By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER coming out as the crown of the jewels of the women’s 400 metres at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Shaunae Miller-Uibo said she’s even more committed to doubling up in the 200 and 400m in August at the IAAF World Championships in London, England.
Freshly minted mixed gender 4 x 400m gold medallist Miller-Uibo is looking to go for the double at the Worlds after her request to have the schedule altered in her bid to attempt the feat.
With her next meet in two weeks in Shanghai, China, Miller-Uibo is returning to Florida today to resume her training in pursuit of her goal.
“We’re setting up for the double. We’re going at it this year,” said Miller-Uibo, who wanted to attempt it in Rio but was denied the opportunity after it was not properly communicated with the Bahamian coaching staff.
“I’m happy that they made the change in the schedule. My training is going very well. I’m excited. I wanted to go for the two gold and represent my country very well.”
With the change, Miller-Uibo said she would have a day off to recuperate from one event to the next, which poses an excellent opportunity to go for the unprecedented double.
“A lot of hard work and training,” she said about the possibility of achieving the goal. “We are doing a lot of training, working on our strength and endurance. We’re looking extremely well in practice.”
At the beginning of the season, Miller-Uibo said her management team and coaching staff have indicated that she will be running more 200 metres to develop her speed, but she won’t rule out the idea of contesting the 400m.
“I still enjoy the 400m. It’s still my baby,” said Miller-Uibo about which is her best event. “I also still like the 200 because it’s a fun event.”
And going into the season, Miller-Uibo said she expects that the 200m will produce the biggest challenge for her in competition, but her focus will be on the 400m.
“It means a lot,” said Miller-Uibo about the possibility of becoming a double champion at the World’s. “Being able to take that double is a hard feat, but I want to try it.”
And with American Allyson Felix expected to return to redeem herself after she was beaten out at the line when Miller-Uibo fell to pull of the win, Miller-Uibo said she know that the rematch is eminent.
“A lot of things motivate me in the sport and that is one of them,” Miller-Uibo stressed. “I’m working hard towards it and I’m looking forward to it.”
And if she get the opportunity, Miller-Uibo said she would be available to run in the women’s 4 x 400m relay, if the team qualifies. At the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Miller-Uibo ran the opening leg, but the remaining trio of Strachan, Christine Amertil and Rashan Brown slowly relinquished the lead as they fell behind and dropped all the way to fourth in their heat and 11th overall, failing to get into the final.
Miller-Uibo, however, said she’s still beaming with a lot of excitement from the World Relays and their triumph in the mixed relay that brought the curtain down on the two-day of competition.
“We all knew we had great talent going into it, so once we saw the set up, we were happy with it,” Miller-Uibo said. “We just went out there and told each other that we were going out there to do our best and have some fun.”
Miller-Uibo, 23, said after she got the baton from 21-year-old Steven Gardiner, she passed it to 23-year-old Anthonique Strachan and although there was some concern, she knew the team was in good hands with Michael Mathieu, 32, on anchor.
“We wanted to put on a show,” said Miller-Uibo, who watched as Strachan lost the lead to an American male and Mathieu regained it over an American female. “I’m just happy that we won it.”
The quartet secured the gold in a winning time of too pull of the historic victory in the event that was contested for the first time at a major senior international event.
In the process, it turned out to be a national and championship record. There were also some considerations to whether or not it will be listed as a world record.