In one of the most eagerly anticipated 100m finals in recent memory, Sha’Carri Richardson ran down the field from lane 9 on Monday night to seize the gold in a championship record and a co-world-leading time of 10.65 at the Budapest 23 World Athletics Championships in Hungary.
“I’m here.. I told y’all, I’m not back, I’m better,” said Sha’Carri Richardson.
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The American tapped into her signature top-end speed, tracking down the world leader, Shericka Jackson (10.72), and reigning champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.77) at the finish line.
Starting the race with a decent but not exceptional start, the US Champion remained in close contention with the field. As she transitioned out of the drive phase around the 50m mark, Sha’Carri Richardson was level with most of the women. By 65-75m, she caught up to Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou (10.81), before her superior top-end speed propelled her past Fraser-Pryce and a leaning Jackson.
Sha’Carri Richardson triumphantly crossed the finish line, celebrating with both arms raised.
After qualifying based on time in 10.84, in what was widely regarded as the “Heat of Death” (one of the fastest semifinals ever) behind the global favorite and world leader Jackson (10.79), and an undefeated Ta Lou (10.79) until this race, Sha’Carri Richardson advanced to her first championship final at the senior ranks.
This achievement has proven to be no small feat. Despite being a teenage prodigy and collegiate star, where her 100m record still stands, her transition to the professional level wasn’t as smooth as expected. After initially winning the 2021 Olympic Trials, she faced infamy due to disqualification and suspension for a cannabis violation. In 2022, she failed to progress past the rounds at the US National Championships to represent her country in Eugene.
She joins the esteemed ranks of American women 100m champions like Gail Devers (1993), Gwen Torrence (1995), Marion Jones (1997/1999), Tori Edwards (2003), Lauryn Williams (2005), Carmelita Jeter (2011), and most recently the late Tori Bowie, who in 2017 exhibited similar heroics at the line to catch the aforementioned Ta Lou.
Interestingly, 2017 marked the last year when both men’s and women’s 100m finals were won by Americans, with Gatlin defeating Usain Bolt in his final individual race as well. This year, Noah Lyles aims for the sprint double with another gold in his favored 200m, after winning the 100m in 9.83 on Sunday.