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Miller-Uibo looking to lock down spot in Diamond League final

With just three more spots up for grabs in the race to the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Diamond League final in the women’s 400 meters (m), defending champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo looks to secure a spot this Friday in Monaco.

The Bahamian Olympic Champion and double Diamond League winner from a year ago will be up against a world-class field this Friday. Salwa Eid Naser, the 20-year-old from Bahrain, has won four of the five Diamond League races in the women’s 400m this season. Miller-Uibo has won the other and is unbeaten this year over 200m and 400m. The final qualifying 400m race is set for Friday. Just the top eight, based on the season standings, will advance to the Diamond League final at the AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium, on August 31, and Miller-Uibo currently occupies the eighth spot with eight points. Be that as it may, she simply needs to beat Floria Guei, of France, on Friday, or finish fourth or higher in order to book her ticket for the final in the women’s 400m in Brussels.

She is already on course for the 200m final in Brussels, currently in third place in the standings with 16 points. In her last race, at the Rabat Diamond League meet last Friday, Miller-Uibo came from behind to win in a meet record of 22.29 seconds.

Dina Asher-Smith followed in 22.40 seconds, and American Jenna Prandini was third in 22.60 seconds.

Miller-Uibo is the defending champion in both the 200m and 400m, but she might have to choose between one or the other this year as both finals are on the same day in Brussels. Miller-Uibo owns three of the top five times in the world this year in the women’s 200m, and two of the top three times in the women’s 400m. She shares the world lead with American Shakima Wimbley, running a time of 49.52 seconds at the Prefontaine Diamond League Classic in Eugene, Oregon, USA, in May. Her season’s best in the women’s 200m is 22.06 seconds.

Also in action for The Bahamas at the Herculis Diamond League Meet at the Stade Louis II in Fontvieille, Monaco, this Friday, is Donald Thomas who has already clinched his spot in the Diamond League final in the men’s high jump. That event final is also set for August 31 in Brussels.

Thomas comes into the event this Friday with a season’s best leap of 2.32m (7’ 7-1/4”) and a lifetime best of 2.37m (7’ 9-1/4”).

The only other Bahamian in the top eight in the standings in any Diamond League event is Abaco native Steven Gardiner – the newly crowned Icon Award winner for sports. Gardiner is in second place in the standings in the men’s 400m, but is unbeaten in two Diamond League races. He trails just Abdalleleh Haroun, of Qatar, in the Diamond League standings. In the men’s 200m, Gardiner pulled up in his only Diamond League race this season, and won’t qualify for the final in that event.

The only other Bahamian with any Diamond League points this year is Trevor Barry in the men’s high jump. Barry is currently tied for 13th in the standings with three points, and just the top 12 advance to the final in Brussels.

The winner at the Diamond League Finals of each discipline will become the IAAF Diamond League Champion for 2018 and be awarded a Diamond Trophy, $50,000 in prize money and a wild card entry for the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, next year. With two finals, each staging 16 Diamond League disciplines, the total prize money awarded this year amounts to $1,600,000.

As it stands now, a quartet of Bahamians will be looking for their share.

Sheldon Longley

Sports Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting

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