‘I didn’t know I was going that fast’ - Shericka Jackson on semi-final win
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
Where was this form all along?
Shericka Jackson produced her best ever time in the 400m in yesterday's semi-finals at the Olympic Stadium, pushing herself in the mix of the conversation for a medal in tonight's final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Jackson clocked 49.83 seconds to better the 49.99 that gave her bronze at last summer's World Championships and is the second-fastest qualifier to tonight's final behind gold medal favourite Allyson Felix (USA), 49.67, who got the better of her main competition coming into the championships, Shaunae Miller (Bahamas), 49.91, in their heavyweight semi-final clash.
Another Jamaican, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, is also through to the final, which takes place at 10:45 p.m. (8:45 p.m. Jamaica time) after posting 50.69 for second place in her heat.
Jackson says she was shocked at the time and is hoping to do something special today for a special man in her life.
"I was a bit surprised. I really didn't know I was going that fast and was focused on following my coach's (Stephen Francis) instruction as best as possible," Jackson said.
"He told me I would run a season's best, but I didn't expect a personal best as well. But I just have to give thanks, and I really want to do well because the day of the medal presentation will be my father's birthday, and it would be great to give him a birthday present," added Jackson.
"So I have one race to go. I have to now go back, refocus, and continue to listen to my coach and go out there and give it my all."
It is a big turnaround for Jackson, who has struggled for form all season, only going below 51 seconds twice this year before last night's run.
"I feel good. I never expected to even be here at this moment knowing the season that I had. It's really just a great feeling," Jackson noted.