Shericka Jackson finally gets her gold

Shericka Jackson

On a night where most of Kingston appeared to have decamped to Eugene no one was catching Jackson. The Jamaican’s staggering time made her the second fastest woman in history over 200m, behind only the late Florence Griffith Joyner’s 21.34 from 1988. Given the doubts surrounding Flo-Jo’s performances, Jackson has a legitimate claim to be the fastest 200m runner in history.

Silver was claimed by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, sporting an electric pink wig, who ran 21.81 to claim the 21st global medal of her career.

The biggest vibrations on the night came from the Puma spikes of Jackson as she proved herself the fastest woman alive over 200m.

What made her performance all the more extraordinary was that after 100m, the top three were separated by just 0.05sec. But when Jackson hit the straight, she flew home in a stunning 10.41. No wonder the vuvuzelas, which made it sound as if an army of mosquitoes were invading Eugene, honked in approval.

During her stellar career, Jackson had won 11 global medals at Olympics and world championships, across the 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x100m and 4x400m relays. But an individual title had always eluded her. In an era of extraordinary Jamaican sprinters, she was the third Beatle. A George Harrison next to Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah’s Lennon and McCartney. This performance, though, was her My Sweet Lord.

“I am feeling great,” said Jackson. “I came out and put on the show. The fastest woman alive, the national and championship record, I cannot complain.”

Over the years, she has absorbed the lessons from her friend and training partner Fraser-Pryce at the MVP track and field club in Kingston. MVP stands for “Maximising Velocity & Power”. Jackson certainly displayed that in abundance.

What made this victory so special for Jackson is that she was knocked out of the 200m heats in Tokyo after slowing down too much when in the lead. It was a lesson so tough it made her cry. But it also taught her something else.

“No matter what you keep going,” she said. “After the Olympic Games I cried so hard and so much. But it was preparing me for this year and I am so grateful for this moment.”

Britain’s bronze medalist Dina Asher-Smith was staggered by Jackson’s performance. “Does that mean Shericka came round the bend in like 11.0 and then ran a 10.4 straight?” she asked. “It’s mad. I do not think we are going to see anything like that again.”