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'I'm getting closer'

UNDER NORMAL circumstances, clocking the fourth-fastest time in history would have marked a moment to celebrate. But, for Shericka Jackson, 21.48 seconds just serves as proof that a previously untouchable world record is ripe for the taking.

Running in her pet event, the 200 metres, at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels, Belgium yesterday, Jackson dismissed a field that included her Bahamian teammate at the MVP track club, Anthonique Strachan (22.31), and, for the briefest of moments, looked on course to eclipse Florence Griffith Joyner’s 35-year-old world mark of 21.34 seconds.

On the way to within touching distance of the American’s mark, Jackson surpassed another supreme Jamaican, Merlene Ottey.

All the way back in 1991, Ottey had scorched the track to set a meet and stadium record, clocking what was then a national record, 21.64 seconds.

“I’m very happy with my race. I really felt good. I’m convinced that this record is coming, that I’m getting closer to it,” said Jackson after the race, where she clocked the fourth-fastest time in history.

Still, with one more race to go this season, Jackson has another opportunity to get the better of the great American’s mark.

“It’s been a good season. I hope to get one more victory and get closer to this record,” said the back-to-back World champion.

Jackson will again try to break the world record at the season-ending Diamond League finals in Eugene, which runs from September 16 to 17.

There were other good results for Jamaicans yesterday, as Rusheen McDonald booked his place in the Eugene final with a 44.83-second clocking, to get the better of Dominican Republic’s Alexander Ogando, 44.93, and Norway’s Håvard Bentdal Ingvaldsen, 45.07. The result put McDonald fourth among qualifiers.

Another Jamaican, Elaine Thompson Herah, looks on her way back to her best form, winning the women’s 100 metres in 10.84 seconds to finish ahead of countrywoman Natasha Morrison (10.95), who, like the double Olympic champion, was running a season’s best.

As if that news weren’t good enough, triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts, who finished just off the podium at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary last month, is finally a 15-metre jumper.

Ricketts won the event with a leap of 15.01 metres, finishing further into the sandpit than the Ukraine’s Maryna Romanchuk, whose best effort was 14.57 metres, and the Commonwealth of Dominica’s Thea Lafond, 14.49m.