Following several significant losses, controversy, and online backlash, promising track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson made her return to the field for a fantastic comeback debut over the weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.
During the 2022 Duval County Challenge American Track League meeting, the 22-year-old made an unexpected appearance during Saturday’s event at the Hodges Stadium. It marked her first time running after withdrawing from three competitions three months earlier without any explanation earlier this year. Richardson was set to go up against Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Kip Keino Classic.
Running in a rainy headwind of 1.5 m/s, the Dallas native finished in fourth place, clocking in at 11.37 in the women’s 100 meters — a big difference from her all-time-best of 10.72 from April 2021. Essentially Sports reported that roughly an hour into the race, the rising sprinter and several others competed on a flipped track orientation, where Richardson finished first this time in 11.27 seconds.
Richardson was reportedly spotted celebrating before the match ended and was later seen embracing her other opponents.
Essentially Sports noted that it’s unclear why there was a rerun when the initial schedule listed only a preliminary race and final. However, due to inclement weather, only one race took place. Furthermore, not all competitors in the previous game were present, including its winner Aleia Hobbs.
While news of Richardson’s meet didn’t make many outlets, several blogs caught it, and fans were happy to see the young star was back, including one Instagram user who commented, “AS SHE SHOULD we love a good comeback story.” Another fan wrote, “Resiliency I love to see it in my people.” “I love how it looks like she’s gonna lose but then she speeds up takes it! I’m rooting for her!” wrote a third online user.
Some fans encouraged the athlete to continue pushing. Comments echoed that of one person who wrote, “Don’t let these people force you to be humble carri they see the material.”
As previously reported, Richard suffered a slew of setbacks last year since her Olympic Trials win was disqualified due to a positive marijuana test. She was ultimately left off the team entirely.