Shericka Jackson in line for World Female Athlete-of-the-Year


Anthony Henry

World 200 meters champion Shericka Jackson is one of 11 nominees for the World Athletics Female Athlete-of-the-Year award.

According to a announcement on the website of World Athletics, the sport’s world governing body, the voting process for the award opened on Wednesday, and the athletes were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of the organization.

“In what has been another memorable year for the sport, the nominations reflect some of the stand-out performances achieved at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, one-day meeting circuits, road races, and other events around the world,” the announcement stated.

Jackson had set her sights during the international track & field season on breaking the 200 world record of 21.34 seconds set by deceased American sprint queen Florence Griffith-Joyner at the Olympic Games 35 years ago in Seoul, South Korea.

The 29-year-old Jamaican sprint darling got to within seven hundredths-of-a-second when she retained her world title in August in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Jackson ended the season strongly, when she completed the sprint double at the Prefontaine Classic at the season-ending World Athletics Diamond League Finals in the American city of Eugene in the state of Oregon.

She clocked a new meet record of 21.57 secs in the 200, and she beat world champion Sha’Carri Richardson of the United States to win the women’s 100 dash.

Apart from her run at the World Championships and Diamond League Finals, Jackson also ran 21.48 at the Diamond League meet in Brussels, and she now has three of the four fastest times in the women’s 200.

Another strong contender for the Female Athlete-of-the-Year award will be Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, who broke world records in the 1 500, mile, and 5 000, and became the first woman to win titles in the 1 500 and 5 000 at a single World Championships.

Other nominee include Tigst Assefa, who lowered the women’s marathon world record on September 24 by two minutes, 11 seconds to 2 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds, and fellow Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay, who broke Kipyegon’s 5 000 world record on September 17.

Richardson, who won gold at the World Championships in the 100 and with the United States in the 4 x 100 relay, as well as a bronze in the 200, is also among the nominees.

The other nominees are all world champions: Femke Bol of the Netherlands (400 hurdles), Haruka Kitaguchi of Japan (javelin), Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine (high jump), Maria Perez of Spain (race walk), Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela (triple jump), and Winfred Yavi of Bahrain (3 000 steeplechase).

From here, a three-way voting process determines five finalists: The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 per cent of the final result.

Voting closes at midnight on Saturday, October 28.

World Athletics plans to announce women’s and men’s finalists on November 13 and 14.

The men’s nominees have yet to be announced.

Winners will be announced December 11.