Embarrassing Error by Sprinter Costs Her Medal Opportunity at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/02/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 200m – Round 1 – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 2, 2021. Shericka Jackson of Jamaica reacts after competing in Heat 5 REUTERS/Phil Noble


The women’s 200m category at the Tokyo Olympics witnessed one of the biggest shocks of the event so far. Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson, who many considered a medal favorite, missed out on making the semifinals by the merest of margins.

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Despite starting well, the 27-year-old’s decision to jog in the last few metres came back to haunt her.

Shericka Jackson misses 200m semifinal at Tokyo Olympics after costly error

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On July 31, Jackson put in an impressive effort in the women’s 100m final. She clinched a bronze medal with a time of 10.76s and missed out on silver by just 0.02s on the day. In addition, she completed an all-Jamaican podium with Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the event that day.

That performance along with her form leading up to Tokyo made her a favorite in the 200m women’s category as well. Although she initially started out as a 400m runner in her career, she made a mark when she entered the shorter distance formats.

Jackson made an excellent start from Lane 2 and looked in contention for a semifinal spot heading into the final straight. However, she made an unthinkable error just a few metres before the line. The 27-year-old slowed down to a jog which saw her finish fourth in the heat.

Despite that error, she crossed the line at nearly the same time as third-placed Italian Dalia Kaddari. However, the margin between their finish times narrowed down to just four milliseconds, with Kaddari crossing first. This meant Jackson missed out on qualifying for the semifinals, while Kaddari qualified.

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Jackson’s fellow 100m medalists qualify for the semifinals

Fellow Jamaicans Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah qualified for the semifinals in convincing fashion. Competing in heat 2, Fraser-Pryce won the heat with a time of 22.22s to lay down the challenge to her competition.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 100m – Medal Ceremony – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Gold medallist, Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica wearing a protective face mask on the podium poses with silver medallist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica wearing a protective face mask and bronze medallist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica wearing a protective face mask REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Meanwhile, Thompson-Herah came third in the sixth of seven heats to qualify with a time of 22.86s. As it stands, the two 100m medalists carry Jamaica’s hopes of securing medals in the women’s 200m category in Tokyo.

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Sanket Nair

650 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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