Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson said she is already looking ahead to next year’s international track and field season, but she plans to enjoy time off over the next few weeks.
The highlight of a memorable year for Jackson, 27, came at the Tokyo Olympics in August when she completed Jamaica’s medal sweep in the women’s 100 metres by taking the bronze medal behind compatriots Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
She set personal bests of 10.77 in the 100 and 21.82 in the 200 at the Jamaica national championships and Olympic trials, which earned her individual selection in the short sprints and two relay spots at the Olympics.
Those performances helped Jackson become the first Jamaican woman to run under 11 seconds in the 100, under 22 seconds in 200, and under 50 seconds in 400.
She became only the 10th athlete to achieve all three landmark times in the women’s sprints, and only the third since 2000, following American Allyson Felix and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.
Jackson felt her hard work and performances earned her a few guilty pleasures during a period of rest and recuperation.
“For me, I am just going to have some junk food for one week,” she said. “I don’t want to have too much weight to lose.
“I’ll have a nice bit of relaxation, eat some nice food and probably go to the hotel. I’m not too much of a fussy person. I like to relax. I like to read. I like to listen to music. They are things I will do in my off-season.”
Jackson, a 400 specialist for most of her professional career, has not ruled out a return to the distance next season.
“I am willing to run all events,” she said. “If my coach says we will run the 400, I am always up for it.
“I like to challenge myself. I don’t limit myself to what I can do. I go after what I want, I work really hard. If it means going back to the 400 next year, I am definitely up for that task.
“But for me, I love challenges and this year was one of them. Sprinting challenges me a lot. If my coach and I discuss that and I go back to the 400, I have no problem. It is not a problem to run all events.”