Sha’Carrie Richardson really showed her speed, style, and focus with the meet record win in Doha on 5 May 2023. Providing us his analysis of her triumph is Deji Ogeyingbo.
Sha’Carri Richardson’s statement win in Doha reignites a career that was on the edge of the cliff.
It was perhaps fitting that on the week Olympic Gold medallist Tori Bowie passed away, her compatriot Sha’Carri Richardson was the sprinter that took down one of her meet records in the Wanda Diamond League. Bowie had held the record since 2016, and Richardson shaved 0.04s off it to blitz to a new record of 10.76s and claim a very first win in the annual series of elite track and field athletic competition.
Sha’Carri Richardson, USATF Outdoor Track and Field, Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, June 23-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris
There are so many things to unravel from Richardson’s win in Doha, but the top of the list has to be what to make of this win that saw her take down some of the finest sprinters on the circuit at the moment. The win was self-assured, dominant, and bullish. She showed signs of these attributes in the early stages of her career and could be in full force if she stays consistent.
On the surface, it is glaring to see how difficult she is to beat if she concentrates on her running, and Doha is another case in point of her keeping her head level and delivering when it matters most. To her left on the track were the last two gold medallists at the world championships in the mold of Shericka Jackson and Dina Asher-Smith while one of the most precocious sprinters who is on a mission to take her spot as the top in US sprinting Abby Steiner was two lanes to her right.
Watch Sha’Carri Richardson beat Shericka Jackson in the women’s 100m at the Doha Diamond League in 10.76s!
Jackson was 2nd in 10.85s. pic.twitter.com/cBIWoUH0w6
— oluwadare (@Track_Gazette) May 5, 2023
Maybe this played on her mind and took her concentration level a notch higher. The question remains if she can maintain it for the rest of the season and when the odds are against her. As we’ve seen over the past two seasons, it doesn’t take much for that to happen. But here, in her much more trimmed posture and contrite appearance, Richardson was unflustered by the adroitness of Jackson, who prior to the race, held the world lead with 10.82s.
“I’m so blessed and thankful; I feel at peace. All I do is the best I do, and I’m excited to do it,” Richardson said. “Like I said before, I had to be kicked out from another 100m race, so I had to do my best no matter what. Peace, love, and life.”
Richardson looked smooth, and despite Jackson having a slight advantage a few meters into the race, the LSU alumni held her cool and sped past the Jamaican with about 70m into the race and still had enough time to open up a gap afterward. This is peak Richardson. We saw a glimpse of it in early April when she scorched to a very windy 10.57s in Florida.
— Travis Miller (@travismillerx13) May 5, 2023
The win over Jackson and Asher-Smith sends a message throughout the track world about her intent this summer and, more specifically, her shape. Also, if you’ve been in the game long enough, there is usually a familiar rhetoric that world titles are not won in May. Some of the best keep their body in tune for when it matters, and they burst out in full then.
For Richardson, this win will be seen as a watershed moment for her. Does it serve as a springboard to immediately put her in contention as one of the favorites for the world championship in Budapest? Maybe not, but there is no denying that she will have a huge say in what happens as subsequent races pile on.
Less we forget we haven’t seen the world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce race this year as she pulled out of the Continental Gold Tour in Gaborone last week. We don’t know which side Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson-Herah will show us this year. Whatever happens, Richardson has proved that she belongs at the sport’s top echelon, and Doha served as another reminder of that.