Sha’Carri Richardson may have finished last in her first race since her one-month ban, but it seems as if losing to Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah has only fueled her fire.
Thompson-Herah outperformed herself along with everyone else at the Aug. 21 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, as she ran the second-fastest women’s 100 meters in history in 10.54 seconds, topping the 10.61-second time that earned her another gold medal in last month’s Tokyo Games. Rounding out the top three were her Olympic teammates and medalists, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.73), and Shericka Jackson (10.76).
Thompson-Herah admitted that she surprised even herself and felt nothing but pride for her new personal best time, which places her directly behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record 100 time of 10.49 seconds. “To come back with a [personal best] after the championships, that is amazing,” said Thompson-Herah. “I haven’t run that fast in five years.”
Surprisingly finishing in ninth and last place at 11.14 seconds was American runner Sha’Carri Richardson, who was banned from racing for a month after she tested positive for cannabis during the U.S. Olympic Trials, resulting in her disqualification from the Games.
Following her loss, Richardson gave an impassioned interview, telling NBC that haters can count her out as much as they want, but she’s not done. “This is one race. I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of,” she stated confidently. “Count me out if you want to. Talk all the s**t you want. Because I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth-fastest woman in this game ever and can’t nobody ever take that from me.”
She later withdrew from the 200m race.
In another press conference, Richardson apologized for her reaction immediately after the race and told reporters that she’s rooting for all women.
“At the end of the day no excuses, not at all. It’s time to get back in the lab and do what it is that I need to do,” she said. “Congratulations to the women that won. I love women no matter what the flag is, no matter what brand you wear. I love successful women and I hope they continue to be just as successful as they’re doing and continue to thrive in their career. I’m definitely going to thrive and I’m definitely going to continue to show the world why I’m that girl.”
Richardson later reiterated her support of all Black women on Twitter, writing, “I love all black, I don’t see flags.”
When asked about Sha’Carri’s post-race comments to NBC, the gold medalist simply said “I wasn’t paying any mind, but no comment about that.”