Jackson-Richardson clash adds stardust to women’s 200m final
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The stage is set for what could be an epic women’s 200m final on today’s seventh day of the World Athletics Championships at National Athletics Centre here, with Jamaica’s defending champion Shericka Jackson facing off with 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson in a rematch of the 100m final.
After taking the silver behind the American on Sunday’s second day, Jackson, who won the semi-final clash, will be hell-bent on retaining her title.
Meanwhile, two-time Jamaican men’s 200m champion Andrew Hudson, who was involved in a freak accident on the way from the training field to the track for his semi-final, has been given a lane in the final despite finishing well outside the top eight.
Jackson and Richardson have faced each other at least four times already in this championships, including the 100m final, and the Jamaican took a psychological advantage on Thursday by winning their semi-final race with 22.00 seconds (-0.2m/s). Richardson was second with 22.20 seconds and Marie-Josee Ta Lou came in third with a season best-equalling 22.26 seconds, also advancing.
American Gabrielle Thomas, who is also a medal threat, won her semi-final heat with the best time of the round in 21.97 seconds (-0.1m/s), ahead of last year’s bronze medallist Dina Asher-Smith, with Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte — who was third in 22.52 seconds — failing to advance.
The third Jamaican, Kevona Davis, was well set in her semi-final race for up to 160 metres before finishing fifth in 22.34 seconds.
Hudson was granted a medical exemption and placed in the final as he had glass shards in his right eye after the vehicle in which they were being transported, from the warm-up track to the wait room, was involved in an accident.
The race was delayed and then run after the other two, and he reported to the start line despite not being able to see properly, subsequently placing fifth in 20.38 seconds (-0.1m/s). He is expected to run out of lane one of the nine-lane track in the final on Friday.
Rasheed Dwyer was sixth in his semi-final race in 20.49 seconds (-0.4m/s) and did not advance.