It’s approaching deadline day to vote for Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the race for the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Female Athlete of the Year Award, but already, she has carted off a major prize in athletics in this region.
Over the weekend Miller-Uibo was named as the female athlete of the year in the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), for 2018. NACAC is one of six area associations of the IAAF, and encompasses 31 member associations inclusive of those of the United States, Cuba and Jamaica – major track and field powers in the world.
Across a number of disciplines, heats, semifinals and finals, Miller-Uibo finished 2018 with an unblemished 18-0 win-loss record in all of her events this year. She completed one of the all-time great years, if not the greatest year, by a Bahamian track and field athlete ever, and is one of the 10 athletes shortlisted for the IAAF’s Female Athlete of the Year Award. Online voting for that award continues on three social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Voting continues until November 12.
Walking away with the NACAC Male Athlete of the Year Award over the weekend was Jamaican Fedrick Dacres, the 2018 Diamond League discus winner, and also the 2018 Commonwealth Games and NACAC Champion. Like Miller-Uibo, he also finished the season unbeaten.
Miller-Uibo was in a class by herself all season. She won both the Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles in the women’s 200 meters (m), and ended the year with the world-leading time in the women’s 400m. Her national record run of 48.97 seconds in the women’s 400m at the Herculis EBS Diamond League Meet in Fontvieille, Monaco, is the fastest time in the world since 2009, and puts her in the top 10 all-time over that distance.
Miller-Uibo won all nine of her 200m races this year, tied Irina Privalova’s world record in the 300m indoors and also blazed to a new world record in the 150m straight at the Adidas Boost Boston Games. She also won both the shot put and high jump events at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) National Open Championships with personal best marks; and climaxed her year by being a part of two gold medal winning squads at the IAAF Continental Cup.
Miller-Uibo’s last defeat was at the 2017 London World Championships. She stumbled in the women’s 400m and faded to fourth, and finished third in the 200m, falling to Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands and Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast. Schippers won her second straight world title in London, Ta Lou was second and Miller-Uibo won the bronze.
The Bahamian golden goddess is still leading the way among the votes on Facebook and is fourth on Instagram. Colombia’s triple jumper Caterine Ibargüen leads the way on Instagram, Great Britain’s sprinter Dina Asher-Smith is second and Sandra Perković, a discus thrower from Croatia, is third. The other athletes in the running are Kenyan distance runner Beatrice Chepkoech, Dutch middle and long distance runner Sifan Hassan, Russian high jumper Mariya Lasitskene, South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya, multi events athlete Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium and Polish hammer thrower Anita Włodarczyk.
Bahamians are encouraged to get on board and vote for Miller-Uibo as time is winding down.
For Facebook, a vote can be placed by visiting the IAAF World Athletics Club page, scrolling down to the Female Athlete of the Year 2018 vote tab, clicking on it, clicking on Miller-Uibo’s photo, liking the photo and then sharing it. On Instagram, fans can vote for Miller-Uibo by visiting the IAAF Athletics page, scrolling down to Miller-Uibo’s photo and liking the photo.
A retweet on Twitter counts as one vote on that social media platform.
The list of 10 athletes will be further narrowed down to five following a three-way voting process that concludes on November 12, and the winner of the year-ending award will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018, set for December 4 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The public’s votes on social media count for just 25 percent of the final tally. The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family will cast their votes by e-mail. The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50 percent of the result, and the IAAF Family’s votes will count for the remaining 25 percent of the final result.
Winning the NACAC junior athletes of the year awards over the weekend were Jamaica’s World U20 Championships double sprint champion Brianna Williams and Cuban World U20 Championships gold medal winner in the boys triple jump Jordan Díaz. Díaz also won the NACAC title in Toronto, Canada, the gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and silver at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting