GREAT STRIDES: Shaunae Miller wins the 400 metres on Saturday in the 2nd Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. Also shown is Ashley Spencer of the US. Photo by Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff
Birthday girl and newly engaged Shaunae Miller literally left it all on the track and was able to get a well deserved standing ovation from the fans at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
Moments after she ran the second fastest time of her life in the women’s 400 metres in 49.69 seconds, just shy of the 49.67 that she posted to secure the silver medal at the IAAF World Championships last year in Beijing, China, the only thing that the exhausted quartermiler could do was lay back on the track and try to recuperate.
“I just thank God for the performance. Everything just went extremely well,” said Miller after she was able to recuperate. “It’s my opener and to open up with the second fastest time is an amazing feeling. So I’m just excited about what my season will look like this year.
“My coaches have been doing an excellent job. I’ve now had a complete season with them and so I’m just excited about the rest of the season.”
There was some concern with Miller coming in to the meet still in a celebratory mood, having gotten engaged over the previous weekend to Miacel Ubio from Polva Estonia, who is in his senior year at the University of Georgia where he competes in the decathlon. But she handled it like a real professional.
#After making the stagger to catch and pass the rest of her rivals coming to the 200m bend, Miller got some challenge from American Quanera Hayes coming off the final bend. But the taller Miller managed to drive into another gear and drove it home in the world’s leading time.
Haynes also dipped under the 50-second barrier to take the silver in 49.91, while Ashley Spencer, also from the USA, finished third in 51.35. “It was exciting. I’m just glad to get my first win in my first event here at home,” said Miller, who through Earl Thompson, a member of the LOC, got to hear the audience in the stands sing happy birthday as they helped her celebrate her 22nd birthday from Friday.
#As she now makes her trek towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August, Miller said she’s gearing up to compete in her next meet in Kingston, Jamaica, from “one Caribbean island to another,” so she’s happy to be performing the way that she did.
“My training has been going extremely well, so I’m happy to see what the rest of my season brings,” she added