The promised matchup is back on. Tomorrow at 4:40pm EST, the previously suspended American sprinter Sha’carri Richardson, will take on the three best female sprinters in the world, Jamaica’s three Olympic medalists, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson.
The Prefontaine Classic, the prestigious annual sprinting competition, is bringing the race that could’ve been, the women’s 100m, the race that the whole world was looking forward to prior to the Tokyo games. Richardson was suspended back in July for having tested positive for THC, and was barred from the Olympics.
Eugene, Oregon – although it’s not Tokyo, it’ll have to do for a matchup of this calibre. It’s where Sha’carri Richardson ran her Olympic trial time of 10.86 seconds, easily qualifying her for the Tokyo games, and firmly entrenching her as a fierce American competitor in a Jamaica dominated event.
After her run, she held onto the second fastest qualification time, behind none other than silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce. As we now know, the speed in qualification times sparsely determine the outcome of the actual event.
Elaine Thompson-Herah broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s long standing Olympic record, it showed that regardless of how quick someone might have been in tourneys prior to the big one, once you line up for that gold medal, previous times are thrown out the window.
Regardless, it felt as though Sha’carri was the only female sprinter that could hold a flame to the absolute Jamaican dominance that the sport had felt over the past decade or so. Her eccentric brilliance had taken the sprinting world by storm, and she quickly became a fan favourite.
It stands to see whether the speeds she sprinted at, the momentum she was set to enter Tokyo with, will carry over into the Prefontaine Classic. It stands to see whether any of the three Jamaican high flyers will be dethroned. This is a race to determine what could have been, or if the results of the Olympics are tried and true.
Sources: CA.SPORTS.YAHOO.COM, VANITYFAIR.COM, WSJ.COM, CBSSPORTS.COM