TOKYO, Japan — The Olympics track and field events were capped off in Tokyo on Saturday morning in sensational style - Jamaica's vaunted sprinters ran to a 1-2-3 finish in the women's 100m final, and gold medal champ Elaine Thompson-Herah broke the Olympic record in the event set by the one and only Flo-Jo back in 1988.
But for Team USA fans, it was impossible not to think about the question: What if Sha'Carri Richardson was there?
Richardson was suspended by U.S. Track & Field under international rules ahead of the Olympics for a positive marijuana test. It was a major blow to U.S. track fans, who'd been hoping to see America's fastest woman compete against the Jamaican greats.
Richardson tweeted, "Missing me yet?" on Friday, leading to speculation that she was herself taking note of her Olympic absence.
That drew some criticism, in particular from Jamaican fans who felt like she was implying she cold beat their country's sprint stars.
But it actually wasn't at all misplaced.
Richardson certainly would have been the fastest American in Saturday's final, and likely would have been the most serious challenger to the Jamaican sweep of medals.
She ran a 10.86 to win gold at the U.S. track trials in June, which wouldn't have seriously challenged for a medal in the 100m Olympic final but nonetheless would have been good for fourth place.
More interestingly, her personal best of 10.72 - achieved at a meet in Florida in April - would have been good for the silver medal, ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (10.74) and Shericka Jackson (10.76).
It's far from guaranteed of course that Richardson would have approached her personal best in Tokyo, but it's worth wondering how another month of training ahead of the Olympics and the prospect of running against the world's best would have motivated her.
With Richardson around, a sensational race on Saturday would have been even that much more special.