The American sprinter sent a strong message, running under 11 seconds twice in her second 100m meet of the 2023 season in April. Sha’Carri Richardson is set to race in the 200m at the Botswana Grand Prix.
Sha’Carri Richardson has the swagger, and she’s backing it up with numbers on and off the athletics track.
Her impressive wind assisted 10.57 seconds on April 8, was the fourth-best ever women’s 100m performance in all conditions.
A super boost for the sprinter known for her flashy attires and big personality.
Richardson’s fierce confidence has also made her very popular on social media. With over two million Instagram followers, half a million on twitter, she’s one of the most followed track and field athletes and was namechecked in her favourite song by Canadian rapper Drake. Her profile could be a huge boost for women’s sprints.
After such a speedy start to the season, expectations are high that the 100m standout will light up the track after missing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021 and the 2022 World Athletics Championships after being suspended**.**
Richardson is back, blazing hot, and showing signs that 2023 could be the year that she finally holds it together to win her first major race.
When Richardson emerged on the national stage, winning the AAU Junior Olympics as a 16-year-old, it cemented her as the No.1 ranked sprint recruit in the U.S. class of 2018. And just a year into her freshman year at Louisiana State University in the U.S., her announcement to turn pro was no surprise.
The North American collegiate record holder had sped to a sub 10.8 seconds in the 100m and a sub 22 in the 200m on the same day, a first for women’s sprints. She had also posted an impressive 10.75 to win the 2019 NCAA.
As the fastest woman in the U.S., she was seen as a top contender in the global sprints, then teeming with Jamaican depth.
She was the immediate stand-out star who caused a stir. From her athletics exploits to her no-holes barred interviews, and her off-and-on track attention-grabbing displays.
The then 21-year-old was the favourite heading to Tokyo after her jaw-dropping 10.72 at a 2021 meet in Miami, the fastest then and the sixth fastest in history.
At the U.S. Olympic Trials, the biggest meet of her career, the Dallas native bursting with glamour and ready for the show. From her fiery orange dyed hair picked by her girlfriend, her trademark long fingernail extensions, to her extended elegant eyelashes, it was all about her mid-race surges and colourful victories right through the heats, semi’s and finals.
“I just want the world to know that I am that girl. And every time I step to the track I’m going to do what me, my coach, my support team believe I can do,” she said in an interview with NBC.
The U.S. finally had a shot at a medal that had eluded it’s 100m female sprinters since Atlanta 1996.
“My presence in this track game making history happen, no need for a thank you,” she tweeted.
Her speed and looks complemented her larger-than-life attitude. Richardson even drew comparisons to legendary sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner, Flo-jo. A flattering link to the women’s world record holder, who’s 10.49 dash from 1988 remains unmatched.
“I feel I have an influence from the greatest of them all: Flo-Jo. When she ran track, her stepping on the track, she brought a whole different scenery to the energy, to the atmosphere of track and field. And she didn’t let that stop her,” Richardson said in a 2019 Interview.