2023 Doha Sprint Recap: Sha’Carri Richardson Earns First Diamond League Win, Kerley Wins 200m Showdown



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American Sha’Carri Richardson earned her first career Wanda Diamond League victory in style, pulling away from reigning World Championship silver medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica to win the 2023 DL season opener in Doha on Friday in a world-leading 10.76 seconds. Jackson was 2nd in 10.85 as 2019 Worlds silver medalist Dina Asher Smith of Great Britain was 3rd in 10.98.

Not counting her win at the 2021 US Olympic Trials – and officially, that race was not a win as she was stripped of her title after testing positive for marijuana – today was the biggest victory of Richardson’s professional career. Up against two of the world’s best in Jackson and Asher-Smith, Richardson was even with Jackson for the first 70 meters and held her form very well, separating late to win for the first time in seven Diamond League 100-meter starts.

“I felt blessed in my performance,” Richardson said after the race in an interview posted by NBC Olympic Talk’s Nick Zaccardi. “I’m happy that I’m here, healthy, but more important, happy. I found my peace back on the track and I’m not letting anything or anybody take that anymore.”

Fred Kerley (19.92 in the 200), Rai Benjamin (47.78 in the 400 hurdles), Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.48 in the 100 hurdles), and Marileidy Paulino (50.51 in the 400) were the other sprint winners in Doha. Recaps on those races after quick analysis of Richardson’s race below.

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We’ll have a separate article where we recap the distance races and field events, where Lamecha Girma got a big win, Emma Coburn fell, and Faith Kipyegon impressed again.

Race video below *International viewers click here

Final, Wind: +0.9

1.Sha’Carri RICHARDSON25 MAR 2000USA10.76
2.Shericka JACKSON16 JUL 1994JAM10.85
3.Dina ASHER-SMITH04 DEC 1995GBR10.98
4.Twanisha TERRY24 JAN 1999USA11.07
5.Zoe HOBBS11 SEP 1997NZL11.08
6.Teahna DANIELS25 MAR 1997USA11.18
7.Melissa JEFFERSON21 FEB 2001USA11.19
8.Abby STEINER24 NOV 1999USA11.19

Quick Take: This was a big win for Sha’Carri Richardson

We all know Sha’Carri Richardson has the talent to be one of the world’s best sprinters. The problem early in her professional career is that her results have not been nearly consistent enough to land her on the podium. Is 2023 the year that changes for Richardson, who is still only 23 years old?

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So far, so good. Richardson passed her first test, opening up with a wind-aided 10.57 in Miramar on April 8. Today, she faced a bigger test against Jackson and Asher-Smith, and she beat both of them comfortably, running a smart race and outlasting them by running strong all the way through the finish line. Richardson will ultimately be judged by how she performs at championships. But the Diamond League is the biggest stage the sport has outside of those championships, and earning your first DL win over a pair of the world’s top sprinters is something to be celebrated. This was a significant step forward for Richardson.

She can’t celebrate too much though: Richardson will be in action again next weekend at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi. 

MB: Watch out WORLD. Sha’Carri WINS LOADED DOHA 100m- 10.76!! SHA’CARRI’S BACK BABY!!! 

Quick Take: Richardson said she was “kicked out” from the 100 meters last week in Botswana

Richardson was in good spirits after the race, saying, “I’m so blessed and thankful, I feel at peace. All I do is the best I do and I’m excited to do it.”

However, Richardson added a curious comment in the interview tweeted out by Zaccardi: she said she was “kicked out” of the 100 meters and had to run the 200 instead. Richardson didn’t expand on her comments, but it’s worth noting that world champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was also supposed to be in the 100 in Botswana but wound up withdrawing due to a family emergency. Both SAFP and Richardson are entered in next week’s Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, and while Capital FM is reporting they will be racing each other, the Daily Nation says Richardson will run the 200 and SAFP will run the 100.

Men’s 200: Fred Kerley gets win over loaded field, Michael Norman last

In a much-anticipated men’s 200, 100 world champ Fred Kerley came from behind to win comfortably in 19.92 (+0.3) as he ran down Olympic and world champ silver medallist Kenny Bednarek (2nd in 20.11). Big names Andre De Grasse (6th, 20.35) and Michael Norman (last, 20.65) were not good in this one.

While the times were listed as being aided by the wind, that’s misleading. The wind, which was 9-10 mph and gusting to over 20 mph, was almost a perfect crosswind, meaning they had to battle it directly in their faces during the first turn.

Kerley next will head to Japan to open his season at 100m at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama on May 21.

Final, Wind: +0.3

1.Fred KERLEY07 MAY 1995USA19.92
2.Kenneth BEDNAREK14 OCT 1998USA20.11
3.Aaron BROWN27 MAY 1992CAN20.20
4.Kyree KING09 JUL 1994USA20.29
5.Joseph FAHNBULLEH11 SEP 2001LBR20.29
6.Andre DE GRASSE10 NOV 1994CAN20.35
7.Alexander OGANDO03 MAY 2000DOM20.62
8.Michael NORMAN03 DEC 1997USA20.65

Men’s 400 Hurdles: Rai Benjamin Holds Off CJ Allen

Three-time global silver medallist Rai Benjamin had to work to win this as he was surprisingly challenged by fellow American CJ Allen from start to finish. Benjamin had a narrow lead for most of it and ended up winning in 47.78, just off his world lead of 47.74. Allen broke 48 for the first time in second, clocking 47.93 (previous pb of 48.17).

The improvement of the 28-year-old Allen was the most noteworthy aspect of this race. Allen never made an NCAA final while at Washington State and had a collegiate pb of 49.40 in 2017. He didn’t get under the 49-second barrier until 2021 (48.73), but ran 48.17 last year, when he was 4th at USAs. Now he’s one of the 50 fastest 400 hurdlers in history (47.93 put him in a five-way tie at #48).  

1.Rai BENJAMIN27 JUL 1997USA47.78
2.CJ ALLEN14 FEB 1995USA47.93
3.Wilfried HAPPIO22 SEP 1998FRA49.12
4.Khallifah ROSSER13 JUL 1995USA49.25
5.Trevor BASSITT26 FEB 1998USA49.52
6.Sokwakhana ZAZINI23 JAN 2000RSA49.74
7.Thomas BARR24 JUL 1992IRL49.88
8.İsmail NEZIR22 JAN 2003TUR51.40

Women’s 400: Paulino runs down Little

With reigning world and Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo missing the 2023 season after giving birth last month, there is some uncertainty in the women’s 400 meters this year. The Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino finished second behind Miller-Uibo at the 2021 Olympics and 2022 Worlds and would seem the natural candidate to inherit her title, but a number of 400 hurdlers ran fast indoors (Femke Bol, Britton Wilson) and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is mulling the flat 400 as well (she will run that event at the LA Grand Prix on May 27).

In Doha, another hurdler, American Shamier Little, burst out to an early lead, but Paulino ran her down on the final turn. It was a two-woman race down the home straight, with Paulino holding on to take a 50.51-50.84 victory.

1.Marileidy PAULINO25 OCT 1996DOM50.51
2.Shamier LITTLE20 MAR 1995USA50.84
3.Natalia KACZMAREK17 JAN 1998POL51.64
4.Sada WILLIAMS01 DEC 1997BAR52.05
5.Candice MCLEOD15 NOV 1996JAM52.43
6.Stephenie Ann MCPHERSON25 NOV 1988JAM52.93
7.Justyna ŚWIĘTY-ERSETIC03 DEC 1992POL53.08
8.Kyra JEFFERSON23 SEP 1994USA54.00

Women’s 100 Hurdles: Camacho-Quinn impresses

Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn has looked good early in 2023. Last week, she opened up with a 12.29 (+3.2 wind) victory in Jacksonville, and today she made it two-for-two as she won the 100 hurdles in Doha in 12.48 over American Alaysha Johnson (12.66).

Final, Wind: +1.1

1.Jasmine CAMACHO-QUINN21 AUG 1996PUR12.48
2.Alaysha JOHNSON20 JUL 1996USA12.66
3.Nia ALI23 OCT 1988USA12.69
4.Megan TAPPER18 MAR 1994JAM12.76
5.Tonea MARSHALL17 DEC 1998USA12.79
6.Reetta HURSKE15 MAY 1995FIN12.92
7.Michelle JENNEKE23 JUN 1993AUS13.00
8.Sarah LAVIN28 MAY 1994IRL13.08

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More: Lamecha Girma got a big win, Emma Coburn fell, and Faith Kipyegon impressed again.

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