US Vogue magazine has dubbed her the “Flo-Jo of our time”, but Sha’Carri Richardson has said she’s in “no rush” to break her idol’s 23-year-old 100m world record.
Richardson, 21, has been compared to Florence Griffith-Joyner, the 1988 Olympic champion – and was asked on Tuesday about trying to beat her world record of 10.49secs.
“My journey has just started,” she said.
“I just want to develop and progress. I am not going to put that expectation on myself and disappoint myself.”
At the Tokyo Games, Richardson is likely to line-up against the Jamaican pairing of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion, and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won 100m and 200m gold at Rio 2016.
World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith is also expected to take on both the sprint disciplines.
The Briton beat Richardson in tough conditions at the Diamond League’s Gateshead meeting in May.
“This year has been crazy for me,” said Richardson after an emotional win at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
The win came at the end of a difficult week – as she had been told days earlier that her biological mother had died.
But she said that she was “still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here”, and wanted to make the “family that I do have on this Earth proud”.
“Without them, there would be no me, she added. “Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’carri Richardson. So my family is my everything. My everything until the day I’m done.”