American sprinter and Dallas native Sha’Carri Richardson continues to prove the doubters wrong 

U.S. sprinter Sha’carri Richardson declared to the world that “I’m here, I told y’all” and the mantra that she’s been using this year, “I’m not back, I’m better” after winning the women’s 100 meter at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Monday. The twenty-three year old would run in the outside lane which she said she felt “in my own world, which honestly has been like that all my life. I’ve always been in my own world, my own element, so being in lane 9 was perfect for me to do what it is I know to do and to focus [more] on myself.”

Richardson would beat Jamaican sprinters Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who finished second and third place respectively. Richardson would finish the race in 10.65 seconds, which not only set the championship record but also bested Fraser-Pryce’s previous record time by .02 seconds. The sprinter out of Carter High School has had a productive year thus far.

Prior to the World Athletics Championships, Richardson became the U.S. national champion in the women’s 100 meter at the U.S.A. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon winning in 10.82 seconds to qualify for Monday’s race. She also placed first in the Diamond League Meeting in Doha, Qatar and the Silesia Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzów, Poland.

Richardson poses with Jamaican sprinters Shericka Jackson (l) and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (r) (Associated Press)

“My goal this year is to do what I should have done in these last two years already,” Richardson said to the media prior to her victory in Hungary. In the summer of 2021, she would be placed on a one month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for THC. Although Richardson was off suspension and eligible to compete to qualify for the national team, she wasn’t selected and missed an opportunity to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She returned to the track in late August 2021 at the Prefontaine Classic, placing ninth and putting her before the court of public opinion.

Cannabis use in sports has been a controversial topic for quite some time, but in recent years, a lot of leagues have been lenient on the use of cannabis with even the National Basketball Association no longer testing for it. As for the World Anti-Doping Agency, they have changed the allowed levels of THC for Olympic athletes from 15 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL ten years ago, but cannabis overall is still prohibited.

Richardson smoked cannabis in Oregon, a state in which it has been decriminalized since 1973 and legal to purchase for recreational use since 2015. Richardson was quoted saying that the use of the plant was to deal with loss of her mother and the pressure of competition. In the midst of all the noise, she remained poised and positive to become the fastest woman in the world.

“I feel like hard work pays off. I’ve been dedicating myself. I’ve been keeping my faith strong this season and just believing and knowing whatever you practice is what you put forward, and I’m grateful”, Richardson would tell Eurosport. She also placed first in the 200 meter heat on Wednesday and is one of six women in the pool for the 4×100 meter relay team.

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