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Sha'Carri Richardson wins 100m final and makes US Olympic team

Sha'Carri Richardson wins 100m final and makes US Olympic team
Sha'Carri Richardson wins 100m final and makes US Olympic team


Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer June 22, 2024, 11:26 p.m. ET

Close Previously covered Florida State for Orlando Sentinel and Georgia Tech for Macon Telegraph, Northwestern University graduate

EUGENE, Ore. – It started with a stare.

Unlike her two previous heats at the U.S. Olympic Trials this weekend, where she exuberantly waved to the crowd during her introduction, Sha'Carri Richardson's women's 100-meter final Saturday night at Hayward Field began very differently .

Hands on hips, she stared straight ahead, with a concentration that, 10.71 seconds later, made her a first-time Olympian.

With this dazzling time, the fastest in the world achieved by a woman this year, Richardson won gold in this event and punched her ticket to the Paris Olympics. There, she will join training partners Melissa Jefferson and Twanisha Terry, who placed second and third, respectively.

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After crossing the finish line, Richardson, 24, ran halfway around the track's first corner before dropping to his knees, lowering his head and allowing himself a few moments to let his emotions take over.

“Definitely still my confidence, still my normal, exciting self, but more so overwhelmed with emotions of joy,” Richardson said of his post-race celebration. “I know that the hard work I have put in, not only physically on the track, but also mentally and emotionally, to become the mature young woman I am today and will grow into, has been hard work. a surreal moment in its own right that I really have to embrace and be able to show to the world and on the track.”

That statement to a packed media tent after her victory was the first of many statements Richardson made as she reflected on the rocky journey she's been through in recent years.

“Everything I’ve been through is everything I’ve been through to live this moment in this moment,” Richardson said. “There is nothing I have experienced that has not caused me to sit here before you to answer this question.”

Sha'Carri Richardson will be among the early favorites at the Paris Olympics after winning the 100-meter final Saturday at the U.S. Track Trials in 10.71 seconds. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In June 2021, just weeks before the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics, Richardson also won the U.S. 100-meter trials, sprinting on the same track to finish in 10.86 seconds.

But a few days later, a positive test for marijuana invalidated that result. Richardson was suspended for a month by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which says the substance is “banned in competition.” As a result, she missed the Olympics where she was supposed to medal.

This time, she should bring back even more equipment.

“Over the past three years, I have gained a better understanding of myself, a deeper respect and appreciation for my gift that I have in sport, as well as my responsibility to the people who believe in me and support me,” Richardson said. . “I feel like all of these things have helped me grow and will continue to help me become the young woman I was destined and God blessed to be.”

What Richardson says was a deeper admiration for his craft was accompanied by tangible success on the track.

Last year was a big one for Richardson, who entered the trials after winning the 100 meters at the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, last summer. His time there was a scintillating 10.65 seconds, a personal best.

It was one of two gold medals she won at the World Championships, the other coming in the 4×100 relay after her strong anchor leg held off Jamaica in a thrilling final.

Richardson attributed much of his recent dominance to coach Dennis Mitchell's work with Jefferson and Terry.

Jefferson said the trio spent their practice days pushing each other and supporting each other.

“These girls are literally my sisters. I love them to death,” Jefferson said. “If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't be sitting here right now. They pushed me in ways I never imagined I could be pushed.

“The band itself takes you to another level mentally: when you step in here on the line, I know for a fact that no one else can do what I do.”

Richardson also hopes to qualify for Paris in the 200 meters. She holds the third-fastest qualifying time for this event, behind Tokyo Olympic 200-meter bronze medalist Gabby Thomas and 2024 NCAA 200-meter champion McKenzie Long.

The first round heats of the women's 200 meters are scheduled for Thursday.


Before Richardson took center stage, Noah Lyles, the reigning 100-meter world champion, ran his heat in 9.92 seconds, the fastest time in the first round of men's qualifying. He will race for a place in the Olympics on Sunday.

Lyles, like Richardson, suffered from depression during the time of the COVID-dominated Tokyo Olympics. He made it to the Games, but won a bronze medal in the 200. The last 24 months have been spent adding the 100 to his repertoire. He looked in good shape during his first race this week at Hayward.

“It’s been a long time,” Lyles said. “And I'm so happy to be happy, happy to be here, happy to run and feel like myself.”


Michigan State's Heath Baldwin won the decathlon to make his first Olympic team. He will be joined by Zach Ziemek, who is on his third team, and Harrison Williams, who is also making his debut.

Jasmine Moore, Ketura Orji and Tori Franklin took all three spots in the women's triple jump.

Shot put

Ryan Crouser overcame a shaky elbow to win his eighth national outdoor title. He is seeking a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Joe Kovacs, who finished second to Crouser in the previous two Olympics, was second and Payton Otterdahl third.

Speaking of the United States' strength in the event, Crouser said, “If the whole world came to the trials, they would get a, maybe a, berth” in the Olympics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.




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