This evening in Larvotto, Monaco, Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo could be anointed as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) 2018 Female Athlete of the Year.
It is astounding indeed just for her to be among the final list of nominees, along with Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya, Caterine Ibargüen of Colombia and Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium.
When Miller-Uibo won the 2016 Olympics 400 meters (m) gold medal, she unequivocally placed herself among the deities of Bahamian athletes on the all-time list and for some, right up there, arguably at the top of the heap, gender aside.
If the votes go her way, Miller-Uibo will make Bahamian history and further fortify her case for being the greatest sports figure of all-time in Bahamian history. Just to contemplate the prospect of Miller-Uibo as the greatest of all-time, almost seems sacrilegious, irreverent to the memory of such as Sir Durward Knowles, Tommy Robinson, Sloane Farrington, Cecil Cooke and Elisha Obed, as well as Pauline Davis-Thompson, Tonique Williams, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chandra Sturrup, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt and Jonquel Jones, who, long before her, made glorious historic contributions to The Bahamas’ sports brand.
Here we are though, with Miller-Uibo cemented as the Bahamian athlete who glitters most at this time. Note the following brief chronicle of the aforementioned:
A young Durward Knowles of Star Class sailing along with Farrington, won the first world championship for The Bahamas; Knowles and Farrington won the first Olympic medal (bronze) for the country; Knowles and Cooke captured the first Olympic gold medal; Robinson blazed the incredible international track trail during the 1950s that brought The Bahamas to the attention of the world, equally (in my view) as much as Knowles and Farrington did; Davis-Thompson, Ferguson-McKenzie and Sturrup were three of the famous original Golden Girls for The Bahamas, but with incredible individual records (Davis-Thompson with an Olympic gold, Ferguson-McKenzie with a world championship gold and Sturrup with several world championships medals); Williams reigned as Olympic and World Champion in the 400m at the same time and was also an IAAF Golden League winner; Moxey-Pratt was once ago, before the emergence of Waltiea Rolle and Jonquel Jones, recognized as the country’s greatest female basketball player ever, a reputation that was supplemented by her (athletic scholarship) recruitment genius and softball prowess; Obed won the first authentic world boxing title for The Bahamas; and Jones is the record-setting Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) rebounder and an all-star.
I could add several more names to the list with short bios of their accomplishments but wished only to make the point of how far up the mountainside of sports excellence Miller-Uibo has climbed. She will be in the debate as to who is the best of Bahamian sports luminaries, no matter what unfolds in Monaco.
The 24-year-old holder of the women’s national records for the 200m (21.88) and the 400m (48.97) has crafted a glowing body of work in a career that could be far from completion, but it’s what she has done this year that will be judged by the IAAF panel.
She raced 15 times and never lost in 2018. Along the way, she set world bests for the 200m straight (21.76); 300m indoors (35.45); won the Commonwealth Games and IAAF Diamond League championships over 200m; had a special double at the IAAF Continental Cup, 200m and 4×100 relay; and she won a number of times over 200 and 400m.
She had an incredible “run” for sure, pun intended. Hopefully the year wraps up with the coveted IAAF Female Athlete of the Year accolade in her possession.
Best wishes Shaunae!
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