By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IN her first meet since settling for the silver in the women’s 400 metres at the IAAF World Championships last October, Shaunae Miller-Uibo was back on the track with a double dose of world-leading performances in the 200 and 400 metres.
Celebrating the USA’s Fourth of July Independence on Saturday at the Showdown in Otown Meet at the Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, Miller-Uibo used her six-foot, one-inch frame to easily blow away the field in the one-lap race in 50.52 seconds.
The nearest rival to the Adidas-sponsored Bahamian in the opening event of the meet was Nike’s Kaylin Whitney in 51.99. Carline Muir of Puma was third in 53.26.
In one of the two final events to close off the meet, Miller-Uibo came back in the 200m and ran 22.61 to win the half-lap race well ahead of Lynn Irby, another Adidas representative, who finished second in 23.06.
Shacarri Richardson of Nike was third in 23.14.
“I’m happy with my performances,” Miller-Uibo told The Tribune. “This was our first competition back in nine months and with all the setbacks we had to encounter this year, we’re pretty pleased with where we are at.”
Miller-Uibo, 26, also got to watch as her husband Maicel Uibo, the Estonian decathlete also representing Adidas, competed in the 200m, placing 14th overall in the men’s 100m in 11.27.
He trailed American world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, who was 13th overall in 10.80. Kenny Bednarek of Nike won the race in 10:14.
Taylor, representing Puma, was the lone competitor in the men’s triple jump, clearing 16.75 metres or 54-feet and 11 1/2-inches.
Miller, who ran an area and national record of 48.37 on October 3 in Doha, Qatar, only to lose out to Bahrain’s champion Salwa Eid Naser’s blistering time of 48.14 at the World Championships, said her performance was just an indication of what to expect this year.
“I’m not sure exactly what all meets we will have lined up for the year, but I’m’ very happy that we are at least getting a chance to compete this season,” Miller-Uibo said.
The meet was a prelude to the ‘Weltklasse Zurich Inspiration Games on July 9 when Miller-Uibo will compete against Allyson Felix of the United States and Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland in a race against the clock simultaneously in the 150m from their respective locations.
During the race, Miller-Uibo will be showcased from Miramar, Florida, while Felix, the six-time Olympic champion, will compete from Walnut, California, and Kambundji will be in Zurich, Switzerland.
“The goal for the rest of the year is to stay healthy and use the year as a build up for 2021 and as always have some fun,” Miller-Uibo summed up.
As she prepares for next year, Miller-Uibo will be looking at duplicating her gold-medal winning feat in the 400m in 49.44 at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.