Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson rewrote the athletics history books a million times over when she annihilated the world championship record and stormed to a massive personal best of 21.45 seconds in the final of the women’s 200 meters at the Oregon 2022 World Championships on Thursday, July 21.
Jackson, who blazed to a then-personal best, world leading time and national record of 21.66 at the Jamaica trials in June, faced the starter in one of the greatest and most decorated lineups in the history of either the men’s or women’s 200 meters, in which she obliterated the previous championship record of 21.63 to claim her first individual global title in impressive fashion.
The previous championship record was set by Netherland’s Dafne Schippers at the 2015 Beijing World Championships. Additionally, Jackson clocked the fastest time ever recorded at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon – and set a new USA all-comers record.
While no living woman has ever run faster than Jackson in the event, however, her time of 21.45 has been bettered by the world record of 21.34 set in 1988 by Florence Griffith-Joyner of the United States.
“I am feeling great. I came out and put on the show. The fastest woman alive, the national and championship record, I cannot complain. I knew that Shelly is probably one of the best curve runners in the world, so I knew she was going to go hard. I knew that I wanted to get gold, I had to run the curve as hard as possible.” Jackson said.
“I know that I am strong and fast coming home, so I knew when I eventually catched up to her, I could take it. I never wanted to catch on anyone, I just wanted to execute the best race possible, and I think seeing the personal best, I cannot complain.”
“It feels very good to be in the prominent company of these elite runners. Actually, this is my first individual gold at the World Championships, so I am just grateful.” Jackson continued.
The national sprint-double champion has joined an elite club of Jamaican women, who have claimed gold medals in the 200 meters, including the likes of Merlene Ottey (1993, 1995), Veronica Campbell-Brown (2011) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (2013).
Meanwhile, her compatriot Fraser-Pryce, the all-time great 100 meters runner, claimed her thirteenth world championship medal as she stormed to a season’s best of 21.81 to produce a Jamaican 1-2 finish in the event.
Fraser-Pryce’s time of 21.81 is the second fastest time ever recorded for a second-place finish in the event at a World Championships. Her time is only bettered by Elaine Thompson-Herah’s 21.66 that was achieved at the 2015 Beijing World Championships.
In addition, the five-time 100 meters world champion has shattered the record for the 100 and 200 metres, a master class in 10.67 and 21.81 seconds, respectively.
Jamaica’s 1-2 finish is the sixth time that a nation has produced a quinella in the event and the second most times after the United States achieved this feat in 2005.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Doha world champion, Dina Asher-Smith, who captured the bronze medal in a time of 22.02 also clocked the fastest mark for an individual to claim bronze in the event.
Additionally, the five-time Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who had set her sights on claiming her first world championship title in the event, produced the best time that has ever placed seventh in the final of the women’s 200 meters (22.39 seconds).
In the men’s equivalent of the event, the United States matched their clean sweep of the 100 meters to produce another 1-2-3 finish, this time in the half-lap event.
Noah Lyles ran the third-fastest time in history with a 19.31 clocking to retain his title in the event. He broke Michael Johnson’s 26-year-old American record in the process. His time is only bettered by two Jamaicans’, Usain Bolt’s world record of 19.19 and Yohan Blake’s 19.26 seconds.
His fellow countryman Kenny Bednarek secured the silver in 19.77, while high schooler Erriyon Knighton (19.80) became the youngest medalist in the event at just 18 years.
Additional events contested on Day 7 of the Oregon World Championships:
Women’s 800m: Adelle Tracey (1:59.20), who contested the 1500 meters at the championships and multiple-times national champion, Natoya Goule (2:00.06) comfortably secured their spots in the semi-finals of the women’s 800 meters. Both women qualified for the next round of the event with the third and fastest qualifying times respectively.
Men’s Triple Jump: Jamaica’s lone competitor in the event, Jordan Scott, produced a best jump of 16.42 meters to place tenth in Group A of the qualification round. As a result, he will not move on to the next round of the event.