By Alison Wildey
LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Olympic 400 meters champion Sanya Richards-Ross shook off the effects of a night celebrating her gold win to run the fastest time in the first round of the 200 on Monday.
Competing in a bright red bodysuit on a cool overcast evening in the Olympic stadium, Richards-Ross, who earned her first individual title at the Games on Sunday, won her heat comfortably in 22.48 seconds.
“We celebrated until around two this morning, even when I laid down I could not sleep I was so excited,” Richards Ross told reporters.
“I am excited to be back on the track again I feel light and free. I had my gold medal on all night I’ve never done that.”
Jamaica’s 100 champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also stayed on course for a possible sprint double after easing into the second round in 22.71.
Her compatriot and defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was third in her heat (22.75) for the final qualifying spot after appearing to ease down on the home straight.
Campbell-Brown’s arch-rival Allyson Felix, who has finished second to the Jamaican at the previous two Games, won her heat in 22.71.
The graceful American, with a record eight world championship medals, was easily identifiable in her fluorescent yellow running spikes and shin split protectors on each leg which she said were just precautionary.
“I just wanted to get out there and work the first half and try to control the race,” she said.
American Carmelita Jeter, 100 meters silver medalist, also went through as a heat winner in 22.65.