Monday, June 11, 2018
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
It was a double dose of victory for quarter-miler Shaunae Miller-Uibo and high jumper Jamal Wilson at the third annual JN Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, on Saturday. But there was a scare for quarter-miler Steven Gardiner in the men's 200m at the IAAF Diamond League in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.
In the sixth stop on the Diamond League tour in Stockholm, Gardiner came off the curve in about third place and he stumbled, attempting to get into a groove on the home stretch. Playing it safe, he decided to ease up as he coasted through to the finish line in 23.35 for eighth place. It was his first half-lap race after dominating the one-lapper this year.
"I felt a twist so I didn't want to hurt myself by running too hard," said Gardiner of the slight injury to his left leg. "There's no concern. I'm fine. I had it iced up and everything, so I'm feeling good. I was just playing it safe. But I feel good. I had some treatment on it and so it's okay."
With the Bahamas Association of Athletic Association's National Championships all set for June 22-23 at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, Gardiner said he's still contemplating whether or not he will come home to compete. If he doesn't, he will get ready to run in Budapest, Hungary, in the 400m - his speciality - next week.
"I'm not sure yet if I will compete in the Nationals," said Gardiner, who is still under investigation by the BAAA for not running in the preliminaries of the men's 4 x 400m relay at the IAAF World Championships in London, England, last year.
As he faded to the finish line in Stockholm, the top three spots in the 200m went to Turkey's Ramil Gulivey, who remained undefeated in 19.92 with Canadian Aaron Brown second in 20.07 and Republic of South Africa's Luxolo Adams third in 20.36.
Meanwhile, over in Jamaica, Miller-Uibo lived up to all expectations by running away with the victory in the women's 200m in 22.11. Jamaicans Shericka Jackson (22.62) and Sashalee Forbes (22.86), were second and third respectively.
Miller-Uibo's time was the third fastest so far this year behind her second spot in 22.06. Only Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare has gone faster, running a world's best of 22.04. And Wilson, coming off a sweep of the top three spots for the Bahamas over Donald Thomas and Trevor Barry three weeks ago at the same stadium, returned to Jamaica to compete in his first Racers meet, clearing 2.24 metres or 7-feet, 4 1/4-inches to pick up another victory.
"It was a satisfying performance. I'm happy that I got the win," Wilson said. "The atmosphere was good. There was actually more people in the stadium than the last one in Jamaica, so it was pretty good.
"Overall, it was a good meet. Even if you were just spectating, there were a lot of good times. We had Shaunae Miller-Uibo run 22.11. That was good. I was on the sidelines to watch that. I was proud as a Bahamian. But overall, it was a good meet for me. I was pretty happy with it."
The crowd was on hand to cheer on Olympic and world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as she continues her return to compete in her second international race since giving birth in 2017. She didn't disappoint as she turned the tables on American Jenna Prandini to win in 11.10.
Prandini had to settle for second in 11.14 and Jamaican 16-year-old sensation Brianna Williams, in her first competition against seniors, finished third in 11.26. Williams was the Austin Sealy winner of the CARIFTA Games in April at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
Also, Grenada's world champion Kirani James, in his first race in over a year, came back strong at the end of the men's 400m to pull off the victory in 44.35 for a meet and stadium record as he overtook American Fred Kerley at the line. Kerley was second in 44.36.