As a testament to her early season dominance, Shaunae Miller-Uibo is being recognized as a top performer in the region.
The North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) – one of six area associations of World Athletics (WA) – has ratified the Bahamian superstar track and field athlete as its most outstanding female athlete of the 2021 indoor season. The decision was made by the NACAC Sports Journalists Working Group.
Reigning Olympic Champion in the women’s 400 meters (m) Miller-Uibo ended the indoor season as the world leader in the 400m with a national record run of 50.21 seconds that was done at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Meet at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex, on Staten Island, New York. The time was also a NACAC record, breaking the time of 50.34 seconds that was done by fellow Bahamian Christine Amertil at the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow, Russia, and tied by American Kendall Ellis at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas, in 2018.
Miller-Uibo, 27, was also impressive in the 200m indoors this year, earning second spot on the global list with a 22.40 clocking, which was also Bahamian national record, breaking Pauline Davis-Thompson’s 26-year-old mark of 22.68 seconds.
Her 400m time topped the world’s list, while the 200m mark was second to American Abby Steiner’s 22.38 that was done at the NCAA Division I Championships this year at the Randal Tyson Track Center, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The 400m time is tied for eighth on the all-time list. The world record is 49.59 seconds, done by Jarmila Kratochvílová of the former Czechoslovakia 39 years ago. Miller-Uibo is tied for 10th on the all-time list in the 200m – a list that is topped by former Jamaican athlete Merlene Ottey who ran a world record of 21.87 seconds in Liévin, France, in 1993.
Prior to this season, Miller-Uibo last ran the 200m indoors in 2013 when she clocked a then lifetime best of 23.26 seconds, and the 400m indoors in 2014 when she won the bronze at the world indoors in Sopot, Poland, in 52.06 seconds. Her personal best at that time was 50.88 seconds.
Outdoors this season, Miller-Uibo is leading both the 200 and 400m on the world’s top performance lists with season’s best times of 22.03 and 49.08 seconds, respectively. She has qualified for the Olympics in both events, but has already stated her intention of going after the 200m title as opposed to defending her Olympic title in the 400m. She would certainly be among the favorites in both events.
Miller-Uibo prefers to run both events at the Tokyo Olympic Games, but claimed that they are too close together on the schedule and therefore wouldn’t have the time that is needed to successfully wind down from one event to the next. The Tokyo Olympic Games is set for July 23 to August 8, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
On the men’s side, three new world records were set this year – two from athletes from the NACAC region. American Ryan Crouser who erased a 32-year-old global mark in the men’s shot put earned him the title of NACAC Most Outstanding Male Athlete for the 2021 indoor season.