Shericka Jackson runs 21.84 at the Diamond League meeting in Silesia

KINGSTON, Jamaica — World champion Shericka Jackson opened her season with a comfortable run in the 400 meters, clocking 53.11 seconds at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Meet 2023 on Saturday, 28 January, at the National Stadium in Kingston.

At the same meet, Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won the women’s 60m dash with a time of 7.15 seconds to also make a winning start to her new campaign.

Jackson, the reigning World Athletics Championships 200m champion, led from wire to wire in her 400m outing on Saturday as she cruised home to the applauds of a small crowd in the Grandstand.

Odeisha Nation of GC Foster College ran 55.37 for second place, with third place going to Christine Cheka (55.78).

Jackson is coming off a stellar 2022 season with several outstanding performances, including a 21.45 seconds posting for the second-fastest-ever clocking over the 200m by a woman en route to winning the world title at Oregon 22 last summer.

Heading into this season, the 28-year-old revealed that she expects to run even faster, not that she feels no added pressure to continue delivering on big occasions.

“For me, there’s no pressure,” the Jamaican national half-lap record holder said on SportsMax. “I believe my coach and I did a very good job last year and all we have to do now is stay focused, not on other people’s expectations but his and my expectations.

“Once I’m healthy, I will definitely go super-fast,” she added.

Also on Saturday, American Abby Steiner, who will undoubtedly be one of Jackson’s main rivals in the sprints, clocked an impressive 50.59 seconds to win the women’s 400m at the 2023 Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Read more: Abby Steiner runs 50.59secs, holds Shamier Little at Razorback Invitational

Thompson-Herah, meanwhile, spoke after her winning performance over the 60m.

“It’s the same goal even though I reset and rewind, it’s the same goal to try to get a World title, which I don’t have,” Thompson-Herah said.  “It’s the same goal to just continue to stay focused and keep working hard to claim that gold in Hungary.

“I don’t think about what happened last year. I can’t dwell on that. I just move forward and look forward to this new season.”

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