Just over two months ahead of U.S. Olympic Trials, sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson made a huge statement.
At Saturday’s Miramar Invite, Richardson clocked 10.72 (+1.6 wind) in the 100m to become the sixth fastest woman to ever run the event.
— USATF (@usatf) April 10, 2021
The only women to run faster are some of the biggest names in track and field history: Five-time Olympic medalist Florence Griffith-Joyner, three-time Olympic medalist Carmelita Jeter, Marion Jones (who was stripped of her five Olympic medals in 2007), six-time Olympic medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and three-time Olympic medalist Elaine Thompson Herah.
Richardson’s showing could be a sign of a very fast 100m field at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, where Fraser-Pryce is expected to compete as the reigning world champion and Thompson Herah as the defending Olympic champion.
One of the most remarkable things about Richardson’s 10.72 run is that it is only April 10th, making it the fastest time ever run before May. According to NBC Sports’ Nick Zaccardi, the previous pre-May record was Merlene Ottey‘s 10.87 mark at Mt. SAC in 1987.
In June 2019, Richardson – then a freshman at LSU – broke the women’s NCAA record in the 100m, clocking 10.75 seconds. But a month later, she failed to qualify for the 2019 World Championships when her time at U.S. National Championships was nearly a second slower (11.72).
That raises the question: is Richardson is peaking too soon?
Richardson doesn’t think so.
After today’s race, Ato Boldon – who was calling the action for USATF.TV – asked Richardson, “What does 10.72 mean to you?”
To which she replied: “That my season is going to be unbelievable.”Follow @AlexAzziNBC
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