With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) unwilling to make any adjustments to the women’s schedule for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, later this summer, does it now mean that Bahamian star Shaunae Miller-Uibo will shift her focus on just the 200m?
Miller-Uibo To Snub Olympic 400m To Focus on 200m
If reports in recent days are any indication of where Miller-Uibo is heading, then one would believe the Olympic champion will more than likely ditch the 400m in Tokyo and give up her pursuit of emulating the greats Michael Johnson, Marie-Jose Perec and Valerie Brisco-Hooks, to focus solely on winning the Olympic gold medal in the 200m.
Miller-Uibo accused the athletics chiefs of double standard and noted that the male athletes have an easier path to do the long sprint double than the women.
Miller-Uibo has been vocal about her intentions to attempt the 200m/400m double at the Olympics and was well supported by the Bahamas Olympic Committee.
However, a request from the BOC to revise the schedule to accommodate the women who are interested in doubling at the Games had been rejected, and it is believed the 26-year-old is almost certain to snub the 400m and shift her focus to the shorter distance.
“As much as I wanted a new title in the 200 meters, I also wanted to defend my Olympic one,” Miller-Uibo was quoted as telling The Times. “The guys have an opportunity where their events don’t clash and so all we were asking for was an opportunity to double.
“With the guys, they had a two-day break between the 400m semis and final. Had they opened that up for the girls then it would have been fine.”
Looking Forward To Asher-Smith Battle?
Should the Bahamas record holder go ahead with her plans to race only the 200m this could set up a potential battle between herself and World Champions Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, something the former would welcome.
“She’s a great competitor. I think we’ll bring the best out of each other,” Miller-Uibo added.
The Rio Olympics 2016 one lap gold medalist was in flashing form during her brief indoor campaign this season in both the 200 and 400m and she was hoping to become the first runner to secure both the 200/400 Olympic double since American Johnson and France’s Jose Perec both did so at Atlanta 1996.
Miller-Uibo won a silver medal in the 400m at the 2019 World Championships, while her lone senior 200m medal came at the 2017 World Championships when she copped a bronze medal in London behind Dafne Schippers and Marie Josée Ta Lou and finished ahead of Asher-Smith.
Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah is the defending Olympic 200m champion, having won both the 100-200 meters at Rio 2016 in Brazil.