I found this gem on Shericka Jackson by Deji Ogeyingbo, and it makes total sense! Read it once, read it twice, is Shericka the GOAT from 100m to 400m? Deji sure thinks so! What do you think?
Shericka Jackson runs a new championship record to win Gold over 200m at worlds, and makes case for being the greatest all-around sprinter in history.
When Shericka Jackson decided to focus her attention on the shorter sprints last year, it felt much like a trial than something she would do for a long time. After notching bronze and winning Gold with Jamaica’s 4x100m quartet at the Tokyo Olympics, there was no way she was going back to the quarter-mile.
Her 200m win in Eugene surely must have solidified her status as one of the all-time all-around sprinters of all time after scorched to victory. She did it in style, too, smashing the championship record with 21.45. That also breaks Elaine Thompson-Herah’s Jamaican record and is the second-fastest time in history behind the long-standing world record of 21.34.
Jackson earned bronze over 400m in 2015 and 2019. Earlier in the championships, she took Silver over 100m. Now Shericka Jackson has a full set of World Championship medals spanning three sprint distances after winning the 200m here in Oregon. She’s also the first woman to run a sub-10.8 in the 100m, sub 21.5 in the 200m, and a sub-50 in the 400m.
It’s quite the turnaround from the Olympic Games last year, where Jackson failed to advance from the first round after easing down too much in her heat. She was the overwhelming favorite for the Gold.
Here in Oregon, she didn’t put a foot wrong from start to finish. 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was running on the outside, had a slight lead off the bend on Jackson, but Jackson’s superior speed endurance showed in the second half of the race as she opened up a clear gap on her rivals.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce held on to take silver in 21.81, and defending champion Dina Asher-Smith made it onto the podium again, earning bronze with 22.02.
“I just wanted to execute the race to the best of my abilities, and I think I did that,” Jackson said after the race. I got a massive Personal Best, a Championships Record, and a Gold medal, and I can’t complain”.
There is a case that the half-lap is probably her most efficient race and last night’s final (July 21, 2022), surely proved that. Over the 100m, Jackson doesn’t get the best of starts compared to most diminutive sprinters, but her incredible top-end speed and the rate at which she decelerates slower make up for that. In Eugene, she ran a new PB of 10.73s.
“I know I was capable of running fast; I wanted to run fast. I know if I execute the 200m, I will definitely run fast”. Jackson said.
In the 400m, Jackosn boasts a PB of 49.47, a time she ran at the World Championships in 2019 to take Bronze. Over the distance, her speed and endurance come into play, and she’s able to match up with some of the very best in the world.
For context, before 2020, Jackson’s Personal Best in the 100m/200m were 11.30 and 23.70. But after she produced a dazzling run to complete a magnificent sprint double on the final day of the Jamaican Championships in Kingston last month. Now she has lowered her PB in the 200m to an incredible 21.45s.
Where does this put her on the pedestal of some of the greats? Surely not to the level of Elaine Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce. Her compatriots have won more medals on the global stage than she has and probably have better global recognition.
Track and Field can be appreciated in different spectrums, and although medals are a huge indication of how good a runner has been over their career, there is also a divide that appreciates the dexterity of other athletes. Jackson falls in the other divide. Her sprinting range is top-notch.
Maybe the likes of Allysin Felix and Shaunae Miller-Uibo might come close in recent times, as they are the other female sprinters to have gone sub-10, sub-22, and sub-50 in the 100m/200m/400m. But to be able to mix and match those fantastic times with winning medals speaks of greatness. Right now, Jackson oozes it all-round.