Fort Lauderdale native Sanya Richards-Ross easily cruised to the semifinals in the 400 meter race Friday, in what she hopes will be a quest for gold.
The track star came in third place in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics and is back hoping for gold in 2012.
"The main thing I told myself is that it's not over yet," Richards-Ross was quoted by the Sun Sentinel as saying. "If I had this opportunity I was really going to give it my best again."
Richards-Ross competed in the qualifying rounds of the 400-meter Friday at 7 a.m. She effortlessly won her heat, clocking in 51.78 in the race and qualifying for the semi-finals.
Prior to the race, she tweeted, "Headed to the track!!!! Been patiently waiting for this time to come, can't believe it's finally here! #OperationGold."
A graduate of the University of Texas, Richards-Ross ran locally for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.
John Gorino, the assistant coach for women's track and field at Florida Atlantic University, trained her at the high school in 1999.
"Ever since 2002 world juniors, I told her 'You're going to tell me what it feels like to stand on the podium and know the national anthem is for you'," he said.
She won gold medals on the 4x400-meter relay teams in Athens and Beijing, and took a bronze in the 400-meter final in 2008 – a disappointing performance after she faltered late.
Richards-Ross is a favorite for gold in the 400 meters and will also compete in the 200 meters.