Miller-Uibo eyes 200m record, not so sure about 400m

Senior Staff reporter

Friday, July 20, 2018

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Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo is of the belief that the women's 200m world record of 21.34 seconds is a more realistic target than the 400m mark of 47.60 established decades ago.

The super talented 24-year-old Bahamian Miller-Uibo has personal best of 21.88 and 49.44 for the 200m and 400m, and is seen as one of the few individuals most likely to attack both world records.

The 200m record of 21.34 was set established by American Florence Griffith Joyner in the 1988 Olympic final. Earlier, she first lowered the previous record of 21.71 held jointly by East Germans Marita Koch and Heike Drechsler to 21.56 in the semi-final.

Miller-Uibo was in Jamaica for the JN Racers Grand Prix and she gave her thoughts on these two long-standing records.

“I think the 200m is [within] reach. You have a lot of girls that have run around the time in the past few years,” said Miller-Uibo.

Her best of 21.88 seconds places her 21st in the all-time list and behind athletes that are still competing such as Dafne Schippers (21.63), Elaine Thompson (21.66) and Allyson Felix (21.69). They have been closest in recent times.

“In the 200, I think it's in the area and we can start looking at it and hoping we can see it drop in the years to come,” said Miller-Uibo.

Koch's 400m record of 47.60 has been around since 1985, and the closest person to that record was Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards-Ross who clocked 48.70 in 2006 and 48.83 two years later in 2009. She is now retired.

The versatile Allyson Felix ran 49.26 in 2015, while Miller-Uibo has done 49.44 in 2016, 49.46 in 2017 and in 2018 clocked 49.52. She is still a whopping 1.84 seconds off the world record.

“The 400m is a far reach, but we are still working towards it. If we can finally dip in the 48s and get comfortable in the 48s, well, I guess we can start looking towards the world record. But right now it's just trying to get in the 48s,” said Miller-Uibo.

But if you believe the women's 200m and 400m records seem to be far-fetched, just take a look at the 100m of 10.49 held by Florence Griffiths-Joyner of 21.34 in the 1988 and the women's 800m of 1:53.28 minutes held by Jarmila Kratochvilova of the Czechoslovakia since 1983. They are the longest-standing individual world records in athletics.

In recent times there have been cries to wipe the world record slate clean and start all over amidst widespread and systemtic doping back in the days when these records were established, and the general notion is that they will never be broken.

The ruling International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in 2017 controversially proposed that all records established before 2005 be erased. That is still to be ratified.

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