Richardson burst onto the track scene during her college years at LSU. Her career hit a low point in the summer of 2021 with her positive marijuana test following her qualification for the U.S. women’s team in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She was banned by anti-doping officials from competing. She then started up controversy when she tweeted about Russian skater Kamila Valieva testing positive for a banned substance too but still being allowed to compete in the Winter Olympics the following year.
She has had an unforgettable month of May this year and started it with a world-leading performance in the 100 meters. Her latest times have put her back at the top of women’s track in the world and silenced the naysayers.
Spring Showers Bring May Flowers
Richardson started her spectacular month on May 5 at the prestigious Doha Diamond League. She won the 100 meter race in 10.76 seconds, which is the fastest time in the world this year. The time also put her in elite company. She was the first American woman since 2017 to run faster than 10.80 seconds in the 100.
She followed that performance up by running a wind-aided 10.57 in the 100 at the 2023 Miramar Invitational.
Then Richardson set a meet record at the Kip Keino Classic in the 200 with a time of 22.07 seconds. She beat fellow Americans Kyra Jefferson and Shannon Ray.
Jefferson was a three-time national champ at Florida a broke the NCAA 200 meters record in 2017. Ray has struggled to start her professional career and ranked 32nd in the world in the 200 going into the race.
Richardson also has beaten 2022 100-meter U.S. champion Melissa Jefferson, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, and Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith at the Doha Diamond League race. Jackson and Asher-Smith won the 200 in the 2022 and 2019 World Championships, respectively.
More to Come
The most impressive thing about Richardson’s record-setting month is her focus. She has seem to pull back from the bold, sometimes brash post-meet interviews, and just locked in.
“I found my peace back on the track, and I’m not letting anything or anybody take that anymore,” Richardson said to NBC Sports after her May 5 race.
Despite one of the greatest racing months from a female runner, Richardson will still need a top three finish at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in July. It will be the only way she can qualify for the 100 meters at the World Championships in Budapest in August.