Shericka Jackson has continued to impress all season. Her masterful wins in Eugene at 100m and 200m in 10.70 and 21.57 were exciting as she did all summer. The 200m WR will just be another day, per Deji Ogeyingbo. 

Shericka Jackson’s relentless pursuit of the women’s 200m world record continues after her recent Brussels attempt.

When Shericka Jackson stormed down the line in the women’s 200m inside Brussels’ re-vamped King Baudouin Stadium, she let out a cheeky face with her tongue out after she took a look at the clock and the flash time on the screen was 21.48s. Almost like, “What mere do I need to do to take down this record?

A tinge of disappointment might have ensued, but she replaced the glum with a smile at the end. You can’t fault her, really. She gave it her all. A world record attempt in the sprint rarely happens, and that’s largely because most of the records were set by outliers for both men and women. Although there have been conversations about whether the ones from the women’s side should have come under more scrutiny. That argument is moot. We can only deal with the present, and Jackson showed us she’s drawing ever closer once again.

Shericka Jackson, photo by Kevin Morris

Interestingly, this was the very same track Yohan Blake blazed down to run the second fastest time in the men’s 200m, clocking 19.26s. With its little innovation this year, many thought this was the perfect time for Jackson to take down the record of 21.34s, currently held by the legendary Florence Griffith-Joyner and has stood since 1988.

The Brussels Diamond League had drawn spectators who were buzzing and were willing to take down the roof with the anticipation was palpable as Jackson took her position on the starting blocks. The buzz in the stadium was electric, with fans, fellow athletes, and coaches all fixated on the moment. The world watched as she launched herself down the track with explosive power, her muscular frame slicing through the air like a missile.

For the race’s first half, Jackson appeared to be on pace to make history. Her form was impeccable, her strides long and powerful, and her determination etched across her face, streaking past Daryll Neita of Great Britain down the bend. But as she rounded the final bend and entered the home stretch, it became clear that breaking the world record was no small feat.

While fast and renowned for producing world-class times, the Brussels track was not enough to propel Jackson to the elusive record. As she crossed the finish line with a time of 21.48s, the stadium erupted into applause, recognizing her valiant effort. Jackson had given her all, and though she had not shattered the record, she had left an indelible mark on the sport.

The women’s 200m, Sha’Carri Richardson, Gabby Thomas, Shericka Jackson, Marie_Josee Ta_Lou, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics

In the wake of the race, Jackson’s emotions were mixed. The disappointment was there, as she had fallen short of her ambitious goal. But she also carried a sense of accomplishment with her, knowing that she had pushed herself to the limit and had come tantalizingly close to rewriting history. She said to reporters afterward, “It’s a tough world record to break, but I’m not giving up. I’ll keep working, keep pushing, and keep striving for greatness.”

What more does she really need to do? Jackson set half of the Top eight fastest 200m times of all time. 21.41, 21,45,21.48 and 21.55! Only Griffith-Joyner and Elaine Thompson-Herah have time in that region. The former is the world record holder, while the latter is the two-time Olympic Champion. Deep down, Jackson knows that she needs the world record or the Olympic title to stand in the top echelons of greatness.

Jackson’s journey hasn’t been without its share of hurdles. Injuries and setbacks have tested her resilience time and again. It’s in these moments of adversity that her character truly shines. She has repeatedly bounced back, stronger and more determined than ever, refusing to let setbacks define her. Although one won’t categorize this as a mishap, there isn’t a better person to take on this world record in the future.

As she reflected on her Brussels Diamond League performance, Jackson shared, “You just have to put in your best, and that’s what I did today,” said Jackson, who now owns three of the four fastest times in history. “It felt really good tonight; I feel like I’m getting closer to that record. But it’s also important to have some fun, and I really had fun tonight. “It has been a good season, and I hope to get one more win and to get closer to that record.”

Shericka Jackson, Wanda Diamond League Athletics Meeting
Herculis EBS
July 21, 2023, Monaco, photo by Kevin Morris

The world may not have witnessed history being made on that evening in Brussels, but it did witness a display of raw talent, fierce determination, and unyielding spirit. Shericka Jackson’s quest to break the women’s 200m world record may not have reached its destination yet, but one thing is certain: her journey has inspired a generation of athletes to chase their own dreams and redefine the limits of what’s possible on the track.

As she continues her relentless pursuit of greatness, Shericka Jackson remains a shining example of the indomitable human spirit, reminding us all that records may stand for decades, but the spirit of champions like her knows no bounds. Her legacy is not just about the races she’s won or the records she’s chasing; it’s about the resilience, passion, and unyielding commitment that define her as an athlete and as an inspiration to us all.