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Sha’Carri Richardson will enter the World Athletics Championship as the favorite in the 100-meter sprint next month. However, her 2023 title bid got more complicated Thursday afternoon.
Jamaican superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is back and she looks as fast as ever. Look out, Richardson!
Fraser-Pryce, the reigning World Champion in the 100-meter event, is one of the greatest sprinters of all-time. She has three Olympic gold medals, four silvers and a bronze, as well as 10 gold medals at the World Championships and four silvers.
The 36-year-old led another Jamaican sweep last July for a record-extending fifth 100-meter title. Richardson did not run at the meet because she was eliminated in the first round of Nationals.
Now, with the 2023 World Championships on the horizon, Fraser-Pryce will have to run against the American dynamo. The latter automatically qualified by winning the event last year while Richardson qualified by winning the U.S. Outdoor Championships in Eugene.
Can Sha’Carri Richardson take down the defending champ?
Although Fraser-Pryce’s presence in the race would normally create a bigger impact, she had not run in a single 100-meter event during the current outdoor season up until this point. The buzz around her chance to repeat at Worlds was a bit subdued as a result.
Fraser-Pryce returned to the track Thursday and opened her 100-meter season with an easy 10.82. It is the fourth-fastest time in the world right now and her second-fastest ever 100-meter opener.
To make it even more impressive, Fraser-Pryce did not get out to her usual bullet start. She had to take charge of the race midway through and left the competition in the dust.
Richardson went 10.71 earlier this year. On paper, her time would have bested Fraser-Pryce by more than 0.1 of a second.
However, the Jamaican speedster pulled up in her heat, which was not even the final. It was not her best run, but it was a warning shot.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is back and Sha’Carri Richardson better get ready!