Sha’Carri Richardson Image credit: NBC Sports Youtube screenshot

Sha’Carri, Shericka, Shelly-Ann Gave Track Everything It Needed


The excitement leading up to the women’s 100m final at the World Athletics Championships on Monday was exactly what track and field needed and craved.

It featured a classic rivalry between the U.S. and Jamaica in a battle for bragging rights in the fastest-woman category between Shericka Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Sha’Carri Richardson.

No disrespect to Marie-Josee Ta Lou, Julien Alfred, Brittany Brown, Dina Asher-Smith, Tamari Davis or Ewa Swoboda, but all eyes were on the aforementioned trio.

And those eyes were definitely laser-focused on Richardson, the young, brash American track star.

Sha’Carri is extremely self-confident and unapologetic in her thoughts and beliefs. Unfortunately, many mistakenly take that as a sign of arrogance and eagerly anticipate her failure at every meet she competes in.

She’s the complete opposite of the soft-spoken Jackson and the always-smiling and bubbly Fraser-Pryce, which adds to the rivalry between the two countries.

But on the track, those attitudes take a backseat to talent and speed and that’s exactly what happened in the 100m finals.

At the gun, Swodoa in lane 1 charged out of the blocks but was quickly run down by Jackson and Shelly-Ann. Yet on the opposite bookend of Swoboda in lane 9, Richardson couldn’t even be seen on camera thanks to her usual slow starts.

But around the 30m mark, Richardson’s legs started to move and she began reeling in the field. With roughly 30m left, she passed everyone as her raw speed powered her down the stretch, with the Jamaicans and the finish line in her sights. It looked like Jackson was going to take it, but Sha’Carri, boosted by her ridiculous finishing speed, surged through the line .07 ahead of Jackson to claim her first world title in a blistering 10.65.

Her gold medal-winning run caused a social media eruption and she quickly became the top story of the day.

Yet the real story is that in under 11 seconds, Sha’Carri, Shericka and Shelly-Ann did for track what others couldn’t- give it the attention, rivalry and storylines it desperately needed.

That’s not to say that Noah Lyles’ 100m victory, Grant Holloway’s third 110mH World title or the thrilling win by the U.S. in the mixed 4x400m relay weren’t exciting because they absolutely were.

But what these three women did for the sport in that brief moment of time should be celebrated and cherished.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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