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DAEGU (Sporting Alert) — American Sanya Richards-Ross will open the defense of her women’s 400 metres title in heat five at the IAAF World Championships this weekend.

Richards-Ross, who started the season slowly, is rounding back into form at the right-time and she showered praises on her coach, Clyde Hart for his hard work at getting her through the tough times.

“I’m very fortunate to have a coach who has so much experience in the sport for so long and so he kept a level head and made me do the same,” the American said.

“Coach Hart knew I was ticking like a time bomb but he didn’t know when I was going to go off. So I just kept believing.”

“He really helped me to never lose faith when I was out there. It was tough taking some whoppings but it definitely made me stronger and more humble.”

Richards-Ross will be up against Jamaica’s Shericka Williams and Great Britain’s Nicola Sanders in the opening round of the championships.

Meanwhile, Russian world-leader and gold medal favourite Anastasiya Kapachinskaya opens in heat two, while American Allyson Felix, doubling at a major championships for the first time, is in the first section.

She will match early strides with Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills.

Elsewhere, Amantle Montsho of Botswana is in the fourth heat alongside Francena McCorory of USA, while Great Britain’s 2007 champion Christine Ohuruogu will take on Jamaica’s Rosemarie Whyte in heat two.

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