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It’s the 200m event at Suzhou Diamond League. Daryll Neita is lining up around some of the fastest athletes in the world, one of whom just happens to be the reigning 100m World Champion. But does she focus on that? No. For the 27-year-old, “it’s me against myself. Yes, I’m running against eight other amazing women, but when I tune into why I’m doing what I’m doing, it’s because I want to see how great I can be.” And that’s precisely what she did in the Republic of China and now in Qatar.

For the UK native, the women’s 100m event is “one of the most exciting races on the planet right now.” And for the first of its kind in the 2024 Diamond League, Daryll Neita and her fellow competitors proved just why. As Round 3 of the Diamond League commenced in Doha, and the lights shone brightly in the Suheim bin Hamad Stadium on May 10, Neita continued her run of good form, clinching another gold.

Clocking an official 10.98s, Daryll Neita recorded her season-best time, defeating American track stars Tamari Davis and Celera Barnes. But what made the race so thrilling was the gap between Neita and the second-placed Davis. Clocking at 10.99s, a hundredth of a second decided who took home the gold. And with Barnes’ 11.02s, the American completed the podium. 

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Considering this was only her second championship of the season – following her victory in Shanghai – it looks like things can only get better for the Britisher. Although she’s never won a gold medal at a major championship, there’s no doubt these two consecutive ones in the Diamond League would give her the boost she needs to attain Olympic glory. Speaking of the Olympics, with everyone’s focus trained on Paris, every sprint, jump, and throw in Qatar was infused with the intensity of champions vying for the chance to do it again in a couple of months. However, Sha’Carri Richardson wasn’t among them this time around.

After starting her season “a little nervous” at the Xiamen Diamond League, where she lost to Australia’s Torrie Lewis in the 200m event, Richardson met the same fate in Shanghai. But this time, at the hands of Daryll Neita. With the Brit clocking in a sensational 22.62s, Richardson had to settle for third, owing to her 23.11s. Her compatriot Avania Battle took second with a 22.99s. Following her victory, Neita said, “My coach said just trust the process… he has been killing me in the workout. To come out here and win it in a decent time in such a strong field, I feel really confident.” 

With her performance in Qatar, that confidence would’ve only gotten better. As for Sha’Carri Richardson, her tough start to 2024 did cause a store in the track and field community. Should her fans be concerned? Well, according to Justin Gatlin, there’s no need, considering the 24-year-old’s strong suit is the 100m event. “I would say, with her preparation, I’m not too concerned right now because they are 200m.” While Sha’Carri didn’t participate in Doha, she’s all set to return for Round 4 in Morocco on May 19.

As for Daryll Neita, while she will undoubtedly look to continue her winning street next week, there’s something bigger she’s striving for come the Paris Olympics.

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Striving for the Olympic gold, Daryll Neita knows it’ll be the “best feeling ever” 

The 2012 London Olympics. Daryll Neita may not have been a part of Team Great Britain back then, but it was what inspired her to believe she could do it, that she could be the best in the world. Although she played a part in her country’s success in both Rio and Tokyo – bagging a team bronze in the 4×100 meter relay both times – the UK sprinter is still waiting to secure individual glory. 

With the confidence she’s carrying right now and how she’s pushing herself in training, Neita revealed to BBC, “My goals are through the roof. I don’t put limits on myself at all. 100% I am aiming for individual medals this summer. I don’t see why anyone shouldn’t believe they can; everyone should aim to be the best.” At the end of the day, isn’t believing in yourself and your abilities the key to success?

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The 27-year-old continued, “It would mean the world to me. I have put in so much work to be in this position. It would be all of that hard work and dedication paying off. I just believe it’s possible. It would be the best feeling ever.” 

As the Paris Olympics 2024 draws closer, the spotlight will intensify on Daryll Neita, who will hope to fulfill the dream she has. As for Sha’Carri Richardson, all eyes will be on her quest to overcome her recent disappointments and re-establish herself as a phenomenal force in women’s sprint events.