Shawnti Jackson at the 2023 Pan American U20 Championships
Shawnti Jackson at the 2023 Pan American U20 Championships

MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico, (August 6) — American sprinters Shawnti Jackson and Elise Cooper comfortably advanced to the women’s 200m final on the third day of the 2023 Pan American U20 Championships at the Jose A. Figueroa Freire Stadium in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, on Sunday.

Jackson, who is part of the record-setting 4x100m relay team, breezed to victory in the second heat, posting a time of 23.98 seconds (-0.5 m/s). She qualified with the morning’s second-fastest time, just behind her compatriot Cooper, who clocked the quickest time of 23.54 (-0.9 m/s) in her semifinal heat.

“I feel somewhat confident,” Jackson said, reflecting on her prospects for the gold medal later in the evening. “I am just happy to be here, enjoying the experience and representing the USA.”

The 18-year-old sprinter, who has clocked as fast as 10.89 seconds in the 100m this year, highlighted the key factors for securing the 200m gold medal in Puerto Rico. “Patience, execution, and trust in your training,” she added.

Jackson enters the 2023 Pan American U20 Championships with the fastest time among the entrants, having clocked 22.48 seconds. Cooper, ranked sixth among U20 girls this season, is the second-fastest overall entrant with a time of 22.82 seconds.

Joining the American duo in the women’s 200m final are Canada’s Emily Martin, who clocked 24.23 seconds for second place in the second heat, Lacarthea Cooper of The Bahamas, and Sofia Swindell of the US Virgin Islands, both of whom posted times of 24.89 seconds in the first heat.

Frances Colon Vazquez of Puerto Rico will also compete in the final, having secured her place with a time of 24.94 seconds.

Women’s 200m – Pan American U20 Championships Results

Results – Heat 1: (-0.9 m/s)

  1. Elise Cooper (United States) – 23.54 – Q
  2. Lacarthea Cooper (Bahamas) – 24.89 (24.890)  – Q
  3. Sofia Swindell (US Virgin Islands) – 24.89 (24.881) – Q
  4. Frances Colon Vazquez (Puerto Rico) – 24.94 – q
  5. Lavanya Williams (Jamaica) – 24.99 – q
  6. Maria Ulysse (Canada) – 25.44

Results – Heat 2: (-0.5 m/s)

  1. Shawnti Jackson (United States) – 23.98 – Q
  2. Emily Martin (Canada) – 24.23 – Q
  3. Itzia Mejia Garcia (Mexico) – 24.3 – Q
  4. Mickaila Haisley (Jamaica) – 25.10
  5. Kenyatta Grate (British Virgin Islands) – 25.38

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