World Champs Women’s 200 — Jackson MR Captures Showdown

Not only did Shericka Jackson repeat as champion, she also strengthened her grip on No. 2 all-time and raised her overall WC medal tally to 10. (CLAUS ANDERSEN)

SELDOM DOES AN athlete’s performance make a rival’s mouth drop open in amazement.

Gabby Thomas’s expression as she simultaneously watched the video screen and congratulated Shericka Jackson encapsulated the moment.

The Jamaican had clocked a jaw-dropping 21.41, the No. 2 all-time performance, as she swiftly but surely gains on Florence Griffith Joyner’s 35-year-old WR of 21.34. Jackson broke her own championships record, the previous No. 2 mark, by 0.04 while defending her world title. She is the fourth woman to win back-to-back 200 crowns (with Dafne Schippers and Allyson Felix the most recent) and the first from her country since Merlene Ottey in ’95.

Jackson added the gold to the silver she won in the 100 and hit double figures in overall Worlds medals with 10 dating back to ’15 when she was a 400 specialist.

Thomas, unable to contend for Team USA last year due to injury, ran 21.81 for 2nd in this highly anticipated sprint. Competing in her first Worlds at age 26, the national champ was determined to hold off 100 winner Sha’Carri Richardson, who posted a PR of 21.92 for the bronze. Richardson became the first American to make the 100 and 200 podiums since Carmelita Jeter in ’11.

Jackson said her coach wouldn’t let her linger on her 100 loss and besides, “The 200 is my baby.”

She revealed that she wrote a fast time on her bib — “21.2 something,” and then beside it wrote 21.40. “And I got close to that,” she said. “As for the World Record — I’m close, I’m close, I’m getting there.”

While Jackson was mostly stonefaced before and immediately after the race, she laughed throughout the press conference. When a journalist asked if she was disappointed that she did not get the WR, she chuckled, “To run that fast, no definitely not.”

Jackson said she waited a long time to celebrate because she wanted to make sure the time was legal — the wind was +0.1 — and she was “super-exhausted. I’m kind of under the weather.”

After drawing lane 6, Jackson said she initially thought, “Ohhh, I wish I was in front of everybody, but then I was like, ‘OK, just focus on your lane… I know I’m strong. I know I’m super-fast.’”

Richardson was in 9, the same lane she had in the 100, as Thomas lined up next to her in 8.

With the temperature a steamy 80 degrees (27C), Jackson bolted out of the blocks and was pleased with her first 30m, passing the first 100 in 11.05. Pulling away in the final 80, Jackson had about 10m on the rest of the field.

Meanwhile, Thomas and Richardson fought a private battle on the outside. Thomas clocked 11.20 for the first 100, with Richardson in 5th at 11.30 before closing hard.

Julien Alfred, the Texas Longhorn NCAA champ (22.05), placed 4th for only her second 200 defeat this season. She was followed by Daryll Neita with a PR of 22.16 to earn top Brit in the race. Dina Asher-Smith, the Doha ’19 gold medalist who took bronze in Eugene, was 7th at 22.24.

Marie-Josée Ta Lou, who had equaled her season’s best of 22.26 in the first two rounds, came in last in 22.64 after running the second leg on Côte d’Ivoire’s 4 x 100 earlier in the evening.

Thomas said the silver medal after her difficult ’22 season “means everything to me. I’m taking away that it’s going to be tough for the next few years.”

In the semis, Thomas had the fastest time of 21.97. The Shericka–Sha’Carri showdown arrived early when they faced off in the second semi. Jackson won in 22.00 after running the curve “a little bit conservative,” she said, while Richardson clocked 22.20. Alfred won the third semi in 22.17.

Richardson had the fastest time in the first round of 22.16 even while slamming on the brakes before the tape.

With the USA and Jamaica splitting the podium spots at three apiece in the 100 and 200, Richardson believes her victory has built bridges between the two countries.

Now, “It’s all about unity and sisterhood,” she said, “so I’m glad that I can be that glue that brings us together and not divide us any more. And even though we’re competitors, that doesn’t mean that we have to be enemies.”


FINAL (August 25; wind +0.1)

1. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 21.41 NR (WL) (2, 2 W)


2. Gabby Thomas (US) 21.81


3. Sha’Carri Richardson (US) 21.92 PR


4. Julien Alfred (StL) 22.05


5. Daryll Neita (GB) 22.16 PR


6. Anthonique Strachan (Bah) 22.29


7. Dina Asher-Smith (GB) 22.34

(splits unknown);

8. Marie-Josée Ta Lou (CI) 22.64


(lanes: 2. Ta Lou; 3. Strachan; 4. Asher-Smith; 5. Neita; 6. Jackson; 7. Alfred; 8. Thomas; 9. Richardson)

(reaction times: 0.131 Asher-Smith, 0.148 Neita, 0.159 Alfred, 0.161 Jackson, 0.162 Thomas, 0.171 Richardson & Strachan, 0.179 Ta Lou)

HEATS (August 23)

I(-0.4)–1. Strachan 22.31; 2. Neita 22.39; 3. Jael Bestue (Spa) 22.58; 4. Favour Ofili (Ngr) 22.66; 5. Léonie Pointet (Swi) 23.16 PR; 6. Yunisleidy García (Cub) 23.22; 7. Ana Carolina Azevedo (Bra) 23.45; 8. Aino Pulkkinen (Fin) 23.48.

II(-0.7)–1. Richardson 22.16; 2. Ta Lou 22.26; 3. Olivia Fotopoulou (Cyp) 22.65 PR; 4. Poliníki Emmanouilídou (Gre) 23.00; 5. Ashanti Moore (Jam) 23.12; 6. Lorène Dorcas Bazolo (Por) 23.13; 7. Anniina Kortetmaa (Fin) 23.52; 8. Gorete Semedo (STP) 23.69.

III(-0.4)–1. Jackson 22.51; 2. Shanti Veronica Pereira (STP) 22.57 NR; 3. Jessika Gbai (CI) 22.78; 4. Adaejah Hodge (BVI) 22.82; 5. Susanne Gogl-Walli (Aut) 23.38; 6. Alexa Sulyán (Hun) 23.47; 7. Nicole Caicedo (Ecu) 23.51.

IV(-0.4)–1. Alfred 22.31; 2. Natalliah Whyte (Jam) 22.44; 3. Bianca Williams (GB) 22.67; 4. Gina Bass (Gam) 23.02; 5. Georgia Hulls (NZ) 23.36; 6. Julia Henriksson (Swe) 23.55.

V(-1.3)–1. Thomas 22.26; 2. Kevona Davis (Jam) 22.49; 3. Tasa Jiya (Neth) 22.97; 4. Boglárka Takács (Hun) 23.24; 5. Cecilia Tamayo (Mex) 23.25; 6. Martyna Kotwiła (Pol) 23.34; 7. Christine Bjelland Jensen (Nor) 23.62.

VI(-0.3)–1. Asher-Smith 22.46; 2. Maboundou Koné (CI) 22.55; 3. Kayla White (US) 22.62; 4. Dalia Kaddari (Ita) 22.67; 5. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya (Pol) 22.88; 6. Remi Tsuruta (Jpn) 23.49; 7. Rhodah Njobvu (Zam) 23.82; 8. Vitoria Cristina Rosa (Bra) 23.86.

SEMIS (August 24)

I(-0.1)–1. Thomas 21.97; 2. Asher-Smith 22.28; 3. Whyte 22.52; 4. Jiya 22.67 PR; 5. Fotopoulou 22.73; 6. Kaddari 22.75; 7. Emmanouilídou 23.15;… dq—Koné.

II(-0.2)–1. Alfred 22.17; 2. Neita 22.21 PR; 3. Strachan 22.30; 4. White 22.34; 5. Davis 22.34; 6. Gbai 22.88; 7. Hodge 22.96; 8. Tsimanouskaya 23.34.

III(-0.2)–1. Jackson 22.00; 2. Richardson 22.20; 3. Ta Lou 22.26; 4. Williams 22.45 PR; 5. Bestue 22.60; 6. Pereira 22.79; 7. Ofili 22.86; 8. Bass 23.10.