‘IT’S MY BABY’
Jackson decimates field to nestle back-to-back World Champs 200m title
SHERICKA Jackson clung on to her “baby” in commanding fashion, winning her favourite 200m race to claim back-to-back World Championship titles in the women’s event at the World Championships yesterday.
After earlier securing her second 100m silver in as many World Championships, the focus turned quickly to the event she calls her “baby”.
The win accounted for Jamaica’s third gold medal, and their ninth medal overall, with two days to go.
For Jackson, the desire to defend the title was simply the pride of excelling in the event she has mastered.
The Jamaican won in a Championship Record 21.41 seconds at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, Hungary, blowing away the field to beat her nearest contender by nearly half a second.
Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas of the United States was second in 21.81 seconds, while her countrywoman, World 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson, got her second medal of the championships, winning bronze in a 200m lifetime best of 21.92 seconds.
“There was no pressure. The 200m is my baby. I love all the events but the 200m is my baby. I just wanted to come out here and execute my own race. When I saw that I was behind everybody I was like, ‘I wish I was in front’. But I just wanted to execute my race and I think I did pretty well,” analysed Jackson, who virtually had the race all sewn up after coming off the bend.
Jackson became the second Jamaican to win back-to-back 200m titles at the Worlds since the legendary Merlene Ottey accomplished the feat in 1993 and 1995.
The 29-year-old St Ann native’s second medal of the championships further underlined her versatility and quality in the complete range of sprint events from 100 to 400 metres. In the latter, the secured World Championship bronze medals at the 2015 editions in Beijing and 2019 in Doha, respectively.
Jackson also won relay gold medals at both the Beijing and Doha Worlds, winning 4x400m and 4x100m medals, respectively.
Those successes were also achieved at the Olympic Games, where Jackson won 400m bronze and 4x400m silver in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016 and at the Tokyo Games where she earned bronze in the 100m, gold in the 4x100m and another bronze, in the 4x400m, following a superhuman effort.
Her mark yesterday was 0.07 seconds off the World record set by the late American Florence Griffith Joyner and in line with the minimum time she had predicted.
Her performance, she says, is proof that she is not far off world record pace.
“Honestly, when I crossed the line and when I saw the time I was like ‘I’m close’. I wrote the time on my bib today and the slowest I wrote was 21.40. I got 21.41,” Jackson noted.
“I didn’t know it was legal because I didn’t want to be celebrating and it wasn’t legal,” she added of what may have appeared to be a look of disappointment at the finish.
Jackson said that was not the case.
“It is not a disappointed look because I wrote two times on my bib,” she confirmed.
“I’m super exhausted. I am not 100 per cent. I am kind of under the weather.