In signature look, Sha’Carri Richardson sprints to Olympic debut with 100m win

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With her long orange hair and trademark long, multi-colored nails, Sha’Carri Richardson sprinted straight to her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old won the women’s 100m at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials with a time of 10.86 seconds, bursting into the lead in the final few meters.

She immediately ran up into the stands at the new Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, for a long embrace with her grandmother.

“Emotionally — unbelievable,” she told NBC reporter Lewis Johnson, “the fact that I am an Olympian no matter what, a dream since I was young. Being happy is an understatement. Happy, nervous, all of those emotions.”

Richardson then shared with Johnson that her biological mother died last week.

“My family has kept me grounded,” Richardson said. “This year has been crazy for me, going from last week losing my biological mother and I’m still here.”

Richardson, whose name first became known when she won the 2019 NCAA title as a freshman in a college-record 10.75 seconds, has been a favorite for both the U.S. Olympic team and an Olympic medal since running 10.72 seconds in April — the sixth-fastest legal time in history.

She ran a wind-aided 10.64 seconds in Saturday’s semifinal.

TRACK AND FIELD TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist in this race, ran the year’s fastest time, 10.63 seconds, earlier this month.

Both women are chasing Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record of 10.49 that has stood for 33 years.

“I think her energy is incredible, and obviously she has so much talent,” nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix said of Richardson. “It’s really fun for all of us to be able to watch her and just see that spirit of hers.”

Felix and Richardson could meet on the track later in the meet. Both are entered in the 200m, which starts Thursday, June 24.

Richardson will be joined in the women’s 100m in Tokyo by Javianne Oliver and Teahna Daniels, also first-time Olympians, who ran 10.99 and 11.03 in the final, respectively.

2016 Olympian Jenna Prandini met the Olympic standard, coming in fourth at 11.11 seconds, and could be named to the team for the 4x100m relay.

Twenty minutes prior, Valarie Allman won the women’s discus to secure a spot on her first Olympic team as well.

The former competitive dancer, whose throwing form exudes some of the grace she learned in that sport, was in a league of her own with a second-round throw of 69.92 meters.

Allman, 26, had set a meet record and season’s best of 70.01 meters, not far off her American record of 70.15.

The 2014 junior world silver medalist — who was seventh at the 2019 Worlds — will be joined in Tokyo by third-place finisher Rachel Dincoff, who was in fourth until her penultimate-round throw of 60.21 meters.

Micaela Hazlewood was second but does not currently have the Olympic standard of 63.5 meters. She must reach that by June 29, or potentially be invited via world ranking, to be named to the Olympic team.

2016 Olympians Kelsey Card and Whitney Ashley were fourth and fifth, followed immediately by 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood.

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