“Is she a little bit of Flo-Jo?” The hair, the nails, the speed. They all pointed to one thing: Sha’Carri Richardson is “the Flo-Jo of our time.” As the American flashed past her competition at the 2021 US Olympic Trials, NBC commentators couldn’t help but think maybe. Maybe Sha’Carri is the Florence Griffith-Joyner of today. “But she is 100% Sha’Carri Richardson.” Three years on, though, many still believe “maybe” is a stretch and that, when it comes to the iconic Flo-Jo, no one comes close to her. Not even Richardson.

As the final stretch in the race to Paris begins, anticipation is building for what could be a historic showdown between the world’s fastest athletes. With the Games getting ever closer, debates over the potential for new world records are heating up, with comparisons being drawn between legendary figures and current stars. In the men’s category, Usain Bolt is the benchmark, as he has been since 2009. And in the women’s category, it’s Flo-Jo. And she’s been at the very top of the world since 1988. That’s 36 years. The question is: can anyone beat her times, and will it be Sha’Carri Richardson?

Gabby Thomas already made an ambitious statement, saying that Flo-Jo’s 200m record of 21.34s “got to go” at the Paris Olympics. And there’s no doubt that the reigning 100m World Champion feels that way about her primary event, too. Considering all the talk about beating old records and setting new standards, the stakes aren’t higher for anyone than for Sha’Carri Richardson. Especially after Vogue called her the Flo-Jo of our time.” However, many fans couldn’t help but point out that she doesn’t come close to Joyner’s record-setting sprints. Not back in 2021, and not now.


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As the world awaits another thrilling showdown come August, fans still believe the late icon’s achievements are in no danger of being broken, especially by Sha’Carri. In a recent post on the r/trackandfield subreddit, user SenseOdd8942 sought to comprehend what connoisseurs of the sport think of the reigning world champion’s hopes of edging past Flo-Jo in Paris. “Sha’Carri is so fast, but usually in her races, she slows down immensely at the end and breaks her form,” they reminded, pointing to how Sha’Carri’s Olympic plans can be undone by her own deeds.

Often, when the 24-year-old is confident she will win a race, she starts her celebration even before crossing the finish line. While doing that makes for iconic pictures as she crosses the line, there’s no doubt that it does slow her down. Referring to this, the Reddit user added, “I think she could break the 200 or 100 record Flo-Jo currently has if she runs all the way through the line. It will help so much,” not just in amplifying her chances of bringing home the gold but also breaking a couple of 36-year-old records.

Although there’s no question that toppling Flo-Jo’s 1oom, 10.49s dash, and 200m, 21.34s dash will be monumental challenges, the belief in the athletes is as high as it’s ever been. Gabby Thomas believes that the upcoming Olympics will be historic and intense. Aiming for the only title and medal missing in her wall of fame—the Olympic gold—when asked if the world record would be broken this time, that was when she made her “got to go” claim. Her potential contenders include Sha’Carri Richardson, Shericka Jackson, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Christine Mboma if she returns!

Unlike Thomas—who won a silver (4x100m relay) and a bronze (200m) in Tokyo—the 2020 Olympics didn’t go down well in Richardson’s books. The doping fiasco caused her to watch the Games from the sidelines, so many thought she would go all out to set the record straight this time around. However, some fans still aren’t convinced of her prowess.

Per fans, “it would be Shericka” who beats the record, not Sha’Carri Richardson

Redditor MHath believes magazines drawing parallels between Sha’Carri and Flo-Jo are just that and nothing more. The speeds attained by Joyner at the 1988 US Team Trials have stood the test of time, and the fan thinks Sha’Carri won’t be the one to break them, even if some personal golden moments await the latter in France. “She’s not breaking any individual world records. She could continue to get medals though,” stated the fan without beating around the bush.

The 2023 World Championships proved extremely successful for Sha’Carri, putting her opponents on attention. In Budapest, she achieved her personal best times in both the 100m (10.65s) and 200m (21.92s). However, one fan thinks Richardson is still a long shot away from making the upcoming Olympics a memorable one for herself. “I don’t see her coming close to the 200m WR, and I think she’s unlikely to beat the 100m WR, even were she to do a better job of running through the line.” Sha’Carri holds the 5th and 30th all-time places in the 100m and 200m events, respectively.

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson is one of the biggest threats to Richardson’s quest for gold on the big stage. The two have faced off multiple times over the years, managing several wins over the others. At the 2023 World Championships, Jackson won gold in the 200m race, where Sha’Carri finished third, while the 100m event saw the latter pick up the first-place finish over the former. Considering that and Shericka’s stronger resume, one fan commented: “I’d say if anyone is going to be breaking the 100m record, it would be Shericka Jackson over Sha’Carri.”


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While Sha’Carri cannot escape comparisons with Flo-Jo because of their similar-looking appearances, the 24-year-old is determined to carve out her own place. “I just want the world to know that I’m that girl,” said Richardson in an interview ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But one fan believes that Paris won’t be where Sha’Carri climbs to the top of the food chain. “I just don’t think it’s likely the stars will align for a perfect/near perfect race,” considering everything will have to fall into place perfectly to help her achieve the feat.


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Flo-Jo came to the track and knew she was going to dominate. The way she did that was graceful. I always liked that. If the amazing Flo-Jo had long nails, there was no excuse why I couldn’t have long nails,” said Sha’Carri in an interview last year. And yet, not everyone is so sure that Richardson has what it takes to surpass Flo-Jo’s on-track accolades.

“Nah. She has a good chance of bringing gold home but I don’t think she’ll be breaking any records.” said another Redditor, who is clearly of the opinion that Joyner Griffith’s 36-year-old record will stay intact for the foreseeable future. With so many opinions from the fans, share your views on Sha’Carri’s chances of snatching away the legendary Florence Joyner’s top spot!