EUGENE – Track and field’s biggest “What If” of the past month got an answer on Saturday afternoon at Hayward Field.
In Sha'Carri Richardson's first competitive 100-meter race since missing out on the Tokyo Oklympics, the same women who finished top in Tokyo won once again. Elaine Thompson-Herah drew even closer to Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.49 women’s 100 meters world record with a 10.54 win. Fellow Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took second at 10.73 and Shericka Jackson finished third in 10.76.
“They pushed me to the line because I knew they were coming for me after that championship,” Thompson said. “They helped me get my 10.5 and I’m really grateful for those ladies.”
Thompson offered no comment on Richardson’s performance. The 21-year-old U.S. star finished last at 11.14 and appeared to shut down her race as the Jamaicans took off in the closing meters.
“This is one race,” Richardson told NBC after the race, “I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to. Talk all the s--- you want. I’m not done. I’m the sixth-fastest woman in this game ever and can’t nobody ever take that away from me. Congratulations to the winners ... but they’re not done seeing me yet. Period.”
Richardson returned to the track for the first time since winning the women’s 100 meters at June’s U.S. Olympic Trials. Just days after the meet’s conclusion, Richardson was controversially suspended for 30 days due to a positive test for marijuana.
Richardson watched from home as Thompson-Herah became the second-fastest woman in history with a 10.61-second win to lead a Jamaican sweep in the women’s 100 meters with Fraser-Pryce and Jackson taking silver and bronze in Tokyo.
In her first meeting with the media on Friday afternoon, she said did not change much of her routine throughout her suspension. She stayed in Florida to train, spent time with her family, went to therapy, started journaling and made an emphasis on prioritizing her mental health. July 31, the day of the Olympic final, was just another day.
“My day was a normal day,” Richardson says. “I lived my beautiful life with my beautiful family and my girlfriend just as I would have on any other day.”
The tensions between the U.S. and Jamaican sprint teams are as high as they've been since Usain Bolt battled Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.
Thompson-Herah did not realize Jamaica swept again until an hour after her race when a media member told her the results. When asked whether we should have expected anything differently, Fraser-Pryce simply said, “No, you shouldn’t have.” Thompson echoed the sentiment and said, “More to come.”
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