Shaunae Miller-Uibo ended her 2017 International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Diamond League season with a bang yesterday in Brussels, Germany, clocking a world leading 49.46 seconds to win the gold in the finale of the women’s 400-meters (m).
Miller-Uibo missed out on her own national record and personal best by just .02 seconds (49.44). Prior to yesterday’s 400, American Allyson Felix’s 49.65 was the world leading time.
Eid Naser, of Bahrain, crossed the finish line second in a new national record of 49.88 seconds, and American Courtney Okolo was third in 50.91 seconds.
Miller-Uibo came into the race as the favorite to win it all, as neither IAAF World Champs gold medalist Phyllis Francis, or former World Champion Felix participated in the race. As soon as the gun went off, it was clear that Miller-Uibo held a distinct advantage over the field. Running out of lane seven, she closed in on the lead by the 200m mark and quickly made her way to the front of the pack. Only Naser was close to Miller-Uibo at the 100m mark, however, the Rio Olympics gold medalist quickly created space between the two and pulled away at the 60m mark to secure her second Diamond League title in as little as a week.
Last Thursday, Miller-Uibo set a new national record of 21.88 seconds in the 200m finale in Zurich, Switzerland. She came from behind to beat the two ladies who finished ahead of her at the IAAF World Championships in London, England – Dafne Schippers, of the Netherlands, and Marie-Josée Ta Lou, of the Ivory Coast – as well as Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson, of Jamaica.
With the win in the 200, Miller-Uibo became The Bahamas’ first IAAF Diamond League champion. Tonique Williams-Darling secured the IAAF Golden League title in the women’s 400m in 2004, the same year she won the Olympic title, but Miller-Uibo is the first Bahamian winner of the IAAF’s yearly extravaganza since the format and name changed in 2010.
Along with the IAAF Diamond trophy, Miller also received a cash prize of $50,000 for wining.