Sha’Carri Richardson makes history, winning the World Athletics 100m gold

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Chakari Richardson said she has always been a hero. In her debut at the World Championships in Athletics in Budapest, Hungary on Monday, she took home the 100m gold.

The incredible 10.65-second sprint came all the way on the outside in lane 9. The time was a World Championship record and a personal best for the 23-year-old. The world record is 10.49 from Florence Griffith Joyner, and Richardson is now tied for the fifth-fastest women’s 100-meter title in history.

It was an unprecedented performance, as no one had ever won the title having achieved a final based on time rather than automatic qualification. Richardson is also the first world champion in the 100m in six years. Before Richardson, the late Tory Bowie was the last American sprinter to bring home the 100-meter gold medal from the worlds in 2017.

Richardson looked stunned after crossing the line, covering her mouth as she looked at the time and blowing a kiss to the sky. A goal that eluded LSU’s former advantage demanded a veteran’s balance of execution.

After Richardson led the field as the fastest qualifier at 10.92 seconds on Sunday, it wasn’t a sure bet she’d make it to the final. Just an hour before winning the world title, she ran 10.84 in her semi-final after an uncharacteristic start and some misplaced side steps. But she pulled herself together for a strong finish to finish third behind Jamaica’s Sherica Jackson and Marie-José Ta Lou of Ivory Coast.

With the first two winners receiving automatic qualifying points in its heat, Texas had to wait for the next heat to finish to see if its time was fast enough. After learning that she’s made it to the final, she’s forced to erase the previous race from her mind, a task that’s easier said than done.

From being stripped of her national title and a berth at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana to failing to reach the semi-finals at the 2022 US Championships before the worlds, Richardson has struggled in the moment. Early in the season, she said she found peace on the track. Three months later, that revelation continues to bear fruit.

“I don’t worry about the world anymore. I’ve seen the world be my friend, I’ve seen the world turn on me. At the end of the day, you’ve always been with me. God has always been with me. And being on that scale now, it’s time,” she said. He said After Sunday’s qualifying race. “It’s always been my time, but now it’s time to actually do it for myself, for people who have felt like me, people who look like me, and people who know the truth about themselves too. I represent those people.”

Shakari Richardson, of the United States, celebrates after winning the women's 100m final during the World Championships in Athletics in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Chakari Richardson, from the USA, started the season by saying she didn’t come back – she was better. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

His position in the far lane during the final meant that Richardson had to run without any approaching favourites, away from the hustle and bustle of the competition in the middle of the track. Jamaican legend Shelley Ann Fraser-Pryce was in lane five, and Jackson was right next to her. But that doesn’t matter. Richardson was already gone as Jackson and Fraser-Pryce raced to the finish in times of 10.72 seconds and 10.77 seconds respectively for second and third places.

The Jamaican and American rivalry is alive and well in the women’s 100. The top three finishers haven’t always gotten along over the years, but there was nothing but respect after the final as they posed for photos and embraced each other after the race.

When Richardson won the US Outdoor Championships title in the 100m with a world-leading 10.71 this summer, it was Jackson who beat the time. She won the Jamaican Championships in 10.65, and is now the world silver medalist. Fraser-Pryce’s bronze finish made her the most decorated Jamaican athlete in the world, overtaking Usain Bolt.

Grant Holloway makes 110 homers in history

American Grant Holloway completed a historic feat on Monday night as well.

He achieved a time of 12.96 in the 110-meter hurdles, becoming the second man to win three consecutive world titles in the event since the late Greg Foster. Foster was the Olympic silver medalist in the 110 hurdles in 1984 and won gold in the world event in 1983, 1987 and 1991.

Holloway, 25, was the silver medalist at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He is also the second fastest man in the history of the event with a personal best of 12.81 seconds.

“I’m speechless right now,” Holloway said Monday. “Nothing quite like the first, but this one I will definitely cherish in my heart.”

Jamaican Olympic champion Hansel Parchman won the silver with a time of 13.07 seconds on his comeback after withdrawing before last year’s final due to a hamstring injury.

This year’s final saw a reintroduction for America after the US was excluded from the event in 2017. Two more Americans made it to the final, with 25-year-old Daniel Roberts winning the bronze medal in 13.09 seconds.

Holloway was a standout at the University of Florida. He often found himself sparring with Roberts, who went to the University of Kentucky. The two went head to head in the 110 hurdles final of the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which was Fastest NCAA 110m hurdles ever.

“To come back here and do that with my brother (Roberts), we started running through college together, fighting fights, and now we’re able to fight those fights on the world stage,” Holloway said.

Another former Gator had a standout moment on Monday in the women’s 400m semi-final. American Talitha Diggs, 20, qualified for the World Championship final, coming in second with a score of 50.86 from lane 9. She is the youngest in the field.

It was the end of the road for American Lena Irby-Jackson, who was called up to run the 400 in the World Championships after Sidney McLaughlin-Livrone withdrew with a knee injury. Although Irby Jackson had the fastest time for an American in the event, running 50.71, she finished third in her race. The last qualifying time was 50.62.

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