Stuart Weir loves the furlong and the athletes who compete in this event. This is Stuart’s coverage of the Women’s 200 meters, which was superb!
The Women’s 100 was a Jamaican sweep with Fraser-Pryce, Thompson, and Jackson taking the medals. Surely they could not repeat their dominance in the 200? Defending champion Dina Asher-Smith was in the field. Could the US rising star, Abbey Steiner, make her mark?
Fraser-Pryce was out fast, as you would expect from a 100m specialist renowned for her start, but could she hold the lead?
The result was
1 Shericka Jackson 21.45
2 Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce 21.81
3 Dina Asher-Smith 22.02
4 Animator Seyni 22.12
5 Abby Steiner 22.26
6 Tamara Clark 22.32
7 Elaine Thompson-Herah 22.39
8 Mujinga Kambundji 22.55
Like Fred Kerley in men’s sprinting, Shericka Jackson is a remarkably versatile athlete, having won medals in Oregon at 100 and 200 and at 400 at two World Championships and the Rio Olympics. She has won gold medals in relays 4 by 100 and 4 by 400. I spoke to her at the Rome Diamond League this year when she said that all she lacked in her career as an individual championship gold medal. Now she has one.
Her assessment of the Oregon victory was: “The fastest woman alive, the national and championships record, I cannot complain. I know 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, so I had to run the curve as hard as possible. I know I am strong and fast coming home, so I knew when I eventually catch up with her, I could take it. I wanted to execute the best race possible, and I think seeing my personal best, I cannot complain. I was not thinking about any time or any records”.
World Champion at the distance in 2013, Shelly-Ann claims that she is still learning how to run the 200! Remarkably she did not go under 22 seconds until last year (aged 34); Tonight’s 21.81 was only 0.02 outside her PR. She commented: “Listen, I am tired. I was really, really tired physically and mentally, and still I wanted to come out and have a good run. This has always been an event that challenges me. What would that be if I did not challenge myself at these championships… I got lane six; I was like, all right, Shelly. All the girls were behind me. So I got to get off like nobody, and I really tried my best to win it, and I am so grateful for the gift that I got”.
Dina Asher-Smith had run a GB 100m record but still finished without a medal. She was 0.1 of a second from being out of the medals in Oregon. She said: “The way that Shelly described the race was probably also how I ran the race today. Coming to the bend, I was like: go go go, and then we came out of the bend, and here we are, let’s just keep going. I was not thinking about my technique, just maintaining my form. And in the end, I was getting very tired, so I was thinking I was going to dip. But honestly, I am so happy to make the podium”.
The surprise was that Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic Champion at 200 and third in the 100 in Oregon, made no impression in the 200m race. I understand that Shelly-Ann was contemplating retiring after this year. When she is running as well as she is, there is no reason to consider it.
Women – 200 meters
- Shericka Jackson (JAM) wins the 200m in 21.45, the second fastest time ever after FloJo’s world record of 21.34. The time betters the championship record of 21.63 set by Dafne Schippers (NED) in 2015 and is a Hayward Field and USA All-Comers record.
- Silver went to Jackson’s teammate, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who ran 21.81, the 2nd fastest mark-for-place at the World Championships, after the 21.66 run by Elaine Thompson-Herah in 2015.
- Jamaica’s gold/silver was the 6th time that a nation put 2 women on the podium in the 200 meters, and the second gold/silver, after the United States in 2005.
- Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), the defending champion in the event, won the bronze medal, running 22.02, the 2nd fastest mark-for-place at the World Championships.
- This was the 5th gold medal for Jamaica in the 200, which moves them ahead of the United States, which has run the race 4 times.
- Finishing 7th was the 100-meter champion at Oregon22, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who ran 22.39, which is the best ever mark-for-place at the World Championships.