Jamaica 1,2,3 At Prefontaine Classic, Sha’Carri Richardson, Dead Last
Leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, there was much talk about the US 100m Champion Sha’Carri Richardson being the favourite to win the women 100m finals by most American sports agencies. What was missing was the blatant disrespect for the reigning Olympic gold medal champion, Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah, two-times Olympic gold medal champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Olympic, world and collegiate champion Shericka Jackson.
If you asked any Jamaican who would win the Tokyo women 100m Olympic finals, they would reply Jamaica. Their answer was purely accurate to facts, not rhetoric. For decades the island of Jamaica has dominated the sprint world and produced some of the biggest names in sprinting from Bolt, to Blake, to Fraser Pryce and 2021 Tokyo Olympic 100m champion Thompson–Herah.
With three Jamaicans in the Tokyo Olympic finals, they tripled their country’s odds of winning gold. Not only did they take home the gold, but they also took home the silver and bronze medals. It was a clean sweep for the Jamaicans. A country of three million owned the podium and again proved to the world why they are the global superpower in women 100m sprinting.
However, it was not long before rumblings from American broadcasters and Sha’carri indicated had she not failed her drug test for marijuana and automatically disqualified her for participating in Tokyo, the results might have been different.
Sha’Carri got her chance Saturday evening, to race against the Jamaican champions at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, USA and embarrassed herself. As a matter of fact, Richardson came dead last in the 100m championship finals. She was slow out of the blocks and lacked any speed to contend with the Jamaican Olympians and the other world champions.
It was Deja Vu all over again. Just like the Toyko Olympics, Jamaica finished 1,2,3 at the Prefontaine Classic. Elaine Thompson-Herah two-times Olympic gold medal champion finished first with a world best time at 10.54 seconds, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce second and Shericka Jackson third.
After the race, Richardson briefly left the field without congratulating the winner, which is customary to do as a sign of good sportsmanship. Moments later, reporters caught up with Richardson for a post-race interview and instead of humbling herself, she was filled with hubris, blame and lacked humility.
Richardson’s interview made her look bitter, petty and classless. “I’m the sixth-fastest person and no one can take that away from me.” Said Richardson If this was elementary, she would get a purple ribbon for participation. No one cares that she is the sixth-fastest woman to run the 100m period.
Richards blamed all the past circumstances for her humiliating performance and made reference to a month layoff. If Richardson took her craft as serious as the Jamaicans, she would have taken the month of the Olympics to train as she has never trained before and, prove to the world why she is the best 100m. Instead, she took to social media trying to convince the world why she is the greatest 100m sprinter of 2021.
It is quite the contrast between the Jamaican sprinters and Richardson, from preparation to character and humility. After sweeping the 100m Olympic finals, they went back to training because that is what champions do. At no point did they respond to Richardson’s claim to being the fastest woman on the planet, instead they praised her for being a great athlete. The Jamaicans showed how champions carry themselves.
Richardson is a good American champion, but nowhere near Olympian level calibre. If she wants to be called an Olympian, she needs to do a whole lot of soul searching. The American Track & Field Association also needs to ensure a better support system is in place for her and other people dealing with grief as her performance at the Prefontaine Classic can have a negative effect,
The world got the race they wanted and it is settled once and for all, the Jamaican women are the greatest sprinters of all time!