After two years and much grief stemming from a failed drug test, out sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has stormed back to the world stage in a big way: In the 100-meter race in Budapest, Hungary, Richardson crossed the finish line in 10.65 seconds, which set a championship record and secured a world title.
Richardson beat Shericka Jackson, the reigning 200 world champion, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 22-time world and Olympic medalist, both from Jamaica. Jackson and Fraser-Pryce received the silver and bronze medals, respectively, but Richardson received the gold — her first ever medal.
Richardson got off to a slow start in the semifinal competition against Jackson and Marie-Josée Ta Lou, but caught up to finish in third place with a time of 10.84. Just over an hour later, she won the gold medal race in a small fraction of a second. Richardson beat Jackson by .07 seconds and bested Fraser-Pryce by .12 seconds.
The victory marked a strong turnaround for Richardson after she suddenly lost the opportunity to participate in the Tokyo Olympics due to the widely-reported drug test that came back positive with traces of marijuana. Richardson stated that she used marijuana to help cope with the death of her mother and the stresses of the Olympics.
Now that’s all in the rear-view mirror. After winning her race, Richardson told the track announcer, “I’m here, I told y’all. I’m not back, I’m better,” according to ESPN.
She is on track to compete in the Paris Olympics taking place next summer.
When asked what her message would be after her victory, Richardson stated, “I would say ‘never give up.’ Never allow media, never allow outsiders, never allow anything but yourself and your faith define who you are. I would say, ‘Always fight. No matter what, fight.’”