EUGENE, Oregon (July 14) — When it comes to speed, you don’t have to look very far when the Jamaicans are around. The Caribbean island which has produced several world-class sprinters –most notably world 100m and 200m record holder, Usain Bolt, has a triple sprint threat in Oregon for the World Athletics Championships and American sprint star Abby Steiner is motivated to face her rivals.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s first day of competition at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, USA’s 200m sprint champion Steiner said she is ready to run a personal best time to hold off the challenges of the Jamaican trio on a track that she twice produced lifetime best marks.
The 22-year-old NCAA indoor and outdoor champion has been bang in form this season and after clocking a personal best of 21.77 seconds to claim the US title at the USATF Outdoor Championships last month, she’s looking forward to making her world championships debut.
Shortly after clocking a world time in Eugene, Steiner got word that Shericka Jackson improved the mark significantly when clocking 21.55 seconds to win at the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston. Read more: Shericka Jackson runs 21.55 secs to win 200m at Jamaica Championships
“It was like 20 minutes, maybe,” she told Reuters after signing a professional deal with Puma.
“Going into these championships, having someone who has the world lead that I can compete with … it just gives me great opportunities to hopefully get a personal best for myself coming out of these championships.”
Steiner knows how to produce at championships, having mastered the 200m against her collegiate rivals this season, but she admits it is going to take something special to beat Jackson and her Jamaican compatriots.
Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive with personal bests of 10.54 and 21.53, heads to Oregon as the double-double 100 and 200 meters champion, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the four-time reigning world 100m champion who owns a personal best of 21.79.
“The Jamaican ladies – all three of them, really – they always show up at championships and they’re always ready to go,” said Steiner.
“I’m looking forward to being able to compete with them and seeing what I can do against great competition like that.”
Informational from Amy Tennery / Reuters was used as well.