Sanya Richards-Ross: Usain Bolt the greatest sprinter of all time

American Sanya Richards-Ross is in India as the ambassador of the Delhi Half Marathon.

Sanya Richards-Ross, the 400m London Olympics Gold-medallist.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Is Usain Bolt the greatest sprinter of all time? Sanya Richards-Ross, the 400m gold-medallist at the London Olympics and considered the fastest American in the category, has given her nod of approval.

“Usain Bolt is perhaps the greatest sprinter of all time. I never thought anyone could run faster. He was a true champion,” she said at a press conference here on Thursday.

On her maiden visit to India to serve as the ambassador of the Delhi Half Marathon, she expressed gratitude for a “warm reception.”

“Everyone I have met has been so warm, and I was actually surprised to see that people recognised me at the airport. I get a lot of lovely mails from Indian fans which have motivated me through my career,” she said.

To develop a sporting culture for India, Richards-Ross was all praise for the concept of the half-marathon. She said, “I have been a part of a couple of half-marathons before, once was in Argentina. I believe that most of the participants are actual athletes and there is a different feel to the whole surroundings of a raceday. The whole city is also involved, and I really admire the energy and passion that the runners show at the starting line.”

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She chose the occasion to encourage Indians to inculcate this nascent pursuit of running. “There are positive changes in the culture as lots of young people want to get involved in track and field events, which is always a good indication of the status of the sport. I am proud to see how running has changes in India and I look forward to seeing more young Indian runners,” she said.

However, it will not be more of the same for Richards-Ross. Running has taken a backseat since she retired in 2016, and since then, she has dabbled into philanthropy and writing books.

Discussing these trajectories in her post-retirement life, Richards-Ross admitted she was lucky to have the support around her to transition from sport - a tough proposition, she admitted, for many sportsmen.

Her achievements in the athletics track were the foundation on which she would go on to do other things in life, she said.

And one of them could be watching cricket. Her Jamaican roots allowed her to grasp the magnitude of the sport in India; her father, she revealed, was elated at her visiting “the heartland of cricket.”

The Delhi Half Marathon will be held on Sunday (October 21).