RUNNING AS IF HER HAIR WAS ON FIRE, Sha’Carri Richardson blazed the straight to take the 100 title with her flaming orange tresses waving at the rivals she left in her wake.
She had started her campaign by letting it be known she was ready to dominate, winning her Friday heat by 0.29 in 10.84 (wind 0.9).
Her semi was no different as she streaked to a windy (2.6) 10.64, 0.20 in front of reigning USATF champ Teahna Daniels (10.84w), Jenna Prandini (10.96w), Kayla White (10.98) & Candace Hill (11.02w). Knowing she was on her way to an impressive win, the LSU alum started pointing towards the clock some 25m from the line. NCAA champ Cambrea Sturgis, No. 2 on our formchart, ended up a non-qualifying 6th in 11.05w.
Drama came early in semi II when a distraught Aleia Hobbs was charged with a false start. The restart (with a 2.5 wind) found Javianne Oliver winning comfortably in 10.84w over Gabby Thomas (10.95w) and Rio Olympian English Gardner (10.96). Dezerea Bryant (11.03) and Twanisha Terry (11.04) were non-qualifiers in 4th and 5th.
The final, almost 2 hours later, found Richardson in lane 5. Inside her were training mate Oliver (4), Daniels (3) Prandini (2) & Hill (1). To her outside were Thomas (6), Gardner (7) & White (8), plus Hobbs (9), who had been reinstated after successfully filing a protest.
At the gun Oliver was out best, despite the slowest reaction time, followed by Daniels and Prandini. Never a quick starter, Richardson was a meter back at 40m, but that’s when she made her charge and quickly made up her deficit. She was running away from Oliver and everyone else at 70m, crossing the line in 10.86 (wind –1.0).
Oliver hung on for 2nd (10.99), with Daniels taking the coveted 3rd spot (11.03) ahead of Duck alum Prandini’s 11.11.
The jubilant victor then dashed into the stands to celebrate with her family before returning to the track to conduct an on-field interview.
Asked by NBC’s Lewis Johnson how it felt emotionally to make her first Olympic team, the 21-year-old Texan said, “Emotionally, unbelievable. The fact that I am an Olympian no matter what, a dream since I was young. Being happy is an understatement. Happy, nervous, all of those emotions.”
She then revealed that she had been on an emotional roller coaster and was running with a heavy heart, saying, “My family has kept me grounded. This year has been crazy for me. Last week, finding out my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here, still here to make the family that I do still have on this earth proud. And the fact nobody knows what I go through. Everybody has struggles and I understand that, but y’all see me on this track and y’all see the poker face I put on, but nobody but them and my coach know what I go through on a day-to-day basis.
“I’m highly grateful for them. Without them, there would be no me. Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson. My family is my everything, my everything until the day I’m done.”
Perhaps training partner Justin Gatlin summed it up best just how fierce Richardson really is and what we have to look forward to in Tokyo: “Sha’Carri’s such a firecracker. She’s capable of running 10.6. I’ve seen her at practice, and she’s capable of running 10.5, actually. She can definitely shock the world.”
WOMEN’S 100 RESULTS
(June 19; wind –1.0)
1. Sha’Carri Richardson (Nik) 10.86;
2. Javianne Oliver (Nik) 10.99;
3. Teahna Daniels (Nik) 11.03;
4. Jenna Prandini (Pum) 11.11;
5. Gabby Thomas (NBalTBB) 11.15;
6. English Gardner (Nik) 11.16;
7. Aleia Hobbs (adi) 11.20;
8. Kayla White (Nik) 11.22;
9. Candace Hill (Asics) 11.23
(lanes: 1. Hill; 2. Prandini; 3. Daniels; 4. Oliver; 5. Richardson; 6. Thomas; 7. Gardner; 8. White; 9. Hobbs)
(reaction times: Hobbs & Daniels 0.163; White & Gardner 0.164; Prandini 0.165; Thomas 0.167; Richardson 0.178; Hill 0.180; Oliver 0.210)
HEATS (June 18)
I(0.8)–1. Thomas 11.00 PR; 2. Hobbs 11.04; 3. Dezerea Bryant (Nik) 11.09; 4. Morolake Akinosun (adi) 11.14; 5. Tamara Clark (Al) 11.20; 6. Jada Baylark (Ar) 11.21; 7. Ashley Henderson (adi) 11.39;… fs—Destiny Smith-Barnett (unat).
II(-0.7)–1. Cambrea Sturgis (NCAT) 11.15; 2. Prandini 11.22; 3. Tianna Bartoletta (unat) 11.27; 4. Kortnei Johnson (Nik) 11.28; 5. Alfreda Steele (Mia) 11.37; 6. Marybeth Sant Price (FKEl) 11.45; 7. Shannon Ray (unat) 11.58.
III(1.1)–1. Oliver 10.96 PR; 2. White 10.99; 3. Daniels 11.02; 4. Maia McCoy (Tn) 11.13; 5. TeeTee Terry (USC) 11.14; 6. Caitland Smith (unat) 11.23; 7. Kiara Parker (Asics) 11.25.
IV(0.9)–1. Richardson 10.84; 2. Mikiah Brisco (Nik) 11.15; 3. Gardner 11.17; 4. Hill 11.19; 5. Hannah Cunliffe (adi) 11.21; 6. Taylor Anderson (unat) 11.36; 7. Anavia Battle (OhSt) 11.37; 8. Tawanna Meadows (unat) 11.72.
SEMIS (June 19)
I(2.6)–1. Richardson 10.64w (a-c AL) (a-c: =4, =8 W; =2, =6 A) (BGB equates to 10.78);
2. Daniels 10.84w; 3. Prandini 10.96w; 4. White 10.98w; 5. Hill 11.02w; 6. Sturgis 11.05w; 7. Bartoletta 11.09w; 8. McCoy 11.16w.
II(2.5)–1. Oliver 10.83w; 2. Thomas 10.95w; 3. Gardner 10.96w; 4. Bryant 11.03w; 5. Terry 11.04w; 6. Brisco 11.05w; 7. Akinosun 11.16w;… fs—Hobbs (advanced on appeal).