The fastest man alive has some words of advice for American sprinter #ShaCarriRichardson. Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt told the New York Post Sha’Carri should stop trash-talking and focus more on her training.
Sha’Carri became an early fan favorite for many and one to watch leading up to the Olympic trials. Then she was banned from the sport for a month after testing positive for marijuana, which cost her a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the Tokyo Olympics, though Americans continued to throw their support behind her and called the decision unfair.
Given the controversy, Sha’Carri has also faced her share of criticism for her reaction to the ban. Usain Bolt explained Sha’Carri’s “trash talk” just makes her Jamaican competitors more determined to beat her.
“I would tell Sha’Carri to train harder and to be focused and not say too much … If you talk that big talk you have to back it up,” Usain said. “So just train hard and focus on that and try to come back do it and then talk about it.”
Sha’Carri faced a lot of ridicule amid her much anticipated return to the track in August when she finished last in the 100-meter dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon.
Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Olympics, took first again.
Before the race, Sha’Carri used a viral Nicki Minaj meme on TikTok that features Nicki saying, “I took some time off to rest and now it’s game time, b-tches. You have no idea!”
Usain said he and his fellow Jamaican athletes were not impressed by Sha’Carri’s boasting, especially given the historical rivalry between American and Jamaican sprinters.
“Jamaicans were vexed because she was talking a lot of s**t before the actual race, it is just one of those things,” Usain said. “Jamaicans don’t like when people talk s**t about us because we are a very proud people. So if you talk about us we are gonna want you to back it up. It definitely gave those women the extra push [to win.]”
Usain added he had experienced the same thing with American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who threw some shade at him going into the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Gatlin finished second to Bolt in the 100-meter final.
“That was my thing with Justin Gatlin — because he’s the one that was always talking — so that gives me that energy like, ‘All right you think you’re gonna win let’s go!’ So it does give you that extra boost to wanna beat that person,” Usain said.
Usain also mentioned he watched Sha’Carri’s performance at the Prefontaine Classic on his 35th birthday.
“I actually watched the race it was on my birthday … so all my friends were there. We stopped everything just to watch the race. I knew Elaine [Thompson-Herah] was going to win.”
“I knew she was going to run a fast time but I didn’t expect Sha’ Carri to come in last though,” he said.
Usain retired from the sport in 2017. He recently debuted a reggae album.
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