EUGENE, Ore. — Sha’Carri Richardson never made it to the start, let alone the finish, of the 200 meters at the last Olympic trials.

At these trials, even in the opening round of what’s really her second-best race, she flashed another glimpse of the kind of sprinter who has emerged from all that trouble three years ago.

Bursting from the starting block and turning the curve into her own, personal glidepath, Richardson was able to slow down over the final 20 meters Thursday night and still won her opening round in 21.99 seconds.

View post on X

That she pulled up and still recorded only the third sub-22 showing of her career at 200 meters was a sign she just might be as dangerous in the longer sprint as the 100 she dominated last weekend.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“It’s just focusing in on executing the curve and making the straightaway much easier,” said Richardson, whose trials came to an abrupt halt three years ago when she tested positive for marijuana after winning the 100. “I feel like I did that excellent, but I always have room for improvement.”

Joining Richardson at Hayward Field for the second half of the trials was Gabby Thomas, the 200-meter bronze medalist in Tokyo.

Elise Cooper of Owings Mills, who will be a senior at McDonogh School, also advanced to the semifinals. Cooper finished third in her heat in 23.05 seconds. The top five runners in each heat moved on, along with the seven fastest runners who did not place in the top five of their heats.