Sha’Carri Richardson suffers stunning setback at U.S. championships

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Seeking to represent the United States in an international event after losing his spot at the Olympics last year, Sha’Carri Richardson suffered a stunning setback Thursday at the U.S. Athletics Championships by failing to make it out of a preliminary heat in the 100 meters.

Richardson finished fifth with a time of 11.31, much slower than the 10.85 she posted earlier this month while finishing second overall in the 100m at a meet in New York.

In Eugene, Oregon, site of the national championships, the top three finishers secure athletes a spot on the US team for the world championships. This event, which will also be held at Eugene’s Hayward Field, will take place next month.

Richardson can still qualify for the world championships by finishing in the top three in the women’s 200 metres, the first round of which is Saturday. She won the 200m at the New York meet with a time of 22.38.

At last year’s US Olympic trials, also held in Eugene, Richardson ran the 100m in 10.86 to win the event and become the favorite to win a medal at the Tokyo Games later that summer. However, after marijuana was detected in her system, her result was overturned and she received a one-month suspension which prevented her from competing in the 100 in Tokyo. Richardson’s suspension ended in time for her to potentially compete in the 4×100 relay at the Olympics, but she was not selected for Team USA.

After missing the Olympics, Sha’Carri Richardson stays in her own lane

After failing to qualify in his 100m heat on Thursday, Richardson squeezed through the mixed zone and declined to speak to the media.

The 22-year-old from Dallas, Richardson rose to instant stardom both for her performance at the Olympic trials and for her striking personality, including her confident attitude and eye-catching looks. She won the sympathy of many fans after she explained that she used marijuana to help cope with the devastating death of her mother. Two members of the House Oversight Committee, Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), have written a letter to major anti-doping agencies urging them to reconsider the rules and circumstances that led to Richardson’s suspension.

During the New York meet, Richardson proved to be still a very popular figure among the fans.

“Don’t let the media, don’t let people, don’t let a company, try to stop you from shining, because you shine,” she told a group of young supporters (according to the Associated Press). ). “We are the light.”

His runner-up finish in New York was his second in a row at a major event, following a similar performance in May at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. Richardson posted a time of 10.92 in that event, but Thursday’s sprint on the same track yielded a much worse result.

His time of 11.31 was the ninth slowest out of a field of 31 who competed. Aleia Hobbs, 26, ran the fastest with a time of 10.88 and was a member of the US women’s 4x100m silver medal team in Tokyo. Sixteen competitors qualified on Thursday for the semi-finals of the women’s 100m, which will take place on Friday.

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