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Miller-Uibo wins bronze in the 200m

Bahamian national record holder content with bronze; Gaither finishes eighth
  • Netherlands' Dafne Schippers, second left, dips to win the gold in the Women's 200m final during the World Athletics Championships in London, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. Right is Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who took the silver, and at center is Bahamas' Shaunae Miller-Uibo, bronze. Photo: AP

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Aug 12, 2017

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LONDON, England – Shaunae Miller-Uibo is leaving London with something.

It might not have been what she envisioned coming into these 16th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships, but it’s a bronze at the highest level of athletics worldwide, and it’s some kind of reward for six strong days of running.

Miller-Uibo’s ferocious kick at the end came a bit too late, and she was unable to close the gap completely on frontrunners Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

Schippers held on for the gold in the women’s 200 meters (m) final, winning in a season’s best time of 22.05 seconds.

Ta Lou won silver to go with the silver she got in the 100m, finishing in a national record time of 22.08 seconds, and Miller-Uibo charged hard for the bronze, finishing in 22.15 seconds.

All three ladies were separated by less than two feet at the end.

Miller-Uibo struggled to get off the curve and trailed the frontrunners by about five meters after the first 100 meters.

She used her 400 meters strength to close the gap on the home stretch, but just ran out of real estate at the end.

Hometown favorite Dina Asher-Smith, of Great Britain, was right on Miller-Uibo’s heels, finishing fourth in a season’s best time of 22.22 seconds.

The other Bahamian in the race, Tynia Gaither, also struggled to get off the curve and finished eighth in 23.07 seconds.

“It was a real competitive race, and that’s just how I like it,” Miller-Uibo said.

“It was a fun race. Those girls were amazing and I just enjoyed the race from the very beginning to the very end.

“My kick came a little late, but I’m just thankful that God brought me through to collect a medal. I’m happy that I’m not leaving London empty-handed. I can’t complain about that.

“I knew that those girls were quick girls. I knew that they were going to get off the curve before me. I had to focus on my 400 meters strength to bring me through, and I’m just thankful to God that I did it.”

Miller-Uibo has always struggled with her start in the women’s 200m, but her power and speed on the homestretch is unmatched.

That blazing speed at the end enabled her to set a new national record of 21.91 seconds this year. Whether or not six straight days of running had an effect on Miller-Uibo, running three rounds of both the 200 and 400 meters, is unknown, but it’s still her second fastest time of the year, and it was good enough for the bronze medal.

“I’m glad to be done – let me say that,” she said.

“Everything is fine. It’s not as bad as it seems. It was a fun six days for me. It was a new experience. I’m definitely going to try it again in 2019. Hopefully, I could get a lil stronger and quicker.

“The double (winning gold in both on the world level) is something that I want to accomplish, and now I see that it’s possible. I just have to re-focus and come back stronger.”

The Bahamian national record holder in the women’s 200m has always said that her focus remains on the longer race, and runs the other for fun.

Well, the shorter race certainly proved to be the one where she had the most fun at these world championships.

She said that she’s not thinking about that stumble in the 400m final at all. She’s just glad to come away with something, and that The Bahamas had great representation in the final with two ladies running.

“It was an amazing feeling to have both of us in there,” Miller-Uibo said.

“Hopefully, more and more athletes will step up to the plate and we could have more people in the finals in the future.”

Gaither said that she learned so much from the experience of being out there with those world-class sprinters. It was her first final at the Olympics or world championships, and she’s certainly looking forward to making it back to that point in the not too distant future.

“I just went out there to have fun,” she said. “The main thing for me at these world championships was to come out and make the final, and I did that, so I feel good about that. Just to be in the same race with those girls, it’s indescribable. I just went out there and tried to put together a good race.”

Gaither said that she’ll most likely shut down her season, and re-focus for next year.

“Hopefully, now I could get into my rest phase, and then come back next year, and try to have a good season,” she said.

“At this level of competition, you have to focus on technique. That is going to be what’s needed to allow me to be competitive against this kind of field. That’s always been a weakness of mine, but I’ll get it together soon.”

Gaither said she’s so thankful to the Bahamian people for the love and support she continues to get, and her intention is to continue to give good representation whenever she steps on the track.

“Thank you guys so much for your support. You don’t understand how much of a difference you make and how it impacts us as athletes,” she said.

“We really appreciate it. Keep supporting us, and keep on loving us, and we’ll make sure we satisfy you guys.”

With Miller-Uibo’s third place run at the Olympic Stadium last night, The Bahamas now has two medals at the world championships this year – a silver by Steven Gardiner in the men’s 400m, and now Miller-Uibo’s bronze in the women’s 200m.

The heats of all four relays will be held today. It’s unsure if Miller-Uibo will be able to contribute toward either the women’s 4x100m or 4x400m relay after running nonstop for six days – three rounds of both the women’s 200 and 400m.

 


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