200m World Champion Shericka Jackson Discusses Her Goals For 2024 Olympics

By Anderson Emerole

March 25, 2024

KINGSTON – Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson was unafraid to vocalize her goal of going after Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34 world record set at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She gave it a scare with a 21.41 to win gold and defend her world title at the World Championships in Budapest.

The day before the Brussels Diamond League in September, she told reporters: "Coach and I have spoken and we are going after (the record) this year. I hope to get it."

She came up short with a 21.48, which was the third-fastest of her career. She closed out the season with a 10.70 and 21.57 to claim the Diamond League trophies in the 100m and 200m.

Jackson is the only woman in history to run under 21.50 more than once.

After the race, she told reporters that she wrote down her goals in a book. One of the times she wrote was 21.41. She said the second time was “faster than 21.4” but did not reveal specifics.

Jackson is looking to qualify for her third Olympic team. She earned a silver medal in the 4x100m and a bronze medal in the 400m at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She shifted her focus to the short sprints ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and earned a bronze medal in the 100m, a gold medal in the 4x100m and a bronze medal in the 4x400m.

CITIUS MAG caught up with Jackson ahead of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships to hear about her preparation and goal-setting for the Olympic year.

CITIUS MAG: What’s your mindset like as we enter 2024?

SHERICKA JACKSON: “My mindset is really, really positive and it’s grounded and it’s happy. I think that’s one of the plus for me right now…Once you have a positive mindset approaching training each day, I think it’s something that we as athletes look forward to every day.”

CITIUS MAG: Last year, you talked a lot about goal-setting. Whether it was talking to the media or even in your notebook you’d have some goals. Why is that important?

SHERICKA JACKSON: I think it’s very important because it allows you to know that whenever you feel like giving up, you know that you have goals to achieve. Me just writing down my goals is something I look forward to. I want to achieve all that I wrote down. And even if I don’t achieve them, I go back to the drawing board in the other year and I write new goals. It’s something once I write my goals and achieve them, I take them off. I remember growing up they always said, ‘Oh if you save $20. Eventually, you finish the week with a lot of money.’ It’s something that helps me work super hard.

CITIUS MAG: Can we talk about those goals? I assume the Olympic gold medal is one of those?

SHERICKA JACKSON: Funny enough I don’t even write my goals just yet. It’s funny because usually at the beginning of January, I normally write my goals. But because I did not go to World Indoors, I held back my goals and put them on pause a bit. I definitely know them in my head. It’s just to put them on paper and put that paper on my cabinet or fridge, I’ve yet to do that… I’ve yet to achieve an Olympic gold medal so definitely know that’s one of the goals I want to definitely achieve.

CITIUS MAG: Throughout your career now with 21.4s multiple times. I know you definitely have had conversations about potential world records. Is that something maybe on your mind?

SHERICKA JACKSON: Honestly, I remember when I was afraid to say, ‘Oh I want to break the world record.’ Coach and I had a conversation. He enlightened me about it and whether I speak about it or not and I don’t achieve it, it’s not the end of the world. I think it’s something that we really look forward to. It definitely would’ve been a plus-plus last year and it never happened. I don’t think it’s any pressure if I didn’t break the world record and I felt bad about it. No, I was super happy. I still ran 21.4. To be able to run two 21.4s in one season and so much fast 21.5s. It’s something I look forward to. Yes, the world record is on our minds but it’s not something we are going to dwell on in every race…Once I’m healthy and once I’m in peak form, anything is possible…I am the athlete and my coach will prepare me for the right time. It’s not something I keep at the forefront of my mind.

CITIUS MAG: How do you see yourself among some of the greatest Jamaican female athletes?

SHERICKA JACKSON: There is so much work that needs to be done to be even greater. It feels good when I sit down and my name is mentioned among the top greats – especially running the 100, 200 and 400. I don’t dwell on it. Enjoy the moment for me personally.

Anderson Emerole

Anderson Emerole is an analyst and contributor to CITIUS MAG. He runs The Final Leg, a YouTube channel with up-to-date commentary on track and field news.