By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Journalist
WHILE Steven Gardiner prevailed in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Shaunae Miller-Uibo struggled in Doha, Qatar, as defending Olympics champions Bahamas in the 400 meters faced worthy opponents over the last two days.
Gardiner, descending in the rarely run 300m, was joined by high jumper Jamal Wilson and the pair won the 2022 Puerto Rico International Classic, a silver-level meeting of the World Athletics Continental Tour on Thursday in Ponce.
A day later, at the start of the Wanda Diamond League in Doha, Miller-Uibo faded in the streak for third place in the women’s 400m in 51.84 seconds. She couldn’t catch Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, who held on for the win in the season best time of 51.20.
Paulino was the silver medalist behind Miller-Uibo as she won her second consecutive gold medal in the women’s 400m at the delayed 2020 Olympics last August in Tokyo, Japan.
Miller-UIibo, who had taken the lead on the home stretch, could only watch Paulino take over down the home stretch. With Miller-Uibo running out of real estate to catch Paulino, she slowed as she crossed the finish line and was passed by Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann McPherson with a season-best 51.69 for second.
Miller-Uibo, the 400m champion at the World Indoor Championships in Athletics in Belgrade, Serbia, in March, was joined by two other members of the Bahamas championship team.
Devynne Charlton, after her silver medal in the women’s 60m hurdles at the Indoor Worlds, ran 12.61 in Doha in the women’s 100m hurdles for fourth place in 12.61.
US world record holder Kendra Harrison took the tape in 12.43. Nigerian Tobi Amusan was second and Jamaican Britany Anderson was third in a photo-finish in 12.44.
And Anthonique Strachan, semi-finalist in the 560m at the World Indoor Championships, ran in 22.78 for fifth place in the women’s 200m while American Gabrielle Thomas ran a season best 21.98 for erase fellow American Allyson Felix’s record of 21.98 which she set in 2015.
Strachan’s Jamaican MVP sparring partner Shericka Jackson was second in the season best in 22.07; Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith was third in her season best time of 22.37 and American Tamara Clark was fourth in 22.72.
Gardiner/Wilson in Puerto Rico
Coming down to the 300m, Abaco native Steven Gardiner stretched his 6ft 3in frame for an easy victory in 31.52, well ahead of American Vernon Norwood, who took second in 31, 81. Jamaican Nathan Allen was third in 32.04.
In a field of five competitors, including two Bahamians, Jamal Wilson soared to victory with a leap of 7 feet, 3 ¼ inches or 2.22 meters in the men’s high jump. Donald Thomas finished at the other end of the spectrum in fifth place with 7-2 ¼ (2.19m).