Shaunae Miller-Uibo has just opened her season in the women’s 400 meters (m) faster than any athlete in history, according to a report by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) – the world’s governing body for athletics.
The graceful Bahamian Olympic Champion circled the track in 49.05 seconds, significantly ahead of her competitors at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic in Gainesville, Florida, USA, on Saturday. Miller-Uibo’s blazing time is the new world lead, the fastest time ever recorded before the month of June according to an IAAF report, and is just 0.08 shy of the lifetime best she set last year.
PURE Athletics took the top three spots in the women’s 400m on Saturday as Miller-Uibo’s training partners Shakima Wimbley and Chrisann Gordon finished second and third in times of 51.32 and 51.33 seconds respectively.
Miller-Uibo’s time is the second fastest of her career, and the second fastest in the world since 2009, trailing just the 48.97 national record she ran for the Diamond League title in Fontvieille, Monaco, last year. The 48.97 time was also a new Diamond League record and a new meet record.
In Gainesville, Miller-Uibo pulled away from the rest of the field coming around the second curve and increased her lead on the home stretch. She was about 15-20 meters ahead of her nearest competitor when she crossed the finish line.
Miller-Uibo is yet to open up in the 200m, and it is unsure if she will go after the 200-400 double at the Doha World Championships like she attempted in London, England, two years ago. The 17th IAAF World Championships is set for September 27 to October 6, 2019, in Doha, Qatar.
Also in action at the Percy Beard Track Complex in Gainesville over the weekend was “Superman” Leevan Sands in the men’s triple jump. Sands had a best leap of 15.80m (51’ 10”) to finish seventh.
Celine Thompson competed for the University of Miami in the women’s high jump. She had a best clearance of 1.65m (5’ 5”) and finished tied for fourth. D’Mitry Charlton was listed in the men’s 400m hurdles for Florida State University (FSU), but did not finish.
As for Miller-Uibo, she was in a class by herself in the women’s 400m. She holds the national records in both the women’s 200 and 400m, and is the only Bahamian, and one of only five women in the history of athletics, to ever run under 22 seconds in the women’s 200m and under 49 seconds in the women’s 400m. Miller-Uibo’s national record times stand at 21.88 and 48.97 seconds in the women’s 200 and 400m respectively.
She finished 2018 unbeaten, finishing with a perfect 18-0 record in all of her events including heats, semifinals, finals and relays, and was a finalist for the IAAF’s Female Athlete of The Year Award. She is also a three-time winner at the IAAF Diamond League Finals, winning both the 200 and 400m in 2017 and repeating as champion in the 200m in 2018.
Just a world title eludes Miller-Uibo, and she will go after that at this year’s world championships in Doha.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting