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Defeated in Season-Debut, Sha’Carri Richardson Set for Next Race While Jamaicans Are Still Absent

Published 04/22/2024, 12:50 PM EDT

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Sha’Carri Richardson‘s start at the Xiamen Diamond League was slow. On her way to the 2024 Paris Olympics, she was seen as a favorite at Xiamen. However, she faced defeat at the hands of 19-year-old Torrie Lewis in the 200m event. Lewis claimed victory in her Diamond League debut, clocking an impressive 22.96 seconds. However, Richardson finished closely behind in 22.99 seconds. Despite this setback, Richardson is poised for her next move.

The upcoming second Diamond League event is set to take place on April 27th. Sha’Carri Richardson, with a personal best of 21.92, will again compete in the 200-meter race. The American sprint sensation is determined to secure her spot on the Olympic team for the Paris 2024 Games. As per the Shanghai Diamond League website, Richardson will face off against her 4x100m relay teammates, TeeTee Terry (personal best 22.17) and Tamara Clark (PB 21.92), both of whom she led to victory at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest.

Among the competitors is Anavia Battle from the United States, boasting a personal best of 21.95; Caissa Chandler, also from the United States, with a PB of 22.37; Mujinga Kambundji from Switzerland, holding a personal best of 22.05; Daryll Neita from Great Britain, with a PB of 22.16; and Anthonique Strachan from the Bahamas, whose personal best stands at 22.15.

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Notably, there is no representation from Jamaica at this event. However, Jamaica’s Danielle Williams and Megan Tapper will be participating in 100m hurdles and Stephenie Ann McPherson will be seen participating in the 400m event. So while Richardson won’t compete against a Jamaican in the 200m event, the Jamaicans are heavily present in other events.

Richardson’s Personal Bests

EventPerformance
60 Metres (26 JAN 2019)7.20
100 Meters (21 AUG 2023)10.65
200 Metres (25 AUG 2023)21.92
200 Metres Short Track (9 FEB 2019)23.08
300 Metres (20 JUL 2020)46.65

Her Zurich Diamond League 2023 performance, where she took the 100m win, just ten days after winning the world title in Budapest, shows her durability. Her seasonal bests also depict how tough of a competitor she is. Thus, while a defeat at the Xiamen Diamond League was unexpected for Richardson, by no means does it diminish her achievements so far.

Richardson’s Seasonal Bests

EventPerformance
200 Metres (20 APR 2024)22.99
4×100 Metres Relay (30 MAR 2024)43.04

However, let us also look at what Richardson and Torrie Lewis had to say about their performances at the Xiamen Diamond League.

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Unexpected turn of events in the women’s 200-meter race

At the Xiamen Diamond League on Saturday (20 April), in the women’s 200m race, Torrie Lewis stole the show by winning, thumping past the favorite, Sha’Carri Richardson. This marked Richardson’s debut individual race of the Olympic year, following her relay leg in Florida at the end of March.

Despite Richardson’s strong performance on the bend, she trailed Anavia Battle for most of the race. In the end, it was Lewis who finished fastest in lane nine, with Richardson in second place. The race was incredibly close, with only six-hundredths of a second separating the top four runners. “I didn’t notice I beat them until I saw the replay and I was like, ‘Holy sh***… Holy c*ap.’ So surreal. My goal, honestly, was just to hold on as long as I could. I was in Lane 9 so I knew they would be chasing me so I expected them to be in front of me by 50 or 60 so I just wanted to hold on as long as possible,” Lewis shared after the event.

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Richardson, initially confident of her win, found herself surprised by the outcome as she awaited the result of the photo finish. Later on, she shared, “I feel really good about it being a season opener. It’s kind of late for me in this season to open up. I was a little nervous, but once I got on track, it felt like home, so I felt really good with this first performance.”

Now, she is gearing up for the next 200-meter race as the Diamond League moves to China. Meanwhile, world champion Shericka Jackson will be missing from the lineup, choosing to delay her season start as she prepares for Paris 2024.

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Written by:

Maleehah Shakeel

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Maleehah Shakeel is an Olympic Sports writer at EssentiallySports who covers equestrian sports, rodeo, bull riding, and Gymnastics. Maleehah’s stories revolve around various brand endorsement deals of athletes like Jessica Springsteen, Jennifer Gates, and Olivia Dunne. She has written in depth about the brand collaboration between Jessica Springsteen and Tommy Hilfiger.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal