Steven-Gardiner-wins-Paris-Diamond-League-2022-400m

Olympic champions Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas defeated solid fields to win the men’s and women’s 400m at the Paris Diamond League 2020 meet on Saturday (18).

Running in only his second 400m this season and in a rare appearance in the Wanda Diamond League series, Gardiner clocked a season-best of 44.21 seconds to take the comfortable victory in the men’s race.

“Today (Saturday), it was amazing. My first time in Paris and it is a season best, I won the race so it feels good,” he said during his post-race interview. “I’m ready to see what is next for me.”

The Olympic champion from Tokyo last summer started slowly but increased his tempo after 200m to cover the entire field heading into the home straight.

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Lidio Feliz of the Dominican Republic was second in 44.92 secs with third place going to Zakithi Nene of South Africa who ran 44.99.

The American in the race was former North Carolina A&T sprinter Trevor Stewart, who finished fourth in 45.18 secs, while the Frenchman was Loïc Prévôt who ran 45.94 for sixth place.

Shaunae-Miller-Uibo-at-Doha-2022-Diamond-League
Shaunae-Miller-Uibo finishing the 400m at the 2022 Doha Diamond League. Photo: Wanda Diamond League AG

Meanwhile, the women’s contest was also dominated by a Bahamian Olympic champion as Miller-Uibo crushed the field to secure the victory in 50.10.

It was her second Diamond League 400m outing this season, following her third-place finish in Doha.

 The 28-year-old said before the race that she made some tweaks to how she wanted to run the one-lap event and we saw evidence of that in her performance in Paris after her more-measured display.

“I had a great race tonight (Saturday). Really great. I did a strong start, I pushed a lot on the first 300m. Then, I managed to stay on the lead,” said the Bahamian.

“I still had some gas in the tank to finish strong. The track is fast. I’m quite happy about the model of 400 m I want to execute this season.”

Miller-Uibo, the World Indoor champion in Serbia this past winter, is ranked third in the world this year with a season-best time of 49.91.

MORE: UPDATED: Paris Diamond League 2022 results on June 18

Finishing second in the women’s race at the Paris Diamond League 2020 meet this weekend was a pair of Poland runners, with Natalia Kaczmarek clocking 50.24 for second place and just edged out compatriot Anna Kiełbasińska who ran a personal best of 50.28 for third.

Five women, including fourth and fifth place finishers Fiordaliza Cofil (DOM, 50.76) and Lieke Klaver (NED, 50.80 PB) broke 51 seconds in the French capital, while Poland’s Justyna Święty-Ersetic, the 2018 European champion, was sixth in 51.05.

Amandine Brossier was the top French finisher in seventh with 51.78 secs.

Gardiner and Miller-Uibo will now turn their attention to continue preparing for the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22 next month.

Gardiner heads to Eugene as the defending men’s champion, while Miller-Uibo won a silver medal at the last championships in Doha, in 2019.

“I’m gonna travel back home, no more meeting on my schedule because we have the trials for Worlds championships next week,” Miller-Uibo noted. “At this stage, I’m quite confident about my chances to succeed at Eugene.

“I’m healthy, everything is doing great at training. I’m exactly in the shape I wanted to be at this time of the season.”

Gardiner said: “I am planning Bahamas champs now. I am definitelly on the way to defend my world title. Of course, my top priority is to win the gold medal.

“But I also want to shock myself. I want to see what am I capable to do in Eugene. I think it was one of the toughest races and I have brought my full potential.”

PHOTO: Steven Gardiner after winning the 400m at the 2022 Paris Diamond League. Photo: Wanda Diamond League AG

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