hampton's Francena McCorory had a shot at a medal, but she had to run under 50 seconds. That didn't happen.
McCorory finished seventh in the 400 meter finals in London. This is the Bethel High School graduate's first Olympics. The former Hampton University track star does most of training here in Hampton Roads, including the last few weeks leading up to London.
"I want to go out there and race a smart race," said McCorory just before she left for London.
She looked like she had a shot heading into the last 100 meters, but that's when American teammate Sanya Richards-Ross pulled away.
Four years after a late fade left her crying and wearing the Olympic bronze medal, Richards-Ross won the 400-meter gold she always thought she could.
"What I have learned is you don't win the race until you win the race," Richards-Ross said. "I knew I had to cross the finish line first to call myself the Olympic champion."
She did it.
Nearly banging elbows with runners on both sides of her, and with the defending champion making up ground on the outside, Richards-Ross got stronger, not weaker, this time over the last 100 meters.
She surged to the finish, won by about a body's length and punched her fist when she crossed the line in 49.55 seconds Sunday night to give the U.S. its first track and field gold medal of the London Olympics.
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