Miller-Uibo moves into lofty all-time 200 meters category
ow fast can Shaunae Miller-Uibo go in the 200 meters?
She ran 21.74 on Thursday as she won the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League’s featured 200 meters in Zurich, Switzerland. She pulled away from a highly-touted support cast and was able to ease up while crossing the finish. In her wake were the likes of second-place finisher Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain (22.08); Jamaican Elaine Thompson (22.44); and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands (22.46).
If she had kept up her accelerating pace right to the finish, she would have gone around 21.70 or perhaps 21.6-high. As it was, though, her 21.74 took Miller-Uibo among the top 17 goddesses of half-lap sprinting in history. Just that number of female sprinters have negotiated 200 meters in under 21.80 seconds.
Included in that group are luminaries of the highest sprinting order, such as: Americans Tori Bowe and Inger Miller (21.77); Jamaican Juliet Cuthbert (21.75); Miller-Uibo; Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown; Germans Silke Moller and Marlies Gohr (22.74); American Gwen Torrence and Jamaican Grace Jackson-Small (21.72); Germans Heike Drechsler and Marita Koch (21.71); American Allyson Felix (21.69); Jamaican Elaine Thompson (21.66); Jamaican Merlene Ottey (21.64); The Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers (21.63); American Marion Jones (21.62); and Florence Griffith-Joyner (21.34).
The 21.34 done by Griffith-Joyner is an incredibly mountainous task, but the others are within reach of the slender, smooth-striding Miller-Uibo. At 25, she is still getting better. For instance, two years ago, she ran 21.88. A year before that she clocked 22.05 to snatch the national record away from the iconic Original Golden Girl Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (22.19). Her progression points to a very low 21 seconds clocking before she hangs up the sprint shoes.
Is Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34 out of reach?
Perhaps not, as her early speed is improving. She got out quite good on Thursday and was right there, just a bit behind Asher-Smith as they went into the final curve. The race was actually over then, as the Bahamian employed her lengthy track-eating strides, to pull away and win very easily.
She is actually beating her opponents the way Griffith-Joyner and Jones once did.
Meanwhile from a totally Bahamian perspective, Miller-Uibo presently is that very bright light for The Bahamas during a dismal period of compelling national issues, the uprising of labor unions and, at this particular time also, Hurricane Dorian. Indeed, she is that great image of excellence the world is viewing, connected directly to The Bahamas.
She is a cherished poster entity for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, a tourism dream. Mller-Uibo is presenting yet further proof of the importance to this country of our sports product.
This graceful sprinter who has captivated the world is entitled to a great show of appreciation from the government of The Bahamas, and the sporting fraternity that spawned her is overdue for the kind of financial support that would maximize the potential of The Bahamas sports brand.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.
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