Sport

Notice served

Proud Shericka Jackson serves notice in the 200m

Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Ever since entering the senior ranks for Jamaica, Shericka Jackson has been running the 400m. While a student at Vere Technical High, she competed in both the 200m and 400m, but Jackson focused mainly on the quarter mile when she moved on to the University of Technology (UTech).

Jackson has won individual bronze medals in the 400m at the World Championships in Beijing in 2015 and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2016, along with a gold medal in the 4x400m, also in Beijing.

Her 2018 season has not followed the same script of previous years as she has made the half-lap event the focus of her efforts. The change by Jackson has come with relative success as she has managed to lower her personal best in the 200m at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia last month. She finished second in 22.18 to Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who won the event in a championship record time of 22.09.

After a third-place finish at the Shanghai Diamond League on May 12th, where she lost to Miller-Uibo and Daphne Schippers of the Netherlands, Jackson returned to island for the Jamaica International Invitational Meet where she won the 200m in 22.55, getting the better of Nigerian veteran Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor who finished second in 22.66, and Phyllis Francis of the USA who was third in 22.76.

It was not a perfect race by her own account, but the 23-year-old is being patient with herself.

“I think I probably followed the instructions given to me by my coach a little bit, probably I ran off the curve a little too slow, but I'll get there and see how it goes from there,” she promised.

Winning in front of your home crowd is always special for any athlete and Jackson is aiming for more as the season unfolds.

“I am feeling good. I just want to remain healthy and see where I can go from here,” she said.

It was a fairly comfortable win in the end for the MVP Track Club athlete, but she certainly had to work for the win. Coming off the turn in the middle of the pack, Jackson had to work hand to get past race leader Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and held her form to resist the late surge from the chasing pack.

“Strength has a lot to do with it, but it is how you execute. no matter who is on your shoulder, you just have to remain calm,” she said of being able to maintain her composure.

She credits the experience gained at her training base for remaining calm when it mattered most.

“I have trained with a lot of world-class athletes, so I know how to really focus on not losing my form or anything, so I think I did a good job and I am proud,” Jackson concluded.

Local fans should get another opportunity to see Jackson race in short order, as she is down to compete at the Racers Grand Prix on June 9.

—Dwayne Ricgards

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