EUGENE — Sha’Carri Richardson could’ve walked a victory lap but opted to keep running and leapt into the stands to embrace her grandmother. Since the eight women in the women’s 100m final at the U.S. Olympic Trials couldn’t catch her, it was up to photographers and broadcasters as she made her way up the Hayward Field stairs and into a suite to celebrate with her family.
“Honestly, that probably felt better than winning the race itself,” Richardson said.
In a post-race interview with NBC Sports, Richardson revealed that her biological mother died a week before the Trials. Richardson said she was not comfortable with sharing details about the specifics of her grandmother’s relationship with her.
“My family has kept me grounded,” Richardson said. “This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week losing my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dream, still coming out here and still trying to make the family that I still have on this earth proud.”
“My family is my everything,” she added. “My everything until the day I'm done."
For Richardson, it was a coronation as the United States’ best hope at a gold medal in the women’s 100m. The LSU alum sent shockwaves into the sprints universe in 2019 when she clocked a 10.75 to win the 2019 NCAA title in collegiate record-setting fashion. She failed to make the U.S. national team for the world championships in 2019 and now gets a chance to correct that mistake and become the first gold medalist for America in the 100 meters since Gail Devers in 1996. (Reminder: Marion Jones’s 2000 gold medal was stripped due to doping violations.)
Richardson ran 10.72 in April to become the sixth-fastest woman in history. In Tokyo, a showdown awaits with Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah. Fraser-Pryce ran the fastest time in the world with a 10.63 (+1.3 m/s) in Kingston, Jamaica on June 5th. Thompson-Herah took gold in the 100m and 200m at the last Olympics and ran 10.78 (+1.8 m/s) on May 2.
Javianne Oliver and Teahna Daniels ran 10.99 and 11.03 for second and third place and will head to their first Olympics.
Other notable news from Day 2
- American record holder Valarie Allman won the U.S. Olympic Trials women’s discus throw title with a 69.92m throw and heads to the Tokyo Olympics looking to become the first U.S. medalist in the event since Stephanie Brown Trafton won gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
- In the women’s 100m hurdles, 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 silver medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson’s quest to try and make a third Olympic team and her first as a mother came to an end in the first round. She finished fifth in her respective heat. The top three in each heat and the next two fastest advanced to the semifinals and Harper-Nelson’s 13.12 was not fast enough.
- Reigning Olympic champion Brianna McNeal, who was banned five years for tampering with part of a doping control process and is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, advances to the women’s 100m hurdles semifinal with the second-fastest time of the day 12.50. The appeal is going to be heard before the Tokyo Olympics and if the ban is upheld, she would miss the upcoming Olympics and the 2024 Games in Paris.
- World record holder Keni Harrison posted the fastest women’s 100m hurdle time of the. day with a 12.49.
- In the men’s 100m, Trayvon Bromell, who entered the Trials with the fastest time in the world (9.77), won his respective heat of the men’s 100m in 9.84 (2.7 m/s). 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, now 39 years old, took second in 9.93 as he attempts to make his fourth Olympic team.
- Allyson Felix safely advanced to the eight-woman women’s 400m final on Sunday night. She is attempting to make her fifth U.S. Olympic team and her first as a mother. Felix can finish in the top six of the final and qualify for Tokyo as a possible member of the U.S. 4x400m relay pool.
- There were no major surprises in the women’s 1,500m semifinal. Nikki Hiltz, a 2019 world championship finalist who came out as transgender non-binary on March 31st, posted the fastest time of the semifinal with a 4:05.87. Hiltz told reporters that they predicts it will take a sub-four-minute performance to make the Olympic team. Seven women in the final hold the Olympic standard for Tokyo.
- No upsets in the men’s 800m semifinals. Bryce Hoppel, a former star out of Kansas who finished fourth at the 2019 world championships, ran the fastest time of the round in 1:46.00. Donavan Brazier, the American record holder and reigning world champion, gets his chance at making his first Olympic team in Monday’s final.