Track star Sha’Carri Richardson will get her chance to race the Jamaican sprinters who dominated the 100-meter event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Next Saturday, Aug. 21, Richardson is set to compete against Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson in the Prefontaine Classic, held in Eugene, Oregon. Just weeks ago, Thompson-Herah won gold, Fraser-Pryce secured the silver and Jackson brought home the bronze— capturing a clean sweep in the event and a memorable moment for the Caribbean nation.
Richardson, of course, was forced to skip the entire Tokyo Olympics after she failed a drug test due to marijuana usage. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspended the rising star for a month, sparking a national debate on the banned drug.
The 21-year-old Texas native apologized on national television and admitted she smoked marijuana because she was coping with the loss of her biological mother. Her suspension polarized the nation — prompting a response from several members of Congress and even President Joe Biden.
When the Jamaican women swept the 100-meter event on July 31 — even as social media users argued over who would’ve won if Richardson competed — Richardson congratulated them graciously. “Congratulations to the ladies of Jamaica for the clean sweep. Powerful, strong Black women dominating the sport,” she tweeted. Teahna Daniels, who replaced Sha’Carri Richardson in the race, placed seventh with a time of 11.02 seconds.
Now, Richardson’s redemption is right around the corner. She will be one of nine racers in the women’s 100-meter event. The Prefontaine Classic will be the first professional race the track star has participated in since she zoomed past the competition with times of 10.64 and 10.86 at the U.S. Olympic qualifying trials in June. Thompson-Herah broke the Olympic world record when she finished first in the 100-meter event in Tokyo with a time of 10.61 seconds. All eyes will be glued to both runners during the race.
Richardson is also set to compete in the 200-meter event as well. Her representative recently told TMZ Sports that, “Sha’Carri is focused on running a good race since she last competed at the US Olympic Trials.” “She will be focused on executing her race to the best of her ability regardless of who is in the race,” the rep said.