Her first and undying love!
Even with success in short sprints, Shericka's heart is with 400mTuesday, August 24, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
DESPITE a season which very few of the greatest female sprinters can boast, Shericka Jackson still sees herself as a quarter-miler and says she is undecided about which event she will run next season when the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, will be the major event on the calendar.
Jackson, who won the bronze medal in the 400m at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and two World Championships bronze medals in London in 2017 and Doha in 2019, dropped down to the 100m/200m double this year and shocked the world with a series of world-class performances.
The former Vere Technical and University of Technology runner says she still has a place in her heart for the one-lap race. “I still have a lot of love for the 400m, not that I have stopped running the 400m,” she told Friday's press conference prior to the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.
Jackson, who joined two-time Olympic Games sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to repeat their 100m clean sweep in the Olympics by finishing first, second and third in the event at the Prefontaine Classic, added. “I took a break and the break was really, really good for me. So, my coach and I will have to decide next season — which will be the World Championships [year] — and we will decide which event I will run there.”
A lot of eyebrows were raised in June when Jackson was entered in all three events, the 100m, 200m and 400m at Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Trials, but she and Coach Paul Francis at MVP Track and Field Club had the last laugh as she reeled off a series of world-class times to make the team to the Tokyo Olympics in both sprints, finishing second to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in both events.
Jackson ran 10.91 seconds in the first round of the 100m then followed that up with a blistering 10.77 seconds in the semi-finals before running 10.82 seconds in the final.
She followed that up with 21.82 seconds in the final of the 200m and joined an elite list of women who have run sub-10 seconds in the 100m, sub-22 seconds in the 200m and sub-50 seconds in the 400m.
Asked on Friday whether she could run all the events or would make a return to the 400m, a confident-sounding Jackson said with emphasis. “The good thing about this is that I can switch every event at any time...that is the good thing. I can run all three events but it has to be a decision me and my coach will make.”
Jackson left the Olympics with three medals as she secured bronze in the 100m behind Elaine Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce, anchored the women's 4x100m relay team that ran a national record, and was part of the 4x400m relay team that took the bronze.
“For me it's a pleasure to compete with the sprinters. Being a quarter-miler, I always loved sprinting...to be able to have been a part of history in Tokyo, it was a great feeling and I am just grateful to be here and I am grateful for what I have accomplished at the Olympics in the sprints.”
She said some would have had doubts about her stepping down from the 400m to run the sprints but said others have done it with success “and showed that it is possible. When you show up at the line you give your best — and my best was good enough in Tokyo”.