Having established herself as one of the greatest 200m runners of all time last season, reigning world champion Shericka Jackson says there is no pressure on her or her coach Stephen Francis to repeat those exploits this year.
Jackson dominated the 200m last season on her way to winning the event at the World Championships in 21.45 seconds, which is the second-fastest of all time.
The versatile athlete is coming off an outstanding 2022 where she also won the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) 100m title as well as the Jamaica's 100 and 200m titles in 10.77 and 21.55, respectively.
The 28-year-old Jackson opened her season on Saturday at the Queen's/Grace Jackson meet at the National Stadium by clocking 53.11 on her way to winning the women's 400m event.
She told the Jamaica Observer that she has now put last year's performances behind her and they are now looking forward to another successful season this year.
"There is no pressure on me or my coach this season," said Jackson. "I believe that we have been working really hard and we can't let what we did last year affect this year because it is a new year and we just have to forget what we did last year and focus on this year.
"The preparations have been going really well because I am healthy and I am back out there, so it is going good," she went on.
Jackson shared that she was somewhat pleased with her first outing of the season.
"It was a pretty good run, but I wanted to run a little bit faster... I am healthy and so I am just grateful," she said.
Odeshia Nanton was second in the event in 55.37, while Christine Chek was third in 55.78.
Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah opened her season at the meet after winning the 60m event in 7.15 seconds.
Thompson-Herah, who has a personal best time of 7.02 in the event, said she wanted to run a lot faster but the delay in the start of the race prevented her from doing so.
"I am disappointed with the line-up, we were out here warming up a little bit early and I thought they would have break at the 200 metres, but they didn't do that, they completed the 200 metres and then came to us," she said.
"I am a bit disappointed because it is an invitational 60 metres, and we had a set time, but nevertheless, I still went out there with a strong mind and I am just happy for the win," Thompson-Herah added.
In the end, she said, "I am just happy that I crossed the line healthy."
Holmwood Technical's outstanding quarter-miler Rick-ann Russell won the girls's Class One 400m in a world-leading and personal best time of 52.88.
— Robert Bailey
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