Usain Bolt says American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson should stop trash-talking and focus on training.
Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Bolt said Richardson should keep quiet after she was handed a one-month ban for testing positive for cannabis, which cost her a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Bolt explained the trash talk just makes her Jamaican competitors more determined to beat her.
He told The Post, “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.
“So just train hard and focus on that and try to come back do it and then talk about it.”
In her return to the track last month after the ban, Richardson, 21, finished last in the 100-meter dash, which was won by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, who also took the 100-meter Olympic gold in Tokyo.
In advance of the race, Richardson used a 2017 Nicki Minaj meme that went viral on TikTok, saying, “I took some time off to rest and now it’s game time, b-tches. You have no idea!”
Bolt said he and his fellow Jamaican athletes were not impressed by Richardson’s attitude, 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,” he 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.]”
Bolt said he had experienced the same thing with American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who had goaded him going into the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Gatlin finished second to Bolt in the 100-meter final.
Bolt said, “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.”
Richardson’s return to the track after her suspension at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. fell on Bolt’s 35th birthday on Aug. 21. And he said she got her comeuppance for all that trash talk.
He said, “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.
“But it was like, ‘Oh s–t’ but the memes kept coming quick. You know Jamaicans they were laughing and just going in at her [Richardson]. It was just one of those things.”
Track legend Bolt retired in 2017 and now he has a new venture in music. His debut reggae album titled “Country Yutes” is out, and he says it could help Richardson mentally prepare her for her next race.
He told The Post, “I would recommend my full album. I would give her the whole playlist to Sha’Carri. For me she’s been through a lot you know, she’s lost her mom.
“So one of the songs on the album is called ‘R.I.P. My G’ it’s about one of my friends and I lost a couple years ago. So it’s little bit of everything on this album it is for everybody.
“It’s a vibe song, hard times, positive music, it says a little bit of everything — that’s why I think people really love it because everyone has their own personal favorite.”
Richardson, 21 became a household name after winning first place in the 100-meter competition in June earning her a spot in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
But on July 2, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that she tested positive for marijuana. She later explained it was a way to cope with the sudden death of her mother.
But Bolt says, where it comes to drugs, athletes absolutely have to follow the rules.
He said, “Do not use weed … People ask me about drugs and I will say rules are rules.
“Soon as we get into sports they tell you, your agents and managers tell you this is illegal, you can’t do this. You have to follow the rules just like in life, you can’t do certain things.”
He added, “I know people that smoke but that has nothing to do with me. I was brought up a certain way and — again, as I said — as soon as you get into sports they let you know that.
“But that’s your life decision.”