Bahamian two-time Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo was back at the event she has run most of her career on Wednesday, and back to her winning ways, at the Stade Louis II in Fontvieille, Monaco.
Competing in the women’s 400 meters (m) at the 2022 edition of the Herculis EBS Meeting, the 10th stop on the Diamond League circuit, Miller-Uibo was graceful as ever, winning comfortably in 49.28 seconds. The time was just off her season’s best time of 49.11 seconds and strengthens her position as the number one female quarter-miler in the world. No other athlete has run under 49.49 seconds in the one-lap event this year.
In the absence of the Olympic and World Championships silver medalist Marileidy Paulino, of the Dominican Republic, Jamaican Candice McLeod rose to the occasion, taking the silver medal in a season’s best time of 49.87 seconds. Commonwealth Games Champion Sada Williams, of Barbados, finished third in 50.10 seconds.
For Miller-Uibo, she has indicated an intention to move away from the women’s 400m to focus on the shorter 200m race, and possibly do a heptathlon or two in the not too distant future, but she is in contention for the Diamond League title in the 400m and is certainly taking advantage of that.
In the Silesia Diamond League press conference over the weekend, Miller-Uibo said now that the world championships is over and she has finally won a world title, the goal for the rest of the season is just to let loose and have fun.
She certainly seemed as she was going after a fast time at the start of the race yesterday as she exploded out of the blocks and quickly caught up to the lanes ahead of her. By the midway point of the race, Miller-Uibo was already strides ahead of the rest of the field. She came into the homestretch about seven to eight meters ahead of the nearest competitor and cruised into the tape. Miller-Uibo appeared top ease up about 20-30 meters from the finish line and coasted to the sub 50-seconds clocking.
It might not have been the jaw-dropping time that Miller-Uibo was looking for, but there is still time for her break new barriers in the women’s 400m. It appears she will certainly go after the Diamond League title in that event and there is also the 4th North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Championships, set for next weekend at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Miller-Uibo has been named to the 30-member team for The Bahamas and is listed for the 200 and 400m in that event.
The Wanda Diamond League Final is set for September 7-8 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Miller-Uibo said she is just trying to enjoy the rest of the season and will likely look to finish strong in what could be her last year running the 400m competitively. She has already stated that she will not attempt to be the first woman to go after a third straight Olympic title in the women’s 400m as her focus has shifted toward the 200m and possibly doing the multi events.
It remains to be seen how the transitional period will go.
Meanwhile, also in action in Monaco on Wednesday was Donald Thomas in the men’s high jump.
The former World Champion failed to clear a height, knocking down the bar all three times at his opening height of 2.20m (7′ 2-1/2″). Just two days earlier, Thomas finished tied for sixth in the men’s high jump at the Gyulai István Memorial Hungarian Grand Prix Meet, in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, clearing 2.14m (7’ 0-1/4”).
Thomas has also been named to the NACAC team for Team Bahamas and is expected to come home to compete.