Sha’Carri Richardson headed to Paris with 100-meter victory

EUGENE, Ore. — Sha’Carri Richardson will finally get her shot at gold.

Richardson, one of the United States’ biggest track and field stars, won the 100-meter with a time of 10.71 at the Olympic trials on Saturday at Hayward Field. It was the fastest women’s 100 time in the world this year.

Melissa Jefferson and Twanisha Terry, who finished second and third, also qualified for the 2024 Paris Games. All three train together at Star Athletics.

“It definitely confirmed the year that we’ve been training for, preparing for,” Richardson said. “I’m super excited … to go forward with my girls.”

2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field - Day 2
Twanisha Terry, Melissa Jefferson, and Sha’Carri Richardson react after finishing in the top three in the women’s 100-meter dash final to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Richardson finished with a time of 10.86 in her semifinal heat and ran a 10.88 in the opening round on Friday, the fastest of any of the 34 sprinters. Her time was especially impressive considering she stumbled out of the starting block.

“[I] definitely didn’t have the start that I have been training for this moment,” Richardson told NBC after her win Friday. “But still, not panicking, staying patient. And knowing that no matter what’s going on, to continue to run my race.”

Richardson, 24, goes into the Paris Games after one of the best years for a sprinter in American history. She ran a 10.65 at the world championships in August in Budapest, an event record. Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 35-year-old world record of 10.49 still stands.

Richardson also claimed gold in the 4x100m relay as well as bronze in the 200-meter at the world championships.

Paris will be a chance for redemption for Richardson, who missed out on the 2020 Olympics. She won the trials that year but was not allowed to compete in Tokyo after she tested positive for THC. She said on NBC’s “TODAY” show she ingested it after the death of her mother.

“I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do … and I still made that decision,” Richardson said at the time. “I’m not making an excuse or looking for empathy in my case. However, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that … dealing with the relationship I have with my mother, that definitely was a very heavy topic on me.”

Another gold medal favorite, Noah Lyles, will advance to the men’s 100-meter semifinals Sunday night. He won his first round heat Saturday with a time of 9.92.

Lyles — who will also run in the 200-meter next week —  is seeking to become the “fastest man on Earth,” a title an American hasn’t held in 28 years. 

“I would definitely say that’s the best I’ve felt” in a first round, Lyles said after the race. “This year I felt like I have everything. I’m doing it, I’m executing it when I want it and it’s coming.”

Lyles said his goal in the semifinal and final is to run under 9.7. 

“I definitely want to get to that range,” he said. “From what we’ve seen in training, it’ll come. It’s just focusing in, not racing the clock but running to win and letting your body take over.”

Shot putter Ryan Crouser, who won the gold medal in both 2016 and 2020, will be in position to go for his third in a row. He won the shot put final Saturday with a throw of 22.84 meters. He’ll be joined on the team by Joe Kovacs (22.43) and Payton Otterdahl (22.26).

Jasmine Moore, Keturah Orji and Tori Franklin all punched their ticket by taking the top distances in the women’s triple jump. Moore finished 23rd in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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