'Jamaicans have always liked humble athletes' - but brash and sassy Richardson was needed to shake-up track and field

By The Commentators June 24, 2021

 

 

 The rise of United States track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson has added much-needed spice to a sport that has these days often suffered from force of personality.

The 21-year-old sprinter demanded the world’s attention early this year when she sped to a brisk 10.72, which was, at the time, not only the fastest recorded for the season but one of the fastest ever run.

Decorated Jamaica sprinter and favourite for the 100m title at this year’s Olympics, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, has since gone faster.  The Jamaican clocked 10.63 earlier this month, the second-fastest time ever run over the distance.

In addition to her speed on the track, however, Richardson has also garnered plenty of attention off it.  The American has become known for brash statements, and brimming with extreme confidence.  In recent weeks, Richards has attracted fans and sponsors alike, gaining more than 1 million Instagram followers.  However, Richards’ attitude off the track has rubbed some the wrong way.

For SportsMax.tv's The Commentators Podcast hosts Ricardo Chambers and Donald Oliver, however, the young American has a bit of the showmanship of great Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt.

“It’s an interesting dynamic because champions have a way about them and should have a way about them, and some of those ways may come across as arrogant and sometimes disrespectful,” Chambers said on The Commentators Podcast.

“Jamaicans have always liked the humble athlete,” he added.

“In the past, we have seen athletes being so respectful of each other.  Respect isn’t a bad thing but it was so lukewarm that there wasn’t any fire in the rivalry,” Oliver said.

“You missed the days when the Americans were such, which is funny because in Jamaica, in particular, we got so attached to Asafa because of his humility.  It took some time for the Jamaican people to get used to a Usain Bolt because he was a showman and confident, borderline arrogant.”  

 Listen to the full Episode above

 

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