Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson bowed out of the 200m event at the Olympics due to a lack of judgement towards the end of her race.
Jackson was competing in this discipline for the first time at an Olympics and she was one of the contenders to win a medal.
The 27-year-old seemed well on course to qualify for the semi-finals, but she slowed down intentionally during the final 50m and ended up paying dearly for it as she finished fourth in the heat, clocking 23.26s.
This saw her being eliminated.
Jackson’s misjudgement allowed Portugal’s Lorene Bazolo ad Italy’s Dalia Kaddari to reach the semi-finals along with Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, who won the heat.
Olympic silver medalist from the 1984 Games Steve Cram, who was commentating on the event, slammed the Jamaican’s actions, saying: “Shericka Jackson was almost just jogging around – what on earth? Why take such risks?
“I’m sorry to sound exasperated but I am, on her behalf, on her coach’s behalf and her teammates. It’s just not necessary.”
It’s safe to say fans on Twitter had a similar reaction to Jackson’s decision.
Jackson, who won two medals at the Rio Olympics – a bronze in the 400m and a silver in the 4*400m relay – clinched the bronze in the 100m event behind compatriots Elaine Thompson Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, clocking a personal best 10.76s.
Thompson and Fraser-Pryce both managed to qualify for the 200m semi-finals with the former finishing third in the heat behind Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel and Great Britain’s Beth Dobbin, while the latter won her heat. Both are among the favourites to claim the gold in the event.
Call it lack of judgement, carelessness or complacency, Jackson’s incident just shows that you can never let your guard down for even a split second in athletics because that is substantial time for an opponent to cash in on it.
Jamaica are currently 35th on the medal table with four medals. Besides the 100m trio, Megan Tapper won bronze at the 100m hurdles today, clocking 12.55s.