Elaine Thompson Herah’s Superhuman Feat vs Sha’Carrie Richardson’s Dismal Diamond League Performance


The Olympics, the ’21 Diamond League, this day, and this year belongs to the greatest female sprinter and fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Elaine Thompson Herah Diamond League 2021

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images Elaine Thompson-Herah of celebrates winning the women's 100m on Saturday.

By Shawn B

This article was published in 2021 on an earlier version of DibbSpot.com. It is being republished here for continuity. 

Sha’Carrie Richardson was definitely the fastest loser in the Women’s 100m final at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League Meet, August 21, 2021.

Let me start by saying congrats to Elaine Thompson-Herah.  What you did today was nothing short of spectacular, especially coming only weeks after an equally spectacular Olympic Record into a head wind at the 2021 Tokyo games.  10:54 is truly impressive – a mere 5/100ths off the questionable ’88 World Record by Flo-jo. As the race commentators put it, this will likely go down as the unofficial world record, as Flo-jo was well and often regarded as doped up with Performance Enhancing Drugs at the time, while also reaping the benefit of higher-than-legal wind assistance due to an inoperable wind anemometer at the US Olympic Trials that year. 

Now to all the back seat, uninformed, one-sided commentators who foretold Sha’Carrie obliterating the Jamaicans and the world record, it’s not just about one-off performances.  Yes she did well in the trials, but there are many other women competing at the same standard as her and even better. Experience plays a big role, as well as maturity at executing consistently.  Sha’Carrie is talented,  no doubt, but she has yet to mature.  Sure, she has raw talent, but talent under pressure is priceless.  She hasn’t ran against anyone on the world stage, so she is unproven. I understand she is the great American Hope for beating the Jamaicans on the track, but that hope should be tapered with quite a bit of realism.

How about humility?

One of the saddest thing (to me) about her is the lack of humility.  She trash talks – but OK, I guess we can give that a slight pass since many athletes do the same, however unacknowledged by the hopeful, she does over do it, and certainly overpromises.  All in all, in competition, one must show proper sportsmanship. That post-race interview was deplorable.  She lost, and instinctively her response was to be defensive, while cussing on national TV.  How about humility?  Also, if you rewatch the end of the race, you’ll see all of the competitors congratulate Elaine Thompson-Herah except for Sha’Carrie – who just walked off the track.  That’s unsportsmanlike.  You can be butt-hurt, but still respectful.  If you watch interactions and interviews of athletes, you’ll see they’re competitive on the track, but respectful to each other and they generally get along off the track.  Sha’Carrie actively bucks that trend.   Whether that’s a socially acceptable American behavior is debatable.  

Allison Felix finished last in her 200m final today, as did Sha’Carrie, however there is a noticeable difference in reaction.  No doubt a measure of the attitude and also the more significant experience and achievements of Felix – the most decorated female Olympic sprinter.  

Jamaicans’ Proven Caliber?

Now back to the race. Yes Sha’Carrie won a few races against other Americans, but her real world experience is undoubtedly lacking.  I also don’t understand why people were so willing to discount the difficulty of winning Olympic gold in the 100 and 200 back-to-back, which only two humans (both Jamaicans) have ever done in the 120 year history of the Olympics. How do people figure an untested, unproven athlete would magically supersede anyone of that caliber?  It’s more than just hope, it’s actually explicit bias.  It’s telling that all the news headlines are about Sha’Carrie losing, rather than the superhuman feat ETH just pulled off despite pulling an equal feat a mere weeks prior at the Tokyo games. She should be exhausted.  Sha’Carrie just had a month off, she should be primed.  To say Sha’Carrie is the fastest woman alive, despite her personal best (albeit wind aided) was 2/10ths of a second slower than the Olympic Champ is definitely misguided.  To say she would top a field of proven athletes who have been consistently performing at the world stage at or above her level is misguided.  To discount the achievements of more experienced and talented athletes just because Sha’Carrie ran one good race is misguided.  I do believe (barring injuries or positive drug testing) Sha’Carrie will have her time to shine, but it wasn’t today.  The Olympics, the ’21 Diamond League, this day, and this year belongs to the greatest female sprinter and fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Give ETH her due!

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