At this point in the last Olympic cycle, Erin jackson had been two months into her full-time speed skating career. Today, she is favorite for the Olympic gold medal and holder of the American record.
Jackson broke an eight-year-old American record by winning the women’s 500m at a World Cup in Salt Lake City on Friday. The 29-year-old Floridian clocked a time of 36.80 seconds, beating 37 for the first time and lowering the record of 36.90 set by Heather bergsma in 2013. Most speed skating records are set in Salt Lake City or Calgary, which are at altitude.
Jackson won by .12 over the reigning world champion Angelina Golikova from Russia. Jackson has won four of five 500m World Cup races this season – having started the campaign with a better ninth place finish.
By early December 2017, Jackson had yet to beat 40 seconds in the 500m after converting from inline skating (and roller derby). She did so at the 2018 Olympic Trials, placing third in the 500m to become the first black woman to be part of a U.S. Olympic long track team.
This season, she became the first black woman to win an individual World Cup race, according to US Speedskating.
Jackson will look to qualify at the Olympic Trials next month, then aim to become the first American woman to win an individual Olympic speed skating medal since 2002 and the first to win the 500m since. Bonnie blair In 1994.
The Salt Lake City World Cup continues through Sunday. A broadcast schedule is here.
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