Bronze-medallist Jackson says COVID-19 a blessing in disguiseSunday, August 01, 2021
TOKYO, Japan — Newly minted women's 100m bronze-medallist Shericka Jackson believes that the novel coronavirus pandemic which forced the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, was a blessing in disguise for her.
The 27-year-old MVP athlete had won a bronze medal in the 400m at the Doha World Championships, but twice suffered from stress fractures in her shins since then.
The delayed Games gave her time not only to heal those injures but also, as fate would have it, an opportunity to switch from her favoured quarter-mile event, culminating with this massive sprint bronze medal earned Saturday night inside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
“I think last year was my biggest blessing when the Olympics was postponed,” she said in a post-event interview.
“I was happy, because after a magnificent 2019, I had two stress fractures in my shins and it was a struggle in 2020, and just to be here running in the Olympics and getting a bronze medal, I am just so grateful,” she added.
Jackson said, in consultation with Coach Paul Francis, they decided to attempt the 100m with a view to becoming eligible for the sprint relays at major meets.
That decision turned out to be a masterstroke now that the results are bearing fruits.
“When my coach and I decided we are going to switch, it was a good decision because I wanted to run the 100, but it was not at the major championship, it was just for a relay spot, so to be here and get a medal is just amazing,” Jackson said.
And she is also of the opinion that her background training in the quarter-mile helped in no uncertain manner with her successes in the bronze-medal win.
“I think so because most of the background season and coming into this season I was actually still training with the quarter-milers, so I think it helped a lot, and for me to run so many 10secs in my first year in the 100, is just amazing.”
Jackson said her main aim was to do her best and that was good enough to earn her the bronze medal and a personal best time of 10.76 seconds.
The country's dominance of the event was icing on the cake for her.
“It is special [sweep of podium places], and I'm glad I am among that one-two-three. It is the first time running a 100m at a major championship and I got a medal – a personal best – and I can't complain,” she said.
And, even with the current success and improvement in the 100m sprint, Jackson admits the quarter-mile is her first love.
She says she will have to see, as the 400 has become her first love, so next year she will be able to better determine where she goes as far as the sprints are concerned.
— Ian Burnett