In a glorious comeback after being banished from the Tokyo Olympics in 2022 for testing positive ahead of the games for THC, one of the active components of cannabis, out American runner Sha’Carri Richardson won the 100-meter world title at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary on Monday.
Delighting crowds at the National Athletics Center in Budapest, Richardson ran a personal best time of 10.65 seconds, making her the fastest woman in the world.
The achievement proved her personal mantra, “I’m not back. I’m better.”
In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding her exit from the Tokyo games, the world champion said she would need time to process it all, the New York Timesreports.
“Honestly, I don’t even know what to say,” Richardson confessed. “It’s surreal. I think in the morning, I’ll probably feel it.”
It was a remarkable upset by Richardson over Jamaican sprinters Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
“I’m honored. I’m blessed. I had great competition, [which] pulled the best out of me, and I’m just honored to leave with a gold medal,” Richardson remarked after the race.
NBC News reports that during last year’s U.S. Track and Field Championships, Richardson could not advance past the 100-meter heats.
As a result of Monday’s performance, the 2024 Olympic hopeful is in a better position than ever before.
Before winning Monday’s race, she was considered a favorite to earn an Olympic spot after winning the U.S. 100-meter title last month.
As Richardson’s journey on the track continues, she hopes fans will see athletes for more than their accomplishments.
Richardson wants fans to recognize the struggles and sacrifices that athletes go through to reach their goals. She hopes her story will encourage others to never give up on their dreams, no matter their obstacles, the Dallas Morning News reports.
“I would say’ never give up,’” she replied when asked what message this triumph conveyed. “Never allow media, never allow outsiders, never allow anything but yourself and your faith define who you are. I would say ‘Always fight. No matter what, fight.’”