(BUDAPEST - United States sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson said winning the world 100 metres final from lane nine on Monday was fitting after a lifetime of being in her own world.
Richardson was given the outside lane as a consequence of coming through the semi-finals as a fastest loser, but turned it into an advantage as she focused on her own race to run down Jamaican Shericka Jackson and take her first global title in a championship record 10.65 seconds
"I just felt that I executed an amazing race for myself not even knowing where the other ladies were. I was by myself in my own world which honestly has been like that all my life," she said.
"I've always been in my own world, my own element, so lane nine was perfect for me to do what it is that I know to do and focus on myself."
In the post-race press conference the 23-year-old certainly did that - berating foreign journalists for mispronouncing her name or for daring to question her performance in the semis, when she was left sitting in the blocks and came so close to blowing her big chance.
It would not have been the first time, Budapest representing her maiden global championships despite being at the very sharp end of women's sprinting for four years.
She won the U.S. trials for the Tokyo Olympics but was then banned after testing positive for cannabis.
Last year she failed to qualify in the 100m or 200m in the worlds and had to watch as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah took a Jamaican clean sweep in the 100, as well as silver and gold in the 200 on American soil in Eugene.
Social media exchanges added to the rivalry, with Usain Bolt suggesting Richardson should "talk less and train more", though her flamboyant appearance and provocative postings helped build one of the biggest followings in the sport, with 2.4 million followers on Instagram.
So, finally getting to a worlds, surviving the semi-final scare and then chasing down the fastest woman in the world this year - Jackson - over the last 20 metres certainly felt like a major achievement.
"Never give up, never allow media or outsiders to define who you are. Always fight, no matter, fight," she said when, inevitably, she was asked about her "journey."
"Going into the final, surviving each round, knowing the heavy hitters would be there and that I knew I had to come with them. I'm just happy to sit here knowing it all paid off."
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ken Ferris)