Sha’Carri Richardson is undoubtedly one of the athletes to watch out for at the Prefontaine Classic 2021, commonly known as the Eugene Diamond League.
The sprinter shot to fame when she scorched the same track, Hayward Field, in June earlier this year, where she blew away a strong 100m field in the US Olympic Trials 2021.
However, a failed drug test soon after the feat meant Sha’Carri Richardson had to watch the 100m event at the Tokyo Olympics from home.
The few months' break hasn’t put the brakes on Sha’Carri Richardson’s training and eagerness to get back on track. Addressing a press conference ahead of the Prefontaine Classic 2021, Sha’Carri Richardson said she is ready to get back into action.
"I've been training, it's been going well regardless of the situation, I have no complaints," said Sha’Carri Richardson. "My talent has not gone anywhere, so I'm just ready to get back on track. I’m coming back with the same energy I left the sport with, and I’m eager to bring even more.”
Sha’Carri Richardson will be up against all three Tokyo Olympics 2021 medalists - Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson. However, it isn’t intimidating for the star sprinter.
"Two of the women sitting here (at the press conference – Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce) are two of the fastest women to ever do this sport so I am honored to just to be on the stage with them but I am not starstruck," said the 21-year-old. "I am eager to run against them and bring the best out of them and I hope they can get the best out of me."
Sha’Carri Richardson hogged limelight for the wrong reasons
Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for marijuana shortly after winning the US Olympic Trials 2021. She was handed a 30-day suspension that kept her out of the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Richardson was later left off the US team as part of the relay pool, although her suspension would’ve been completed by the time of the 4x100 race.
However, she said the attention the sport received through her suspension was overwhelming.
“I'm glad for ... the attention I was able to bring to the sport, whether it was negative or positive, for the simple fact that people are now watching," said Richardson. "I know a lot of track and field athletes wish we had more attention in the sport, we wish people paid more attention. I really don’t want to do too much talking. I’m ready to race now.”
Sha’Carri Richardson is also on the starting list for 200m and will race alongside 11-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix and Tokyo bronze medalist Gabby Thomas.