Shericka Jackson clocks second fastest time in history to retain women’s 200m title

Shericka Jackson clocks second fastest time in history to retain women’s 200m title

Shericka Jackson retained her women’s 200m title in style at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday (25 August).

The Jamaican was already ahead at the bend and eased clear as the field entered the home straight, clocking 21.41 to break her own championship record from 12 months ago.

That is the second fastest time in history behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34 from the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

Gabby Thomas of the United States chased her home in second place (21.81) with Monday’s 100m hero Sha’Carri Richardson (21.92) taking the bronze.

Jackson, who took silver behind Richardson in the short sprint, was the picture of relaxation as she was introduced last and made her entrance to the track.

She even had a stroll back from the bend to the starting blocks, making her rivals wait before the on-track introductions.

The 29-year-old had a good start from lane six and was quickly up on the shoulder of St Lucia’s Julien Alfred.

And she powered past Thomas and Richardson outside her on the bend with the crowd almost spellbound as they watched the most emphatic of title defences.

Alfred was fourth in 22.05 ahead of Britain’s Daryll Neita who broke her personal best, just as she had done in the semi-finals, with a time of 22.16.

Jackson’s emotions after her victory were somewhat hard to decipher and she told Eurosport afterwards, “The thing is I wrote down 21.40 as the slowest time I was going to run today. Sometimes people misinterpret my facial expressions but I think I did pretty good tonight and I’m grateful just to be here.

“I’m definitely not disappointed. To run a personal best, I’m definitely grateful.”

And Jackson revealed that her 200m victory at last month’s Monaco Diamond League had reignited her desire for the half-lap event:

“I’d lost a little love for the 200, maybe because I was so focused on the 100 early on the season. I think when I watched the race in Monaco, I realised that I’d got back what I was missing and I think I did pretty good in Monaco.”

Speaking later in the post-race press conference, Jackson revealed she was not mulling over missing out on 100m gold to Richardson. “It feels good to be the back-to-back champion (in the 200m).

“After the 100 coach and I spoke and he said the 100 is already gone, it’s time to focus on the 200. The 200 is my baby. I just wanted to come out here and execute my own race. I think I did pretty good tonight.”

And, in a joking dig at her fellow medallists, she said: “I’m not going to celebrate. Probably not now, probably after the 4×1(00m relay).”

Thomas, for her part, said she was delighted to be on the podium after coming back from an injury-hit 2022. “That is an amazing feeling. I learned a lot from last season and we did everything really well this year.

“I showed up to the line and was fit and healthy and was in the right mental space. I’m really excited to get back to training and work on it next year.”

Richardson is the first American woman since Carmelita Jeter in 2011 to win medals in both individual sprint events at the World Championships. “I’m grateful to actually be here, my first World Championships, and to leave here with not one but two medals,” she reflected. “I saw someone say I’m the first American woman since 2011 to leave here with medals in the 100m and 200m so I’m happy to bring that back home.”