Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Fraser-Pryce, ‘Franno’ inspired Jackson

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2016 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe
Shericka Jackson, all wrapped in the national colours, revels in her bronze medal finish in the women's 400 metres final during competition inside the Olympic Stadium at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday night.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:

Olympic 400m bronze medal winner Shericka Jackson has pointed to her MVP Track Club teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and coach Stephen Francis as her biggest inspirations, after her third-place finish inside the Olympic Stadium on Monday night.

Jackson, 22, showed that her bronze medal at last year's IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, was not a fluke, with a mature run out of lane five, posting 49.85 seconds to finish behind gold medal winner, Shaunae Miller, from the Bahamas, who ran a personal best 49.44, with American Allyson Felix, 49.51, taking the silver.

The Jamaican shared that watching Fraser-Pryce compete in the 100m and winning bronze, despite suffering considerable pain because of an injured toe, and a conversation they had before the National Senior Championships, pushed her to go out and give everything she had in the final.

"I had a little doubt at first, but before the national trials, Shelly-Ann (Fraser-Pryce) spoke to me about getting there (medal podium) again. I was disappointed when I left Beijing last year because I wanted to run faster, so this time around I wanted to run much faster, and I did that, so I am grateful," said Jackson.

 

MENTAL STRENGTH

 

Before the trials, Jackson had struggled to post good times, going below 51 seconds only once. In fact, she only went below 51 seconds a total of two times before arriving in Rio de Janeiro, but took her personal best from 49.99 seconds - which she ran in the World Championships final last year - to 49.83 seconds, which she posted in the semi-final round here.

"My coach told me that I would run fast here. I get a lot of mental strength from him. He pushed me at our camp in Italy. He always knew I could do it, but did I?

"He (Francis) is a genius! He is a patient person and he knows when to peak an

athlete and how to approach going into a championships," Jackson added, before admitting she is beginning to become more convinced of her abilities as a 400m athlete.

"Yea, I think I am beginning to forget my love for the 200m," she laughed.

"It's still at the back of my mind, but I'm feeling more like a quarter-miler now so I will stick to it."

She continued: "I don't like to lose; if I do, I can stand it, but that pushes me as well. My family also motivates me a lot," said Jackson, who yesterday collected her medal on what was also her father's birthday.

Jackson became only the third Jamaican - after Shericka Williams (Beijing 2008) and Lorraine Graham (2000) - to win a women's 400m medal at the Olympic Games.