Shericka Jackson targets Diamond League double
Jamaica's Shericka Jackson (right) and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (left) sandwich United States' Aleia Hobbs in the women's 100m event during the IAAF Diamond League "Memorial Van Damme" athletics meeting at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Friday, September 2, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

Shericka Jackson will seek to join a select group of athletes when she chases Diamond League titles in both the women's 100m and 200m on today's second day of the Wanda Diamond League finals at the Weltklasse Zurich meet at Letzigrund Stadium in the Swiss city.

Jackson, the world champion in the 200m and silver medallist in the 100m, ended Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's season-long winning streak in the shorter sprint last week and will hope to prove that win was not a fluke.

Thirteen Jamaicans will take part in nine finals on a day when another 26 Diamond trophies will be up for grabs. There will be the chance for wild card entries to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest next year, as well as US$30,000 for each winner.

The other Jamaicans down to compete today are Shanieka Ricketts (women's triple jump); Stephenie Ann McPherson and Candice McLeod (women's 400m); Britany Anderson (100m hurdles); Hansle Parchment and Rasheed Broadbell (110m hurdles); Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Natasha Morrison (women's 100m); Jackson (women's 200m); Yohan Blake (men's 100m); Rushell Clayton and Janieve Russell (women's 400m hurdles); and Natoya Goule (women's 800m).

The two-day final started yesterday with a number of finals at Sechselautenplatz — one of the city's most famous squares situated on the shore of Lake Zurich where Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd placed fifth in the women's shot put with a best mark of 19.04m.

American Chase Ealy completed a perfect Diamond League season, winning the Diamond Trophy with 20.19m. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sarah Mitton of Canada was second with 19.56m and Auriol Dongmo of Portugal was third with 19.46m.

According to World Athletics, since the Diamond League Final "became a one-meeting affair last year, no athlete has yet managed to win more than one trophy in any given season". But it's a feat that Jackson intends to change.

Just over an hour and 20 minutes will separate the women's sprint events with the 100m being the first.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Jackson said she thinks it will be sufficient time for her to make personal history.

World leader Fraser-Pryce will be looking to bounce back from her first loss in the 100m this year and first loss in the event to Jackson. She will be hoping to get back to her sub-10.70 seconds form, a place that no one else has managed to get to this season.

A third Jamaican, Natasha Morrison, will line up in the 100m, as well as Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Côte d'Ivoire and the Americans Aleia Hobbs, Twanisha Terry and Sha'Carri Richardson.

Jackson will be the overwhelming favourite in the 200m, however, and regardless of what happens in the 100m, should win her first Diamond trophy after losing over the distance just once this season — in May, when she was beaten by American Gabrielle Thomas who will be in the field today.

Since that defeat Jackson has won eight-straight 200m races, including claiming the Jamaican national title in running 21.45, the second fastest time ever, and also the World Championships crown.

European champion Mujinga Kambundji and world championships finalist Tamara Clark and Jenna Prandini will also line up.

Rasheed Broadbell, the Commonwealth Games champion and who missed the World Championships final by just 0.01 seconds, looks to be the man to to beat in the 110m hurdles, despite the presence of the Olympic champion Hansle Parchment and two-time World Champion Grant Holloway.

Broadbell will be looking to win a sixth-straight race, a streak during which he has beaten Holloway and Parchment twice and lowered his life time best to 12.99.

World silver medallist Trey Cunningham, who finished ahead of Holloway and Parchment in Lausanne, will also be in the race that promises to be one of the most competitive of the day.

The 100m hurdles could also be competitive with the world championships medallists meeting for the first time since Eugene in July. The race could come down to who holds their nerves and form best throughout.

Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn has arguably had the best season, except for her third-place finish in Eugene. She has won five of six races since then.

World record holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria will be seeking a hat-trick of sorts as she wants to add the Diamond title to her World Championships and Commonwealth Games titles.

Jamaica's Britany Anderson should be in the mix but has had issues coming off the 10th hurdle in her last few races. The Americans Tia Jones, Kendra Harrison and Nia Ali will add to the quality in the line-up.

Ricketts will be defending her Diamond League title, but faces the very daunting presence of double world record holder and world champion Yulimar Rojas in the women's triple jump.

Ricketts, the Commonwealth Games champion and silver medallist at the World Championships, slipped to third in the world, but has been consistent all year and could challenge the virtually invincible Venezuelan.

European champion Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, the second ranked in the world behind Rojas, Tori Franklin of the USA and Thea Lafond of Dominica will be pushing for the title as well.

McPherson and McLeod will be in a 400m race that will see a tough duo of Marileidy Paulino and Fiordaliza Cofil from the Dominica Republic and Barbados' Commonwealth champion Sada Williams.

Russell and Clayton will hope for some redemption in the women's 400m hurdles event in which Holland's Femke Bol, American Dalilah Muhammad and Gianna Woodruff of Panama could be the ones challenging for the trophy.

Goule was third last year and will hope to create a big upset today, but will face a tough women's 800m field led by Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain and Kenya's Mary Moraa.

Yohan Blake might not be the threat he was in days gone by, but he is coming off back-to-back sub-10.00 seconds in a meeting in Germany just over a week ago.

Today, he will face a field led by American Trayvon Bromell and Akani Simbine of South Africa.

Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts competes in the women's triple jump final during the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on Monday, July 18, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
Rasheed Broadbell of Jamaica competes in the 110m hurdles during the 2022 Commomwealth Games in Birmingham, England. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Candice McLeod of Jamaica competes in the 400m event during the IAAF 2022 Golden Spike Athletics Meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
Paul Reid

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