Sha’Carri proud of ‘sisterhood’ with J’cans
COUNTING BACK, maybe, two years, Sha’Carri Richardson and Jamaica seemed to be headed on a collision course.
The American was fast, but a fiery attitude and a very public spat with a Jamaican girlfriend left a bitter taste.
Before that, the 100-metre winner at her country’s National Championships in Eugene, Oregon, had been banned for three months and would not make it to the 2020 Olympics, held in Tokyo in 2021.
Then she wasn’t so fast.
She crashed out at the following US National Championships, failing to make the team to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in 2022.
There was a touch of, let’s call it schadenfreude, from Jamaicans all over, who had also uttered the same sentiment when Richardson finished last in a race dominated by Jamaicans Elaine Thompson Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson.
In 2023, Richardson has been fast again, beating Jackson over 100 metres not once, but three times headed into today’s Diamond League final in Eugene, Oregon.
But Richardson’s form headed into the Prefontaine Classic and her favourite tag is not all that different.
She’s still fiery, but she seems to have made friends with the Jamaicans she finished ahead of at the World Championships in Budapest last month for her first global title.
Richardson is candid about the budding relationship, saying she knows it was unexpected.
“I’ve enjoyed creating a sisterhood that a lot of people felt like wasn’t possible,” said Richardson, during a Diamond League press conference on Friday.
Richardson was deliberate when she used the word ‘created’.
According to her, “No matter what nobody says, I know that my demeanour, my vibe, has helped create that; no matter what media may say is the story or they may want to portray.”
Richardson, as World champion, starts favourite for today’s 100 metres set for 3:40 p.m. The American will face stiff competition from Jackson, Thompson Herah who’s rounding into form, as well as other usual suspects like Ivory Coast’s Marie Josée Ta Lou and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith. Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison, who recently ran a season’s best 10.95, also faces the starter.
While Richardson is proud of the sisterhood she has created, when she lines up today, all that will go out the window.
“So I love sisterhood; I love women. If y’all know, or don’t know. And yeah, so it makes me excited to see those things at the end of the day, knowing that, yes, we may have like an ultimate respect for each other. But when we go on the line, we also know that we want to come out first, no matter what.”
Still, Richardson, as has been said by a number of sprinters, including six-time World champion Fraser-Pryce, and Jackson, wants to get the process right and feels there is better to come if she nails her execution.
“More important to me is execution than the time, the placement. At the end of the day, all that is just a bonus to execution. As long as I go out there and execute the race that I know me and my coach have been training to do all season, I’m happy with that.”