LONDON -- Disappointment, tears and that oh-so-unsatisfying color -- bronze -- are all in the past for Sanya Richards-Ross.
On this trip to the Olympics, she closed the deal.
Four years after a late fade left her crying and wearing the Olympic bronze medal, Richards-Ross won the 400-meter gold she always thought she could.
"What I have learned is you don't win the race until you win the race," Richards-Ross said. "I knew I had to cross the finish line first to call myself the Olympic champion."
She did it.
Nearly banging elbows with runners on both sides of her -- and with the defending champion making up ground on the outside -- Richards-Ross got stronger, not weaker, this time over the last 100 meters.
She surged to the finish, won by about a body's length and punched her fist when she crossed the line in 49.55 seconds Sunday night to give the U.S. its first track and field gold medal of the London Olympics.
"I just kept saying, 'You can do this, you can do this,"' Richards-Ross said. "I just dug really deep and I'm very happy."
Defending champion Christine Ohuruogu of Britain finished second in 49.70 and American DeeDee Trotter, decked out in red, white and blue glitter on her face, won the bronze in 49.72.
This moment, though, belonged to Richards-Ross, whose parents relocated from her home country of Jamaica when she was 12, in part to advance what looked like a promising running career.
At the end, she wrapped herself in the American flag and went to the stands to embrace her husband, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Aaron Ross, who took time off from NFL training camp to travel to London.
"You finally did it, you finally did it, babe," he told his wife. "Enjoy the moment."
Other winners were Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Krisztian Pars of Hungary in the men's hammer throw, Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan in the women's triple jump, and Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia in the women's marathon. Oscar Pistorius, the amputee "Blade Runner" from South Africa, finished last in his 400-meter semifinal but will get another chance in next week's 4x400-meter relay.
* SAILING: Ben Ainslie earned another gold in the Finn class to become the most successful sailor in Olympic history.
After trailing the entire regatta, Ainslie was spot-on with his tactics in the medals race and got a little help from the front of the fleet. He won his fourth straight gold and fifth straight games medal overall, eclipsing Denmark's Paul Elvstrom, who won four straight gold medals from 1948-60.
"That race was certainly one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, but thankfully I came through," he said.
* BASKETBALL: Diana Taurasi had 22 points and the U.S. women matched their Olympic scoring record in a 114-66 rout of China.
The Americans' 38th consecutive victory in Olympic play gave them the top seed in the group for the quarterfinals. The U.S. will meet Canada on Tuesday.
Angel McCoughtry scored 16 as the women equaled the 114 points they scored against Spain in 1992, but fell well short of the women's Olympic mark of 128 points set by Brazil in 2004.
France finished undefeated in pool play, beating Russia 65-54, and will play the Czech Republic in the quarters. Turkey meets Russia and Australia faces China in the other matchups in the next round.
* BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor beat Italy in straight sets in the quarterfinals to remain on track for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
The Americans earned a berth in the semifinals against Beijing bronze medalists Xue Chen and Zhang Xi. The Chinese team has beaten the two-time defending Olympic champions the last three times they've met.
The No. 2 U.S. women's team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross also advanced, beating the Czech Republic 25-23, 21-18. The Americans next play reigning world champions Juliana and Larissa of Brazil.
* VOLLEYBALL: The undefeated U.S. women's team lost captain and three-time Olympian Lindsey Berg to a left ankle injury during a straight-set victory over Turkey.
The Americans breezed through the second set and took a 9-5 lead in the third before Berg limped off the court. The setter removed her shoe, and a trainer wrapped the ankle in ice.
Berg said she didn't think the injury was serious and she should be ready to play in Tuesday's quarterfinal.
Destinee Hooker scored 19 points in the 27-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory for the U.S., which had clinched the top seed in its pool.
China and Russia each posted five-set victories. Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Japan also won.
* WATER POLO: The United States will face Australia in a matchup of gold-medal contenders in the semifinals of the women's tournament.
The Americans beat European champion Italy 9-6 to reach the last four, and Australia moved on with a dramatic 20-18 win over China.
Melissa Seidemann scored three goals and captain Brenda Villa added two more as the U.S. recovered from a 2-0 deficit.
Hungary plays Spain in the other semifinal on Tuesday.
* DIVING: China's Wu Minxia won the women's 3-meter springboard for her first individual gold and record-tying sixth career medal.
Wu led all but one round of the five-dive final, totaling 414.00 points. She tied retired countrywoman Guo Jingjing with six medals. Wu and partner He Zi also won the 3-meter synchronized title in London.
He took the silver with 379.20, giving China its sixth diving medal of the games, including five gold after sweeping the synchro events.
Laura Sanchez Soto of Mexico earned the bronze at 362.40.
* CYCLING: Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark won the gold medal in the men's omnium following a crash in one of the six races of the event.
Hansen hit the wooden boards in a curve after connecting with the rear wheel of Briton Edward Clancy in the scratch race but was uninjured and got back on the track.
He managed to rejoin the peloton after regaining a lap and finished sixth at the line. Hansen then produced a big effort in the 1-kilometer time trial to win the inaugural Olympic title in the multidiscipline event with a total of 27 points.
Bryan Coquard of France took the silver medal and Clancy was third.
* WRESTLING -- GRECO-ROMAN: Hamid Soryan is the first Iranian to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling, taking the men's 55-kilogram division.
The five-time world champion beat Rovshan Bayramov of Azerbaijan 2-0, 1-0 in the final. Peter Modos of Hungary and Mingiyan Semenov of Russia won bronze medals.
Russia's Roman Vlasov, who hails from the same Siberian town that produced wrestling great Aleksandr Karelin, beat Armenia's Arsen Julfalakyan 1-0, 1-0 in the final of the men's 74-kilogram category.
Lithuania's Aleksandr Kazakevic and Azerbaijan's Emin Ahmadov won bronze medals.
* BADMINTON: Lin Dan led the way as China swept all five badminton gold medals at the Olympics, defending his title by beating Malaysian rival Lee Chong Wei 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 in men's singles.
When Chong Wei's final shot landed long, Lin sprinted around Wembley Arena until he was tackled by his coaches.
A short time later, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng won the men's doubles final to complete China's golden sweep. They defeated Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 21-16, 21-15.
* EQUESTRIAN: Saudi Arabia leads the standings at the equestrian team show jumping competition after a first day dominated by a veterinarian's decision to disqualify a Canadian horse.
The Saudis had just one penalty point and were followed closely by the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden and Switzerland, all with four penalty points and tied for second.
* FIELD HOCKEY: Teun de Nooijer marked his 450th match for the Netherlands by scoring in the 36th minute to help the Dutch men's team to a 3-1 win over Germany.
Bob de Voogd and Mink van der Weerden scored the other Dutch goals as the Netherlands became the first team to qualify for the medal round.
Britain staged a thrilling comeback to draw 3-3 with No. 1 Australia, scoring three second-half goals. Belgium and New Zealand drew 1-1, meaning neither team will advance to the knockout round.
Pakistan beat South Africa 5-4, and South Korea defeated India 4-1 with three late goals.
* HANDBALL: Montenegro squeezed into the quarterfinals of the women's handball tournament when it tied Russia 25-25.
Katarina Bulatovic scored seven goals for Montenegro, which advanced thanks to Angola's 29-26 loss to Brazil.
Brazil had already secured a spot in the quarterfinals from Group A, while Angola was eliminated.
Croatia defeated host Britain 37-14, and Ryu Eun-hee scored 10 goals for South Korea in its 32-28 victory over Sweden. Britain finished the tournament without a victory.