Sha’Carri Richardson secured her spot at the Paris Olympics with a standout performance in the 100-meter final at the U.S. Olympic trials Saturday, clocking a remarkable 10.71 seconds. This time, the fastest by any woman this year, earned Richardson the gold medal at Hayward Field on Saturday night. The victory marked a significant milestone in Richardson’s career, especially after her disqualification from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 due to a positive test for marijuana.

Unlike her usual exuberant pre-race demeanor, Richardson began the final with a focused, intense stare. Her unwavering concentration paid off, making her an Olympian for the first time. After crossing the finish line, she jogged half the first turn before dropping to her knee, overwhelmed with emotion.

“Definitely still confidence, still my exciting normal self, but more so overwhelmed with just emotions of joy,” Richardson said post-race, as reported by Coley Harvey of ESPN. “I know that the hard work I’ve put into, not just physically on the track but as well as mentally and emotionally to grow into the mature young lady that I am today and that I’m going to grow into was a full-fledged surreal moment for me to actually embrace and be able to show to the world and on the track.”

Sha’Carri Richardson celebrates win with grandmother

Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates after winning the women's 100m in 10.70 during the US Olympic Team Trials.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A video posted on X, formerly Twitter, by First and Pen shows Richardson celebrating her win with her grandmother.

Reflecting on her journey, she expressed gratitude for the lessons learned and the growth she has experienced over the past three years.

“Everything I’ve been through is everything I have been through to be in this moment right now,” Richardson said. “There’s nothing I’ve been through that hasn’t designed me to sit right here in front of you to answer this question.”

Richardson entered the trials with momentum from winning the 100 meters at the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, last summer, where she clocked a personal best of 10.65 seconds. She also contributed to the U.S. 4×100 relay team’s gold medal at the same championships.

Richardson credits much of her success to her coach Dennis Mitchell and her training partners Melissa Jefferson and Twanisha Terry, who finished second and third in the trials. Jefferson praised their close-knit training environment, emphasizing the mutual support and motivation they provide each other.

“These girls have literally been, like, they’re my sisters. I love them to death,” Jefferson said. “If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here right now. They pushed me in ways I never knew I could be pushed.”

Richardson hopes to qualify for the Paris Olympics in the 200 meters as well. She holds the third-fastest qualifying time behind Gabby Thomas and McKenzie Long. The first-round heats for the women’s 200 meters are scheduled for Thursday.