Double Trouble - why Bahamian star Miller-Uibo should stick to just 400m for Tokyo Featured

By Sports Desk July 09, 2021 4428













Bahamian sprint queen Shaunae Miller-Uibo has arguably been, overall, the best female athlete in the world for the last five years, but for the upcoming Olympics, attempting the 200m-400m double is likely to be biting off more than even she can chew.

At her best, the athlete would still be a favorite to claim the women’s 400m title in a strong and very open field. 

So far, the event’s best time has been set by Namibia’s Christine Mboma who ran 48.54 last month.  Next is Miller-Uibo who has a best of 49.08, another Namibian Beatrice Masiling (49.53), the USA’s Athing Mu (49.57), Jamaica’s Stephenie McPherson (49.61), and Quanera Haynes (49.67).

Mboma and Masiling have, however, been banned from competing in the women's 400m race at the Tokyo Games for having testosterone levels that are too high, while Mu will focus on the 800m.  That leaves Miller-Uibo with the best time heading into the event, with McPherson and Hayes also looking like genuine medal prospects at this point.  With her personal best of 48.37, set in Doha 2019, the Bahamian is the only woman in the field to have broken the 49-second barrier.

The 200m is, however, a different case entirely.  The Bahamian is nowhere close to the world leaders this year.  Amazingly, her season’s best of 22.03 put’s her at 12th on the list this year, in a season where the women seem intent on pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the sprint events.

In fact, four women, Gabrielle Thomas (21.61), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (21.79), Shericka Jackson (21.82), and Jenna Prandini (21.89) set personal bests last month.  Thomas’ time is the second-fastest ever run over the distance.  Even if she were to reproduce her personal best time of 21.74, she would be in contention, but certainly not guaranteed a spot on the podium.

Add the stresses of rigorous, unfriendly scheduling for a 200m-400m double and it’s not inconceivable that she could miss out on a spot on the podium entirely if things go badly.

The last time she attempted the feat at a major Games was 2017 where she ended up with a bronze medal in the 200m and missed out on the spots entirely in the 400m after finishing 4th.  This after heading into the 400m with three of the top five times that year.

If she isn’t careful, we could have a similar type of situation unfold in Tokyo.  Word is the athlete is recovering from an injury and not yet at her best, but she will need to get there in a hurry.

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Last modified on Friday, 09 July 2021 09:19
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