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Elite athletes perform well in Diamond League action

Bahamian elite athletes are continuing to tune up ahead of next month’s world championships, competing in Europe at Wanda Diamond League meets.

At the seventh stop on the tour, the Meeting de Paris at the Stade Sébastien Charléty in Paris, France, a trio of Bahamians was in action, competing in their specialty events.

In the women’s 400 meters (m), Miller-Uibo showed that she is close to top form, shutting down in 50.10 seconds to win comfortably. Natalia Kaczmarek, of Poland, finished second in 50.24 seconds, and her countrywoman Anna Kielbasinska rounded out the top three, running a personal best of 50.28 seconds.

Two-time Olympic Champion Miller-Uibo appeared to shut down about 20-30m from the finish line and just missed running under 50 seconds in the one-lapper. An all-out effort would have likely given her a new meet record, lowering the mark of 49.15 seconds from fellow Bahamian Tonique Williams in 2004.

Marileidy Paulino, the Dominican Republic’s silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics behind Miller-Uibo, still holds on to the world leading time of 49.49 seconds. Miller-Uibo’s season’s best is 49.91 seconds, currently listed as number three on World Athletics (WA) top list for the women’s 400m for 2022.

Be that as it may, Miller-Uibo remains the favorite for world championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, next month. The 28-year-old Bahamian is one of just two athletes to win multiple Olympic titles in the women’s 400m – the other being Marie-José Pérec, of France, with whom Miller-Uibo shared a feature story in a local newspaper in Paris last week.

Miller-Uibo is still looking to win her first world outdoor title. The 18th World Outdoor Championships in athletics is set for July 15-24 at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Steven Gardiner was on the track in the men’s 400m on Saturday. He completed the one-lapper in a season’s best of 44.21 seconds. Lidio Andres Feliz, of the Dominican Republic, settled for second in 44.92 seconds and Zakhiti Nene, of South Africa, rounded out the top three in 44.99 seconds.

For Gardiner, it was just his second 400m race of the season. He ran 44.22 seconds in his opener in April. Olympic Champion Gardiner, 26, is currently listed as number four on World Athletics top list for the men’s 400m for 2022. Gardiner is looking to repeat as world champion in Eugene next month.

The other Bahamian competing in Paris on Saturday was Devynne Charlton in the women’s 100m hurdles. The 26-year-old Bahamian national record in that event ran a season’s best of 12.63 seconds to finish second, just trailing Nigerian Tobi Amusan who ran a blazing African area record and personal best time of 12.41 seconds for the win. Cindy Sembler, of Great Britain, finished third in 12.73 seconds.

Charlton was just off her personal best national record time of 12.61 seconds, and was under 13 seconds in the women’s 100m hurdles for the fourth straight time and fifth time in her last six races.

Olympic finalist Charlton is aiming for a podium spot in Eugene, which, if successful, would give her first medal at that level.

A couple days before the Meeting de Paris, LaQuan Nairn was in action in the Oslo Bislett Games, competing in his first Diamond League meet at Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway.

Nairn, 25, who has qualified for the world championships, finished eighth in the men’s long jump in Oslo with a leap of 7.42m (24’ 4-1/4”), well off his personal best effort of 8.22m (26’ 11-3/4”), which was done at the USA Track and Field Golden Games in Walnut, California, in April.

In Oslo, Miltiadis Tentoglou, of Greece, won the competition with a leap of 8.10m (26’ 7”); Thobias Montler, of Sweden, finished second with a leap of 8.05m (26’ 5”); and Simon Ehammer, of Switzerland, rounded out the top three with a best leap of 7.95m (26’ 1”).

Bahamian athletes will now return home for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Youth, Junior and Senior National Championships set for this Friday and Saturday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium here in New Providence.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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