Yet again, Shaunae Miller-Uibo is an undisputed winner of The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year honor.
The 24-year-old Bahamian was in a class by herself all year, the only Bahamian female athlete to achieve international acclaim among her global peers. In fact, she was the national athlete of the year as honored by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture at Sports Awards 2018; the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Senior Female Athlete of the Year as honored by that organization; and one of five finalists for the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Female Athlete of the Year Award.
Miller-Uibo had one of the all-time greatest years by a Bahamian athlete ever. She finished her 2018 season with an unblemished 18-0 win-loss record in all of her events, including heats, semifinals and finals, relays and a couple of unconventional events for her – the shot put and high jump events.
The Bahamian golden goddess established herself as the best female athlete in the world over 200 and 400 meters (m) this year. She won all nine of her 200m races and was victorious in all three of her 400m races including a blazing national record run in Fontvieille, Monaco, in July. Her run of 48.97 seconds at the Herculis EBS Diamond League Meet in Monaco was the fastest time in the world since 2009, and put her in the top 10 all-time over that distance. She is the only Bahamian to ever crack the top 10 of any track and field event in the history of athletics.
Additionally, Miller-Uibo tied Irina Privalova’s world record in the 300m indoors and blazed to a new world best time in the 150m straight at the Adidas Boost Boston Games. She won 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 is now a three-time winner at the IAAF Diamond League Finals, winning both the 200 and 400m last year and repeating as champion in the 200m this year. She is also one of five female athletes to ever run under 22 seconds in the women’s 200m and under 49 seconds in the women’s 400m.
Her conquests this year leaves Bahamians wondering what does she have to do win the IAAF’s World Female Athlete of the Year Award. She lost out to Colombian Caterine Ibargüen, and a humble Miller-Uibo said afterwards: “I had an enjoyable time. Like I have said before, all of the ladies had great credentials. Congrats to the winner and off to 2019… God’s willing.”
Be that as it may, she is certainly The Bahamas’ top female athlete today, and at just 24-years-old, it appears that the best is yet to come for Miller-Uibo.
Unfortunately, the biggest news surrounding Bahamian female professional basketball player Jonquel Jones this year was her successful recruitment by the Bosnian national basketball team, but the 6’6” Connecticut Sun star emphatically stated that she is still a Bahamian and still recognizes Holmes Rock, Grand Bahama as her home. She finished second in voting for The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year honor.
Professionally, Jones had another stellar year for the Sun, averaging 11.8 points and 5.5. rebounds per game. It was significantly off the career-high numbers she posted the year before, but she was in a new role, coming off the bench for the Sun and playing less minutes. Proving that her talent level is too high to be coming off the bench, Jones turned in a banner year based on the minutes she played, and was rewarded with the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Sixth Woman of the Year Award. The year before she was the league’s most improved player, becoming the first player in league history to win both awards in successive seasons.
Jones shot 55 percent from the floor in her third season in the league, and helped the Sun reach the second round of the WNBA playoffs where they fell in a single-elimination game to the Phoenix Mercury.
Shakira Ferguson, who finished third in voting for The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year, emerged as one of the best female athletes in bodybuilding and fitness in The Bahamas. She won a bronze at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, and carted off the overall bikini title at the Faye Rolle Classic this year, cementing herself as arguably the best in bikini in The Bahamas.
Ferguson is a part of a resurgence of young talent into the BBFF and one of the athletes expected to carry the federation into the future. In a year in which eight Bahamians earned their pro cards in bodybuilding and fitness, it was some of the amateur athletes who stood out the most including Ferguson and two-time national champion Charles Reckley. The future looks bright for a number of them in the sport.
Swimmer Joanna Evans had to settle for fourth in voting for The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year, and hurdler Devynne Charlton rounded out the top five.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting