Shericka Jackson played spoiler in a race that included the three women who combined to win the last seven Olympic flat sprint titles, taking the 200m at a Diamond League meet in Rome on Thursday.
Jackson, an Olympic 100m and 400m bronze medalist for Jamaica, clocked 21.91 seconds, just four hundredths off the world’s top time this year set by Olympic 200m silver medalist Christine Mboma of Namibia. Mboma wasn’t in the Rome field.
Elaine Thompson-Herah, who swept the 100m and 200m at the last two Olympics, was a distant second in 22.25, outleaning world champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain by .02. Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who won the last two Olympic 400m titles, was fourth.
Allyson Felix, the 2012 Olympic 200m champion in her farewell season, was seventh in 22.97.
Athletes are preparing for national and world championships. For Jamaica and the U.S., nationals are June 23-26 with the top three in most individual events in line to qualify for the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July.
Jackson established herself as a medal contender in the 200m in addition to the 100m. At the Tokyo Olympics, Jackson followed her 100m bronze medal with a lackluster opening round of the 200m, running 1.44 seconds slower than she did at trials and failing to advance.
Felix, 36, is expected to race at least the 400m at her final nationals, bidding for a spot in the eight-woman final that would likely be enough to get on the world championships team in the relay pool. Felix ranks fourth among Americans in the 400m this year with a top time of 50.71.
She is tied for sixth in the U.S. in the 200m, which has been less of a focus than the 400m in recent years.
Full Rome results are here. The Diamond League moves to Oslo for the Bislett Games next Thursday.
In other events in Rome, Olympic champion Athing Mu dominated in her first Diamond League 800m in nearly 10 months. Mu, who turned 20 on Wednesday, pulled away to prevail in 1:57.01, supplanting Olympic silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson as fastest in the world this year. The Brit Hodgkinson was not in the Rome field.
American pole vaulter Sandi Morris continued her strong start to a season that she hopes brings her first global outdoor championship. Morris, a three-time silver medalist between the Olympics and worlds, in Rome beat the last two Olympic gold medalists at a third consecutive Diamond League to start the season. She cleared 4.81 meters, the world’s best in 2022.
JuVaughn Harrison became the first American to win a Diamond League high jump in six years, clearing 2.27 meters to beat a field including co-Olympic gold medalist Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy.
Slovenian Kristjan Ceh won for the third time in as many Diamond League men’s discus events this year. Ceh, fifth at the Olympics, threw 70.72 meters to beat a field that included the top four from Tokyo. Ceh has the world’s top throw in 2022 of 71.27.
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