Shaune Miller-Uibo envisioned a dream close to a successful 2022 season as she accomplished that on home soil to highlight the second day of the NACAC Championships at Freeport’s Grand Bahama Sports Complex, where nine championship records were broken.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist closed a competitive year as she wanted, taking the 400m title in a championship record of 49.40, ahead of world bronze medallist Sada Williams of Barbados (49.86) and Jamaica’s 2021 Olympic fourth place Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.36).
It meant a lot for Miller-Uibo, who won her first world 400m title in Eugene and then travelled to see her husband Maicel Uibo of Estonia compete at the European Championships in Germany, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean again to finish the season on home soil.
Following the medal ceremony, Miller-Uibo took photos and signed autographs with local fans at the stadium and was greeted by Bahamas’ Primer Minister Philip Davis.
Miller-Uibo led a successful day of records on the second day of the area championships. Another new standard was set in the men’s 400m, with Christopher Taylor adding his name to the record books with 44.63 in the one-lap race.
Taylor opened the golden path for Jamaica and was joined by world 200m champion Shericka Jackson (10.83) and Ackeem Blake (9.98) breaking championships records in the 100m finals.
The men’s 110m hurdles also provided good fireworks to the full crowd at the stadium. Pan American Games silver medallist Freddie Crittenden rewrote the record book with a time of 13.00, a personal best for the US sprint hurdler. Teammate Jamal Britt (13.08) and Jamaica’s Orlando Bennet (13.18) also ran faster than the previous record.
Other world-class performances came in the field with USA’s World Championships finalist Rudy Winkler leading the men’s hammer (78.29m) and US teammate Curtis Thompson winning the men’s javelin with 84.23m, in a close battle with Trinidad and Tobago’s 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott (83.94m).
Another championship record fell in the women’s 10,000m, courtesy of USA’s Stephanie Bruce (33:12.42), and Guatemala’s Jose Ortiz in the men’s 20,000m race walk (1:26.21.08). It was double celebration for the Ortiz family as Jose’s aunt Mirna won the women’s event (1:40:04.78).
Other winners on the day were USA’s Alaysha Johnson in the 100m hurdles (12.62), USA’s Jonah Koech (1:45.87) and defending champion Ajee’ Wilson (1:58.47) in the 800m, their US compatriot Quanesha Burks in the long jump (6.75m), Woody Kincaid (14:48.58) in the men’s 5000m and Alina McDonald in the women’s pole vault (4.50m). For Burks, it was her third NACAC medal, having won in San Jose in 2015 and earned silver in Toronto in 2018.
The mixed 4x400m relay was contested for the first time at these championships, with the quartet of Quincy Hall, Jaide Stepter Baynes, Ismail Tuner and Kaylin Whitney taking gold for the USA in 3:12.05.
Tied at 2.25m, two World Championships finalists shared the gold in the men’s high jump: Canada’s Django Lovett and Cuba’s Luis Enrique Zayas. Bahamas’ 2007 world champion and Grand Bahama native Donald Thomas joined them on the podium for third with the same height, achieved on his third attempt.
The NACAC Championships will conclude on Sunday with 17 more finals, including the men’s and women’s 200m and 1500m, as well as the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
By Javier Clavelo Robinson for World Athletics