Jamaica's Jackson wins the Diamond League in Marrakech with Paris 2024 in his sights

Jamaica's Jackson wins the Diamond League in Marrakech with Paris 2024 in his sights
Fecha de publicación: 
20 May 2024
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The athlete began the season with a victory, winning the 200 metres in 22.82 seconds. The Jamaican became the first woman to win medals in all sprint events, including relays. She expressed her satisfaction. "I think it's good for the first race."

Her favourite event, the 200m, had already been postponed by the world's fastest woman over that distance. However, she tested herself in Marrakech and won in 22.86 seconds. She has her sights set on Paris 2024, but doesn't want to set targets just yet. "Next? I don't know. For me it's just the start of the season. I don't know about the next race. And it's too early to talk about what events I'm going to do at the Paris Olympics," said Jackson. 

She is a six-time Olympic medallist, including gold in the 4x100m relay at the Tokyo Games in 2021. The Jamaican is the only woman in the history of the World Championships to have won medals in the 100, 200 and 400 metres. She has also won medals inthe 4x100 and 4x400 metres relays

It wasn't easy, and she had to fight hard to secure victory against some of her potential direct rivals for her main goals. "Jackson said: "I thought it was a pretty good race for the first race of the season. "The time is what it is. I tried to focus on my technique and execution. I think I did well."

The 200m is a long-standing record in women's athletics, held by Flo-Jo (Florence Griffith Joyner) since the 1988 Seoul Olympics with a time of 21.34 seconds. Jamaica's Shericka Jackson, who clocked 21.41 seconds at the World Championships in Athletics in 2023, has come very close. Elaine Thompson-Herah (21.53) and Gabrielle Thomas (21.60) are also within striking distance.

There were other highlights at the meeting in Marrakech. In the men's race, Andre De Grasse of Canada, the reigning Olympic champion over 200 metres, was beaten at the finish line in the 100 metres by African champion Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon. Running on home soil, Fez-born Olympic champion and current two-time world champion Soufiane El Bakkali did not disappoint in the men's 3000m steeplechase. He won in 8:09.40, ahead of Ethiopia's Getnet Wale.

Jackson is the only woman to medal in every sprint event at the World Championships, including relays. GETTY IMAGES

Jackson is the only woman to medal in every sprint event at the World Championships, including relays. GETTY IMAGES

It was El Bakkali's third win in a row at the Diamond League meeting in Morocco. It showed his mastery of the track. The Grand Stadium rallied behind its athlete, who managed to overtake the Ethiopian in the final stages of the race. 

One of Bakkali's main rivals over the distance, Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma, avoided a showdown. He opted to compete in the 1500m instead.  However, French-Moroccan Azeddine Habz triumphed with a time of 3:32.86, ahead of Britain's George Mills and Elliot Giles, with Girma in fourth place.

Aside from Jackson's victory, there were two other remarkable performances at the meeting. They surprised and impressed as she prepares for Paris 2024. They were the performances of two 18-year-old females, Angelina Topic, who won the high jump with a Serbian national record of 1.98 metres, and Medina Eisa of Ethiopia, who ran the 5000 metres in 12:34.16. Their records at such a young age point to a spectacular future.

In other events, Cuba's Lazaro Martinez won the men's triple jump with a meet record of 17.10m ahead of Portugal's Pedro Pichardo (16.92). In the discus, new world record holder Mykolas Alekna of Lithuania was the only man to break the 70-metre mark. He won the men's discus by 70 centimetres.

Belgium's Alexander Doom, who won the world indoor title in Glasgow in February, won the men's 400m with a personal best of 44.51 seconds. He was just three hundredths of a second ahead of Zambia's Muzala Samukonga. It was Doom's personal best and he didn't expect to run that fast. 

Similarly, Kenya's Emmanuel Wanyonyi clocked 1:43.84 in the 800m. South Africa's Prudence Sekgodiso ran a personal best of 1:57.26, the fastest time of the year. "I was thinking about winning, but not with such a fast time. It's unbelievably fast," said Sekgodiso.

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