No American makes women’s 400m final; six of the eight from the Caribbean
Shaunae Miller-Uibo was all business, comfortably getting through to the final of the women’s 400 meters (m) at the 18th World Athletics Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA, last night.
Miller-Uibo ran a structured race, finishing first in her semifinal heat in a season’s best time of 49.55 seconds to book an automatic spot for Friday’s final. Miller-Uibo will run out of lane three in the final which is set for 10:15 p.m. on Friday.
Given the form she has shown so far, the Bahamian looks determined to grab the one global title that has eluded her in her professional career. She is a world youth champion, a world junior champion, a world indoor champion and an Olympic champion, but is yet to win a world outdoor title.
That could certainly change tomorrow night when Miller-Uibo lines up in the final of the women’s 400m as she is one of the event favorites. With her sub-50 seconds run in the semis, Miller-Uibo was the fastest qualifier for Friday’s final. She got out to an early lead, powered down the back stretch, was controlled on the second curve and paced herself on the home stretch. She appeared to ease up about 50 to 60 meters from the finish line, cruising to the tape.
The two-time Olympic Champion is expected to be challenged from Marileidy Paulino from the Dominican Republic and Candice McLeod of Jamaica – the second and third fastest qualifiers for the final respectively. Paulino was the silver medalist behind Miller-Uibo at the Tokyo Olympic Games last year, and was the only other runner under 50 seconds in the semis last evening. She won her semifinal heat in 49.98 seconds and McLeod ran a season’s best time of 50.05 seconds.
In a stunning turn of events, no American woman advanced to the final of the women’s 400m. In fact, six of the eight women in the final are from the Caribbean – two from Jamaica, two from the Dominican Republic, Miller-Uibo from The Bahamas and Sada Williams from Barbados.
Today is an off day for The Bahamas and Miller-Uibo will be the only Bahamian athlete in action tomorrow.
On Saturday, Devynne Charlton will compete in the opening round heats of the women’s 100m hurdles and Ken Mullings will begin his competition in the men’s decathlon. Also on Saturday, the women’s 4x400m relay team will be in action, competing in the heats of that event.
So far, the highest finish for The Bahamas has been 10th by Anthonique Strachan in the women’s 100m. TyNia Gaither finished 11th overall in the women’s 200m, just coming up short of becoming the first Bahamian to advance to three consecutive finals of the women’s 200m at the world outdoor championships. She now shares the accomplishment of two successive finals in that event, among Bahamians, with Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie who did it twice in her illustrious career.
Both Strachan and Gaither ran personal best times – Strachan in the 100m and Gaither in the 200m.
The Bahamas has won at least one medal at every world athletics championships since 2013, and has won 25 medals in the history of the championships – eight gold, nine silver and eight bronze.
This is the first world outdoor championships that is being held on US soil. A total of 1,972 athletes from 192 countries are competing.