Track star and Dallas native Sha’Carri Richardson turned heads in Europe earlier this week when she won an impressive victory over Jamaican double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The two athletes competed in the women’s 100-meter race at the Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver Meet in Switzerland.
The race was held in less-than-ideal conditions. It was cold and wet, with a -2.0 meter per second headwind.
Still, the Dallas native persevered and clocked 11.29 seconds, beating out Thompson-Herah by 0.1 seconds.
Richardson’s victory was all the more stunning considering she had been inactive the previous two months.
She last competed in the U.S. Championships in June, during which she failed to advance out of the first round of the 100-meter event. Consequently, she did not secure a place on the U.S. team for the next world championship track events.
Richardson previously made waves at the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials, where she clocked 10.86 seconds in the 100-meter. However, she was suspended from competing for 30 days because she tested positive for THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Even though her suspension ended before the relay competitions at the Tokyo Olympics began, USA Track and Field declined to add her to its roster of athletes.
Richardson admitted to using marijuana to cope with the news of her biological mother’s death, which happened just days before the trials.
At the time, USA Track and Field claimed it was “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances” and commented that international rules regarding marijuana and athletic competition should be reassessed. Still, it refused to put her on the team.
She told NBC’s “Today” show at the time:
“This is just one Games. I’m 21, I’m very young … I have plenty of Games left in me to compete in and I have plenty of talent that backs me up, because everything I do comes from me naturally. No steroid, no anything. This incident was about marijuana, so after my sanction is up I’ll be back and able to compete, and every single time I step on the track I’ll be ready.”