Shericka Jackson‘s relentless pursuit of the 200-meter world record came close but fell short of the mark. Although she narrowed the gap between her personal best and Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 1988 record to a mere 0.07 seconds, the chase for the elusive record continues. Step into the future of running with Tarkine Goshawk shoes, designed to push the boundaries of speed and endurance.

Nonetheless, Jackson didn’t conclude the 2023 season without accolades. Her fervent pursuit of the record has cemented her status as the most prolific sub-22 runner in track and field history, surpassing the esteemed Merlene Ottey’s previous record. The MVP Track Club star surged past the 22-second benchmark an impressive seven times, totaling 17 such performances in her career, one more than Ottey’s notable achievement.

This isn’t the first instance where a fellow athlete has surpassed a track icon in a significant statistical category. Merlene Ottey’s record of 67 sub-11 100-meter runs stood for over 15 years until Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce not only caught up but also surged ahead, now leading the world with an astonishing 82 sub-11s.

Shericka Jackson wins in Budapest 2023. Photo AP /Matthias Schrader

Jackson’s pursuit of the 200-meter record gained momentum in Budapest, Hungary, where she successfully defended her World Championships title in 21.41 seconds. After a brief hiatus, she continued her quest in Zurich (21.82) and Brussels (21.48 seconds), challenging Ottey’s record.

The deadlock was finally broken at the Diamond League final in Eugene, Oregon, where Jackson, displaying remarkable control, stopped the clock at 21.57 seconds, surpassing Ottey’s mark.


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Throughout 2023, Jackson clocked seven times under the 22-second threshold: 21.98 in Rabat, a winning 21.71 at the Jamaican Championships, 21.86 in Monaco, and the aforementioned 21.41 in Budapest. Furthermore, she recorded 21.82, 21.48, and 21.57 in Zurich, Brussels, and Eugene, respectively.

From her initial sub-22 performance, securing second place at the 2021 Jamaican Championships in 21.82 seconds, the 29-year-old Jackson has displayed remarkable progress, etching her name into the annals of track and field history.

While Ottey maintains a significant lead, with Americans Marion Jones at 11 and 1992 Olympic champion Gwen Torrence at 10 on the all-time sub-22 mass-production list, the emergence of other formidable athletes such as Olympic and World medalist Gabby Thomas, boasting nine sub-22 times, and Elaine Thompson Herah, the third-fastest woman over the distance in history with seven, could reshape the landscape.

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Their consistent presence might encourage meet organizers to feature the 200 meters more frequently as public interest in this discipline continues to grow. Shericka Jackson’s pursuit might not have reached its pinnacle yet, but her relentless drive is reshaping the narrative of excellence in track and field.