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Sha’Carri Richardson coldly won the world title. Now, her destiny is to become the Olympic Champion

The curious case of Sha’Carri Richardson: How can the sprinter turn around her career?

Deji Ogeyinbgo wrote this piece on one of the most popular athletes in our global sport, Sha’Carri Richardson, and her focus was on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Sha’Carri Richardson coldly won the world title. Now, her destiny is to become the Olympic Champion.

Sha’Carri Richardson should have been down and out.

After an arduous period between 2021 and 2022, it took 10.65s for the American to get back to the top of the world. She came full circle in Budapest when she won the women’s 100m at last year’s world championships- a race with four of the fastest women of all time, including her. But she came within whiskers of it all not happening.

The United States had earnestly yearned for a marquee female sprinter that would challenge the prowess of the Jamaicans at both the world and Olympic levels. In the last decade, a few sprinters have popped up on the scene to take up that mantle, but they haven’t been able to sustain the momentum. Then came Richardson.

Sha’Carri Richardson, 100m,
USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, June 23-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

Missing the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and not qualifying for the 2022 World Championships on home soil greatly affected Richardson’s prospects and career. The one precocious athlete touted as the next big thing needed to make a statement on the track last year. She emphatically answered her critics.

Richardson came away with two gold medals and a bronze medal in Budapest, but in the 100m, she proved her mettle about not being a flash in the pan. How she navigated those phases leading up to Budapest is one of brilliance. The statement she uttered at the US Trials about not just being back but better had run its entire course as she eventually became the world champion.

Richardson raced with a purpose, driven by the desire to carve out a path to her future and etch her name in history. In her pursuit, she faced formidable competitors in Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, both formidable athletes in their own right. The latter has been the epitome of longevity Americans craved. Undeterred by the challenge before her, Richardson approached the race with a brutal, cold, and calculating mindset, leaving no room for hesitation or doubt.

Sha’Carri Richardson, USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix
Gold Label track & field meet
May 26, 2023, Los Angeles, USA, photo by Kevin Morris

There are three things worth saying about Richardson. The first, often…

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