‘I wasn’t watching Sha’Carri’…’No comment’ - Jamaican sprint queens mum on disappointing Richardson performance

By Sports Desk August 21, 2021

Jamaica double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, had no comment regarding the pre-race comments of Sha’Carri Richardson after handing the American a crushing defeat at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah clocked a new personal best of 10.54 in the women’s 100m, just outside of the longstanding world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.  Similar to the finish at the Olympics a few weeks ago, her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.73) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) we second and third.

Heading into the race, however, the focus had been on the return to the sprints of American Sha’Carri Richardson.  Richardson had run 10.72 in April and won the US trials to set up the prospect of an intriguing match-up at the Olympics.  The 21-year-old was, however, suspended ahead of Tokyo after returning a positive test for marijuana.

Ahead of the Wanda Diamond League, many framed the race as an Olympic do-over for the American, who certainly headed into the event sky-high on confidence with plenty of pre-race chatter to boot.  It did not go to plan.  Richardson finished last in 11.14, and at the end of the race, the Olympic do-over had the same three medallists as the original.  On Richardson’s placing and pre-race chatter, the decorated sprint queens had no comment.

“I wasn’t watching Sha’Carri to be honest,” Fraser-Pryce, who went viral for a cheeky post-race smirk as she passed by the American being interviewed, said.

“No, you shouldn’t have,” Fraser-Pryce replied when anyone should have really been surprised by another Jamaican sweep.

Fraser-Pryce may well have a point, perhaps expecting Richardson, who is yet to win a major medal, to match up to the in-form Jamaican 100m medallist, who in total have 8 Olympic medals between them and three of the four fastest times in history, might have been a stretch.

“I didn’t hear much of that,” Thompson-Herah said when quizzed on the American's pre-race comments.

 “No comment on that,” the athlete added when asked for her assessment of Richardson’s performance.

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    President of the St Lucia Athletics Association Cornelius Breen said the residents of the island are proud of young sprinter Julien Alfred, who set yet another national record at the Big 12 Conference Outdoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, May 14.

    The 20-year-old Alfred, a sophomore at the University of Texas, won her preliminary round heat in 10.81, the fastest time in the NCAA this season and the second fastest time this year. Only Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with the 10.67 she clocked in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 7 has run faster.

    The time also puts Alfred in an elite group of the top-10 fastest women from the Caribbean over 100m. Only Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.54), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.60), Merlene Ottey (10.74)., Kerron Stewart (10.75), Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.76) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) have, as Caribbean women, run faster than Alfred.

    “Today (Sunday) was a wonderful day for us in St Lucia, having received news that Julien’s performance has made her the second fastest in the world. This was no easy feat. Julien has shown that she has the potential to develop, has the potential to do great things. It is on this premise, that she was scouted by her club, Survivors and Mr Cuthbert Modest, who saw the potential and assisted in that development and today we are witnessing what she has accomplished,” Breen told Sportsmax. TV.

    “It is indeed a proud moment for us. We, as a nation, are happy about such a performance. We look forward to her continued development and her continued progress in the sport of track and field.”

    He remained hopeful that Alfred would be able to deliver similar performances at the major championships.

    “The World Championship is on the horizon, the Commonwealth Games and even the Olympics, and we continue to be proud of her,” he said.

    Alfred will be favoured to win the final set for later Sunday despite being lined up in a stacked field that includes University of Texas teammates Kevona Davis, who ran a lifetime best 10.95 in the preliminary round, Kynnedy Flannel, as well as the speedy Rosemary Chukwuma from Texas Tech.

     

     

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