Almost a year ago, American sprinter Justin Gatlin made claims that fellow countrywoman and spotlight sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson had been running the 100m in 10.50 in practice sessions. Well, according to the 2004 Olympic champion, she’s gotten even faster!
As the world continues to wait for Richardson to finally make her 2022 debut after she pulled out of three previous meetings, Gatlin revealed that he’s seen her run 10.3 over the 100m in practice, suggesting that the world record could very be on borrowed time.
With the stopwatch locked on her, Gatlin revealed on “I AM ATHLETE”: “She comes through, boop 10.5’s, boop 10.3’s. You know what I mean, that’s smashing the world record that “Flo-Jo” [Florence Griffith-Joyner] put together.”
He continued: “So if she’s doing it at practice it’s only going to be a moment in time where if she puts [her race] together at a real meet, she’s breaking the world record.”
Richardson quickly became one of the most discussed athletes in track and field last season after producing some outstanding performances throughout the year, although she was unfortunately banned from running at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer after returning a positive drug test for marijuana.
Prior to the Olympics, the 22-year-old had been dismantling her rivals, but she was unable to replicate the same kind of form post-Olympics with her last two 100m performances being 11.14 seconds for last place at the 2021 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and a clocking of 11.19 secs in Padua in August.
So far this season, Richardson has withdrawn from three successive meetings without giving any reasons, which has left many of her own fans confused.
If it is indeed true that Sha’Carri Richardson is running that fast in practice, we should brace ourselves for some major fireworks this summer.
We have already seen multiple world and Olympic medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce produced a fast 10.67 seconds world lead this year, while Olympic five-time champion Elaine Thompson-Herah has posted two quality and comfortable sub-11 seconds clockings thus far.
We also expect Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson, who was the third member of the Jamaican Tokyo podium sweep, to round back into her best form when it matters most, along with British star Dina Asher-Smith, and a host of Americans, including Gabby Thomas, to put together some fast races this summer!