As the World Athletics Awards 2023 draws near, we’re shining a spotlight on the 10 finalists – five men and five women – for the World Athlete of the Year awards.
Today the focus is on Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson.
In 2023 Shericka Jackson extended her reign as the queen of the 200m.
The Jamaican went undefeated in the half-lap sprint for the entire year, retaining her world title and creeping ever closer to the long-standing world record.
She also impressed in the 100m, reducing her PB to a world-leading 10.65 before taking world silver, then adding another silver medal in the 4x100m.
Following some early-season races in the first few months of the year, Jackson’s season really got going in April when she sped to a world-leading 10.82 in her first 100m competition of the year.
She then started her Wanda Diamond League campaign in May, finishing second over 100m in Doha before winning the 200m in Rabat in 21.98.
In early July, Jackson won the sprint double at the Jamaican Championships, taking the 100m in a PB of 10.65 and the 200m in 21.71. At the end of that month, she had competitions in four different countries within the span of a week, clocking 10.78 for 100m in Silesia, winning the 200m in Szekesfehervar in 22.02, winning again over 200m in Monaco in 21.86, then running 10.94 in the 100m in London.
She then rested, understandably, until the World Championships one month later.
The 100m was up first in Budapest and she took silver in 10.72. But it’s the 200m where Jackson truly excels, and she didn’t disappoint. In the final she sped around the bend and then charged down the home straight to cross the finish line in a championship record of 21.41, the second-fastest time in history and just 0.07 shy of the world record.
"I ran a good race – 21.41 is a time I cannot complain about. It feels good that even though I used to run 400m I can still do a very good 100m and 200m. I feel like I am a living testimony that you can create something if you really want it and never give up.
"Even if I was pretty close to the world record, it was not the thing on my mind when I ran. I'll continue to work and I hope I can maintain at least this level and we will see if the world record will come."
One day later, she notched up a third medal in Budapest, taking silver in the 4x100m.
She maintained her 200m winning streak through the end of the year, winning in Zurich (21.82), Brussels (21.48) and Eugene (21.57).
She had hoped to break the world record in her final couple of races of the season. Although she didn’t better 21.34, she made history in other ways; she achieved more sub-22-second clockings (7) in one season than anyone else in history. And her career tally of sub-22 runs now stands at 17, breaking the record set by Merlene Ottey.
She is also fast starting to dominate the world all-time list. She now owns three of the four fastest 200m performances of all time, and five of the eight fastest clockings.
• The World Athletes of the Year will be announced on World Athletics’ social media platforms on 11 December as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023 – and you and a friend can be part of the celebrations.
One lucky person and a companion will win a once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip to Monaco during the annual World Athletics Awards.
The winners of the fan VIP trip will get to spend three nights (9-11 December) in Monaco and meet the best athletes of 2023 in person. Flights, accommodation and evening meals will all be included.