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Sha’Carri Richardson and Gabby Thomas Dominate 200m Heats at U.S. Trials

Sha'Carri Richardson and Gabby Thomas Dominate 200m Heats at U.S. Trials

Sha’Carri Richardson has set her sights on making Team USA in two individual events. Fresh off her victory in the 100m at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the Dallas native returned to the track on Thursday to compete in the 200m.

Richardson was the only woman in the first round of the 200m to clock a sub-22 time, securing the win with an impressive 21.99 seconds. As the reigning world bronze medallist in this event, she was 0.12 seconds faster than Gabby Thomas, the reigning silver medallist, who also won her heat with a time of 22.11 seconds.

Both athletes eased up towards the finish, confidently securing their spots in the semi-finals as clear winners of their respective heats.

“It’s about execution,” Richardson, 24, told NBC. “I’m focusing in on executing the curve to make the straight-away much, much easier. I felt like today I thought I did that really excellent. I know that there is room for improvement, so I’m excited to show that in the semi-finals tomorrow.”

When asked if qualifying for the 100m had lessened the pressure, Richardson responded, “Absolutely not. Any time I touch the track, it’s an opportunity to work on my best self. So, any time I touch the track there’s pressure.”

Following Richardson and Thomas in the top six were Abby Steiner (22.29), Brittany Brown (22.29), McKenzie Long (22.49), and Jadyn Mays (22.50). Richardson’s training partner, Twanisha Terry, also advanced to the semi-finals with a time of 22.71, placing her tenth among the 27 semi-finalists. Like Richardson, Terry is aiming to qualify for both sprint events.

Melissa Jefferson, another training mate of Richardson and bound for Paris 2024, did not compete in the 200m. The women’s 200m semi-final is scheduled for Friday, with the final set for Saturday.

Richardson’s return to the track and her performance in the 200m heats reflect her determination to excel in multiple events at the Olympic Trials. Her sub-22 time sets a high bar for the upcoming semi-finals, and her focus on execution highlights her commitment to continual improvement.

Gabby Thomas, maintaining her strong form, will also be a key contender in the semi-finals. The stage is set for an exciting competition as these top athletes vie for their spots on Team USA, with Richardson leading the charge.

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