Sha’Carri Richardson has made an impressive return to the game of track and field – and this time – she’s rocking her natural tresses in a praiseworthy move as seen through the eyes of naturalistas everywhere.
Before the big hair statement, the Dallas native would stand apart from the rest with bright-colored and bold wigs, specifically during most of the 2021-2022 season, when she threw her wig away during the USA Track and Field Championships. More recently, she made her mark by donning yellow hair in Oregon, Eugene.
At the Diamond League Final this year, Richardson snagged fourth place in the women’s 100m race and clocked 10.80s after Elaine Thompson-Herah’s 10.79s timing, bringing her in at third place.
Second-place winner Marie-Josée Ta Lou recorded an impressive 10.75, trailing behind her rival Shericka Jackson, who clinched first place with a remarkable 10.70s during the 100m race.
After the race, Richardson spoke to NBC stating:
“I will say my coach, I told him that if I go 10.06, I’ll wear my natural hair. So, when I became the world champion, instead of a championship record I ran a 10.65. So I had to pull out the natural.”
In May, Richardson made a record-breaking appearance at the Diamond League season opener in Doha.
The first-rate track and field runner clinched first place in the 100m in 10.76 seconds (the fastest time in the world this year). The win makes her the only American woman to break 10.80 seconds in six years. Her personal best was in 2019 with a time of 10.72 seconds.
The Dallas native also broke the 2023 record of 10.82 seconds set by Sherika Jackson, the star athlete who hails from Jamaica. Jackson came in second place at 10.85 seconds and Dina Asher-Smith came in at 10.98 seconds, winning third place.
“I found my peace back on the track, and I’m not letting anything or anybody take that anymore,” the track star told NBC Sports.
The win improves the 23-year-old’s odds of making it to the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in July, where the top three in the 100m could qualify for the world championships in Budapest in August.
In 2021, sports pundits expected Richardson to win big at the Tokyo Olympics but she was banned after testing positive for marijuana. At the time, she admitted to using the substance after her mother died.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions, I know what I did and what I’m not supposed to do,” Richardson said at the time.
Following the controversy, she was offered a $250,000 endorsement deal with a vape company, but she declined. Nike, who had been sponsoring Richardson since 2019, stood by her following the debacle and continued to endorse her.
“We appreciate Sha’Carri’s honesty and accountability and will continue to support her through this time,” the company told ESPN.