Sha'Carri Richardson pictured at the USA world trials, where she failed to qualify from the women's 100m heats ©Getty Images

Sha’Carri Richardson, expected to carry the main home challenge in the women’s 100 metres at next month’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon failed to qualify on the opening day of the United States trials on the same track. 

Richardson, who missed last year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics because of a three-month ban following a positive test for cannabis at the Olympic trials after victory in the 100m, finished fifth in her opening heat with a time of 11.31sec.

The 22-year-old, who models much of her on-track persona on that of the late US world record holder, Florence Griffith-Joyner, is fifth in this season’s world lists with the 10.85 she ran at the New York Grand Prix, and sixth on the all-time list following her 10.72 clocking last year.

After her surprising run at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships - where, traditionally, places go only to the first three in each event when the event serves as a trial for either the World Championships or Olympics - Richardson did not speak to the media, racing through the mixed zone afterwards.

She can still qualify for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 through the 200m, where she has a personal best of 22.00sec and stands 16th in this year’s world listings with 22.38.

Richardson’s ban last year ended her hopes of running individually in Tokyo but she was also left out of the US team’s relay squad, although her suspension would have been completed by the time of the relay events.

Aleia Hobbs topped the women's 100 metres heats on the opening day of the United States Trials for the World Athletics Championships ©Getty Images
Aleia Hobbs topped the women's 100 metres heats on the opening day of the United States Trials for the World Athletics Championships ©Getty Images

She acknowledged the mistake in an interview with the Today show after her suspension.

She also said she had used marijuana as a way of coping with her mother’s recent death.

But on Twitter this week she commented about that interview saying: "I wish I never did this.

"I wish I had the choice when it was time for me to tell my story."

Aleia Hobbs, who ran 10.83 to beat Richardson in New York, topped the heats in 10.88.

If the colourful Richardson, who is guided by controversial coach Dennis Mitchell, fails to come through over the longer sprint distance it will certainly diminish the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 as a spectacle and from a marketing point of view, as well as disappointing the many thousands of fans who follow her on social media.

Normal service was restored in the men’s 100m heats as Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Fred Kerley set a 2022 world lead of 9.83sec, with Cravont Charleston clocking 10.07, and world champion Christian Coleman progressing with a time of 10.08.

Competing in the last trials of her career, 36-year-old multiple world and Olympic medallist Allyson Felix went through to the second day’s women’s 400m semi-finals with a time of 52.30sec.

Olympic 400m hurdles champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin, who tops this year’s world lists with 51.61sec, produced the fastest heat time of 54.11, while world indoor 800m champion Ajee Wilson was fastest in 2:00.37.

There were three finals on the opening evening.

Quanesha Burks won the women’s long jump with 7.06 metres, Brooke Andersen earned victory in the women’s hammer throw with a throw of 77.96m and Andrew Evans was triumphant in the men’s discus with a best of 63.31m.