Embattled track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson is on the road to a comeback, and the first step is getting a big win to remind everyone how good she is.
According to Let’s Run, the U.S. sprinter defeated Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah in the women’s 100-meters at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meet in Lucerne, Switzerland. This was a World Athletics Continental Tour silver competition, which is the second level of the tier below the elite Diamond League. In baseball terms, this is the minor leagues.
In cold, wet conditions and a -2.0 m/s headwind, Richardson ran a 11.29, beating the gold medalist by .01 of a second. American Celera Barnes finished third with a time of 11.40.
The controversial athlete hasn’t competed since the U.S. championships in June, where she failed to qualify for the world championships. Meanwhile, Thompson-Herah picked up a bronze at worlds and gold at the Commonwealth Games.
When news of her success hit social media, Sha’Carri’s fans were out in full force. One user tweeted, “Sha’Carri Richardson got a whole lot of hate when she was going through her situation & when she loss those races , now let’s reverse that & show her the same amount of love for winning.”
Another message read, “Sha’Carri Richardson win should be talked about a lil more than it is... she won give her her due.”
Richardson burst on the scene at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, running a ridiculous 10.86 in the 100-meters. However, shortly after the meet, it was revealed that she failed her drug test by testing positive for marijuana. She was suspended from competition for 30 days and missed the Tokyo Olympics.
Her road back from scandal has been a roller coaster of bad races and PR missteps. Hopefully, this win signals a return to peak levels as the track world gears up for the 2024 Paris Games. A big part of a sport like track and field is confidence, so beating the Olympic champion in a side by side race is sure to help her regain some of her swagger.