Too young to be so good!
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Aug 16, 2013
MOSCOW, Russia –At 19 years and 122 days, Bahamian junior sensation Shaunae Miller has become the youngest finalist ever in the women’s 200 meters (m) at the International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Outdoor Championships.
Miller had to come from behind to accomplish the historic feat yesterday, as she made up for a subpar run on the curve to run past three sprinters in front of her and grab one of the two automatic qualifying spots for the final.
Miller blazed down the straightaway in 22.64 seconds, finishing second in her semi-final heat to Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast. Ahoure took that race in 22.46 seconds.
For Miller, the former World Youth and World Junior Champion over 400m, it’s one of the biggest accomplishments of her stellar career. Now, she will run in the biggest race of her life in the women’s 200m final this evening, at the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena.
“I knew that the semis were pretty much going to be like a final, so I just wanted to go out there and give it my best shot,” said Miller yesterday. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I’m kind of used of the feeling. I just wanted to go out there and do my best.
“It feels real good. Everything didn’t go as planned coming off the bend, but I was able to overcome that and bring it home strong. I just want to go out there and do well, and hopefully don’t come out with any injuries. That’s the main thing.”
Miller will run out of lane seven in a very tough final at 9:15 p.m. today, 1:15 p.m. back in The Bahamas.
As far as her semi-final heat is concerned, she labored on the curve as she appeared to struggle in getting out of the blocks. Miller came into the straightaway in fifth place and had to really turn it on to finish second behind Ahoure.
It makes one wonder what the 19-year-old could do when she puts the perfect race together.
“I’m just going there with a mindset to do my best, and represent my country well,” said Miller last night. “I trust my coach 100 percent. He said that we would go with the 200, and I trusted him and now I’m in the finals, so we’ll just see how it goes from here.”
Now that she is in the final, Miller is hoping to take it a step further and get on the podium at these 14th biennial world championships. She might have to run a personal best time to do it. She qualified with the fifth fastest time for the final last night, and will run out of a tough lane seven tonight. If she gets left on the curve again, she probably would fade and not catch up with a very strong field which includes three-time world champion in the event American Allyson Felix and two-time world champion in the women’s 100m Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Felix, who was the top qualifier for the final in 22.30 seconds, will be joined by two other Americans in the final tonight, Jeneba Tarmoh and Charonda Williams. Nigerian Blessing Okagbare was the second fastest qualifier for the final, running a time of 22.39 seconds. Ahoure qualified third, in 22.46 seconds, and Fraser-Pryce was the fourth fastest qualifier for the final right ahead of Miller in 22.64 seconds.
In the morning session, Miller won her first round heat in 22.72 seconds.
Miller ran a personal best time of 22.45 seconds at the BTC National Open Track and Field Championships in June, and will more than likely have to top that performance in order to grace the podium here in Moscow.