Days After Withdrawal, Sha’Carri Richardson Recalls Blazing 10.90s Performance

Published 05/30/2023, 6:00 AM EDT

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Elite track-and-field athletes from across the world gathered for the Los Angeles Grand Prix 2023. The highly anticipated event was held at the esteemed UCLA Drake Stadium, a 1973 establishment that is regarded as the most illustrious gathering of track-and-field competitors in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics. With its ambitious goals and strategic investment by organizers, the LA Grand Prix was aimed at pulling the sport out of the dark alley to pave the way for the 2028 Olympic Games in the city. However, the withdrawals by a few big names significantly nullified the intended spirits.

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Sha’Carri Richardson was scheduled to participate in the women’s 100-meter final at the Los Angeles Grand Prix. Richardson, however, left the tournament along with two other renowned competitors, leaving the fans and organizers unhappy. As the turn of misfortune has ended, Richardson recalled her heat track moments.

Sha’Carri Richardson looks back at her heat performance; majors missing hurt LA GP’s Olympic aspirations

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Richardson easily qualified for the final after a trailblazing performance at the 100m heat in 10.90 seconds, though she had to allegedly withdraw because of cramps. The situation was disappointing, as Richardson had won three straight 100-meter races in May 2023 alone. The winnings included the Kip Keino Classic, the Miramar Invitational, and the Doha Diamond League. She also established a meet record in Doha with a time of 10.76 seconds.

Further, Ta Lou (Heat 2 contender) qualified as the fastest among the competitors with a time of 10.88 seconds, securing her place as a strong contender for the final. Unlike Richardson, the reasons why Lou scratched her name from the final are still not known. Their absences were significantly felt by the audience and organizers.

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Despite the abandonment, the women’s 100-meter final remained an exciting race. American athlete Morolake Akinosun won with an impressive clocking of 10.97 seconds.

Leaving fans on the edge

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Max Siegel, CEO of USATF, voiced his frustration about the prominent athletes’ withdrawals from the LA Grand Prix, including Richardson. As reported by LA Times, Siegel also commented “If you look at it from a purely commercial standpoint, it obviously contributes to a little bit of frustration in terms of marketing the event.

He further added that these events serve to better the overall growth of an athlete, “We want to create the opportunity for our athletes to earn money, to be fitness-ready, and to build their brands, and we see this as a long-term investment here in Los Angeles and domestically for the sport as well.”

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The USATF LA Grand Prix held at UCLA Drake Stadium was a momentous occasion for the organizers, who wanted to capitalize on it as a springboard for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. Despite the withdrawals, the competition was nonetheless successful.

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

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Divya Purohit is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing her coverage in American sporting events. She recently found US Sports writing to be a niche that she enjoys and began following sports. Divya enjoys researching and creating various pieces of articles.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury

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