Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Sha’Carri Richardson got passed on the outside down the stretch and finished fourth in the 200-meter final at U.S. track trials Saturday, meaning she’ll only have one chance for an individual Olympic gold medal next month in Paris.

Gabby Thomas won the race in 21.81 seconds for her second straight national title. Richardson was in the top three in this, her second-best distance, with about 40 meters left, but Brittany Brown and McKenzie Long passed her and pulled away.

Richardson finished in 22.16 seconds, her slowest of three races through the rounds in the 200.

The 27-year-old Thomas, who decided not to run the 400 meters at trials so she could focus solely on the 200, her best race, will look to add to the bronze medal she won in the event three years ago in Tokyo.

“I knew I needed to get today done, and this is a first step,” Thomas said. “There was no gold medal in Paris without getting the job done today, so I’m just ecstatic to be alongside these amazing, incredible women.”

Richardson will still have the 100 — where she’ll go in as a favorite and as the reigning world champion — along with a spot on the women’s 4×100 relay team.

Richardson clapped her hands and blew a kiss to the crowd before exiting the tunnel quickly after a race that has never been her best, but in which she was widely viewed as a top-three candidate. She won the bronze medal at worlds last year in the 200.

Unlike Thomas, she ran three rounds last week in the 100, which can take both a physical and mental toll. Unlike Thomas, she was also dealing with a warning for a lane violation from Friday’s semifinal, meaning if she did it again, she’d be disqualified.

Richardson wobbled slightly at the start, a la her burst from the block in the opening round of the 100 last week, but handled the curve well and was neck and neck for third with Tamara Clark, four lanes to her left, as they hit the straightaway.

The trouble, however, came from her right. Brown finished in 21.90, a personal best, and Long was .01 behind her, with a sizable gap left before Richardson crossed.

Thomas has never lost to Richardson in a 200. Her biggest challenge in Paris figures to come from Jamaican Shericka Jackson, who ran 21.41 at last year’s world championships — the second-fastest time in history. Jackson won her preliminary round at Jamaica’s nationals Saturday.


AP Summer Olympics:

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