Sanya Richards-Ross dislikes rule

Updated: June 29, 2011, 5:32 PM ET
Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- United States sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross disagrees with team selection rules that are keeping Tyson Gay out of a 100-meter duel with world-record holder Usain Bolt at the world championships.

Richards-Ross said Wednesday she's disappointed Gay missed selection in a strict system that picks the 1-2-3 finishers in each event at the U.S. trials.

"I think it should be first two (qualify), and the third should be a coaches' selection based on fitness and race sharpness," the 400-meter world champion said before the Athletissima meet.

Gay has the world season-best time of 9.79 seconds but sustained a hip injury and pulled out of the trials last week at Eugene, Ore.

Under U.S. team rules, Gay is ineligible for individual events at the worlds in Daegu, South Korea in August. If fit, he still could be picked for relays.

However, the 2007 world champion at 100 and 200 -- and track fans worldwide -- will be denied a repeat of his 2009 worlds showdown with Bolt, which the Jamaican won in a record 9.58.

"I'm disappointed," Richards-Ross said. "I am a huge fan of the sport and I was looking forward to that race as well."

The rule cost her a place at the 2007 worlds in Osaka, Japan, after she fell ill at the trials.

Richards-Ross was top-ranked and the reigning world athlete of the year but placed fourth and missed selection in the 400. She took home one gold medal from Osaka as part of the winning 4x400 relay team.

As the defending world champ, Richards-Ross gets automatic entry to the 400 at Daegu.

She seeks a return to winning form at the Lausanne Diamond League event after a series of injuries wrecked her 2010 season.

"It has proved a little bit tougher than I thought it would be to get back into racing shape," she said. "Some losses will make me humbler when I'm victorious again."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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