Shericka Jackson celebrates her 200m title in a championship record at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (© Getty Images)
Call it the Shericka Sweep.
Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson owned the homestretch in the women’s 200m, running the second-fastest time in history of 21.45 to complete a personal sweep on Thursday (21) at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
Jackson, who obliterated Dafne Schippers’ championship record of 21.63, now has a gold medal in the 200m, a silver in the 100m from Sunday and bronze medals over 400m from the 2019 and 2015 editions of the World Championships. It makes her the first athlete in history to win a full set of World Championships medals across three sprint disciplines.
However, Jamaica was denied the first sweep of places in a women’s 200m at the World Championships.
While Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stormed to the silver medal with a season’s best of 21.81 – just 0.02 off her PB – to add to her gold from the 100m, two-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah finished seventh, clocking 22.39.
Defending champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain captured the bronze with a time of 22.02.
“I am feeling great once I came out and put on the show,” said Jackson, who celebrated her 28th birthday five days earlier (16). “The fastest woman alive, the national and championships record, I cannot complain. I know that Shelly-Ann is probably one of the best curve runners in the world, so I knew she was going to go hard. I knew that if I want to get gold, I had to run the curve as hard as possible.”
Fraser-Pryce started in lane six, with all of her top rivals behind her. “So I got to get off like nobody,” the 35-year-old veteran said, “and I really tried my best to win it and I am so grateful for the gift that I got.”
While Fraser-Pryce had the fastest split for the first 100m, she was barely ahead of Jackson, 11.03 to 11.04. And then they were on the straight. “I know I am strong and fast on coming home,” said Jackson, “so I knew if I eventually caught up with her, I could take it.”
Her second 100m was an impressive 10.41 compared to 10.78 for Fraser-Pryce, who was the only sprinter in the field who was alive in 1988 when Florence Griffith Joyner set the world record of 21.34.
The race was as eagerly anticipated as the men’s 200m, with an incredibly deep field. “I just knew it was going to be a good race; my heart was fluttering,” said Gwen Torrence the 1992 Olympic champion and a two-time world silver medallist in the 200m, “but I just had my money on Shericka because she runs the 400m and her strength is just different.”
Torrence said Jackson’s demeanour reminds her of herself and of the great Jamaican champion Merlene Ottey. “She has that stoic appearance about her,” Torrence said.
Fraser-Pryce was the opposite of stoic, smiling broadly at the start, wearing pink cotton-candy coloured hair and beaming at the finish.
Fraser-Pryce won her 13th medal at the World Championships, her third silver to go along with 10 golds. This was only her second medal in the 200m, the other being gold in 2013.
“Listen, I am tired,” said Fraser-Pryce, who is also expected to run the 4x100m before these championships are over. “I was really, really tired physically and mentally and still I wanted to come out and have a good run. This has always been an event that challenges me.”
Running in lane three, Asher-Smith said that coming to the bend, “I was like, ‘Go, go, go,” and then we came out of the bend and here we are. Let’s just keep going. I was not thinking about my technique, just maintaining my form.”
The British sprinter, who has the Commonwealth Games and European Championships coming up, said that she was getting tired at the end and was “so happy to make the podium.”
“The calibre the girls are running is so high right now,” Asher-Smith said. “I do not think we are going to see anything like that again. I knew I really had to run today.”
Aminatou Seyni, who placed fourth in 22.12, is the first athlete from Niger to reach a World Championships final. “I hope this experience will help me a lot to eventually aim for a world title,” she said.
US hopes for a host nation medal were dashed. Abby Steiner of the US finished fifth in 22.26 and Tamara Clark was sixth in 22.32. Steiner was the world leader at 21.77 until Jackson eclipsed her with 21.55 on the same day in late June.
This was the 55th race of the season for the University of Kentucky star, who won both NCAA and US titles this year. Starting in lane eight, she said she wanted to get out as fast as she could. “I tried to hold on, but unfortunately I did not have my race today,” she said.
Jamaica has now passed the US in gold medals won in the women’s 200m with five as Jackson joins Jamaican champions Ottey, who won in 1993 and 1995, Veronica Campbell-Brown (2011) and Fraser-Pryce.
Jamaica’s 1-2 finish marked the sixth time that a nation put two women on the podium in the 200m and marks the second gold/silver after the US in 2005 (Allyson Felix and Rachelle Boone-Smith).
Karen Rosen for World Athletics
|WOMEN'S 200m MEDALLISTS|
|🥇||Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM||21.45 CR|
|🥈||Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM||21.81 SB|
|🥉||Dina Asher-Smith 🇬🇧 GBR||22.02|