Sha’Carri Richardson Wins the 100m Title at the 2023 World Athletics Championships


Sha’Carri Richardson proved that she is currently the fastest woman in the world as she became the women’s world champion in the 100m on Monday night at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has had many ups and downs on and off the track over the past few years.

In a way, her performances at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in the women’s 100m event mirrored these undulations in that the buildup to her win in the final round was anything but a straight, seamless trajectory.

In particular, 23-year-old Sha’Carri Richardson struggled a little bit in the 100m semi-finals, which suddenly brought into question whether the top US sprinter would even make it to the women’s 100m finals for a chance to bring home the gold medal.

Only the top two finishers in each semifinal heat in the 100m event automatically advance to the final in the qualification schema used at the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

Because the 100m dash is such a fast race, taking less than 11 seconds generally for the top performers at the international level, sprinters have to get out of the blocks fast and accelerate as quickly as possible to have a chance of advancing to the finals where they can even contend for the medals. 

Unfortunately, Sha’Carri Richardson got a slow start out of the blocks in her 100m semifinal heat, causing her to come in third place in her semi. 

According to NBC Sports, Richardson had the second-slowest start out of all 24 women who competed in the semifinal for the 100m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

However, the superstar ran 10.84 seconds in the semifinals, which is a notably fast time for the event. 

Sha’Carri Richardson’s finish time in the semis ended up being the third-fastest among all of the semifinals heats because her heat was stacked, and the women who beat her in the heat were the first and second finishers overall once all of the finish times from the women’s 100m semi-finals were aggregated.

In fact, Richardson would have won the other two women’s 100m semifinal heats.

Therefore, Sha’Carri Richardson’s third-place finish time was enough to advance her to the finals based on her overall finish, even though she missed out on the automatic qualification by not placing in the top.

Reportedly, Sha’Carri Richardson had only 10 minutes between the semis and the finals (sprinting events do not require long rest and recovery like the distance events (1500, 5000m, etc.).

However, even with limited time, Richardson and her coach, Dennis Mitchell, used the time wisely to work on her start, and it paid off big time.

Not only did US sprinter, Richardson, drop her reaction time from 0.222 seconds in her semi to 0.156 seconds in the final, but she ran the best wind-legal 100m sprint time of her life, 10.65 seconds, which was also a World Athletics Championship women’s 100m record time and good enough to win the gold medal.

Ultimately, Sha’Carri Richardson won the 2023 World Athletics Championships women’s 100m final, set a personal record, and earned the title of the world’s fastest woman in her world champs debut.

Plus, because Richardson was third in her heat—not a desirable finish—she had to race in lane 9, which is far from one of the coveted lanes in a sprint event (the middle lanes are ideal so you can more clearly visualize your competitors and really feel “in the race.”

Furthermore, Sha’Carri Richardson’s victory in the 100m final at the 2023 World Athletics Championships marked the first time in history that a woman won an Olympic or World Championships 100m final after having not finished in the top two in her semifinal heat.

In her stellar performance in her first World Championships, Sha’Carri Richardson became the first American woman to win the gold medal in the women’s 100m since 2017, when the late Tori Bowie earned the world title in the event.

Interestingly, one of the greatest sprinters of all time, Michael Johnson of the United States, pointed out an intriguing pattern of US vs. Jamaican women sprinters winning gold at the World Championships.  

Richardson’s winning time of 10.65 seconds tied her for fifth fastest 100m time for women on the world all-time women’s 100m list.

It was certainly a story of triumph after struggle and positions Sha’Carri Richardson as one of the favorites heading into the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

You can find full results from the event and all of the future events at the 2023 World Athletics Championships this week here.

You can learn how to watch the World Athletics Championships here.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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