Sha’Carri Richardson has done it again! This time, the American track and field Olympian won the 100-meter world title Monday, putting her as a top competitor for a Paris 2024 medal.
The 23-year-old Dallas native bolted the track in a tremendous personal best of 10.65 seconds at the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre.
The win comes after her dreams of a Tokyo Olympics medal was snatched from her following a positive test of marijuana was found in her system in 2021.
The win was a striking upset of leading Jamaican sprinters Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished in second and third place.
“I’m honored, I’m blessed, I had great competition, [which] pulled the best out of me, and I’m just honored to leave with a gold medal,” Richardson said following the race.
She further added that she will keep working to improve.
“I’m going to stay humble,” she said. “I’m not back. I’m better, and I’ll continue to be better.”
The race was the first women’s 100-meter world championship by an American since 2017, when the late Tori Bowie clinched the win.
Richardson’s appearance in the final was also a theatrical feat, as she finished third in her semifinal heat, unsuccessful in clinching one of two automatic spots to compete for the title.
She initiated the race gradually out of the blocks and swerved marginally to the right in her opening run, which cost her time, but she ended well, and her 10.84 in the semifinals surpassed everyone not in the top two, netting her a spot in the final.
“She was more than capable of running 10.65; we knew that,” her agent, Renaldo Nehemiah, former world class sprinter and hurdler, told NBC News. “We just knew that running it on the biggest stage in the world is a lot harder than just saying it.”
Nehemiah added: “I’m just so proud of her, because a year ago we were light-years away from a full package of being able to compete at this level, and she’s put in the work.”
Before Richardson’s distinguished win Monday, she was a fan favorite who was expected to secure a spot in the Paris Olympics next year. She said she hopes her win will inspire athletes to overcome turbulent times throughout their careers.
“It felt amazing just knowing that not only [do] people see me as an athlete but as a person,” she concluded. “I want people to see that it goes beyond [being an] athlete. You bring who you are onto the track. You bring your athlete into your life.”