Shaunae Miller-Uibo: Motherhood Couldn’t Stop Her Fantastic Running Career

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Shaunae Miller-Uibo is one of the Bahamas’s most successful athletes. She’s won Olympic medals in the 400m. Although she’s yet to do the same in the 200m, she’s collected multiple medals in other major athletic events. In August 2023, the Bahamian returned to the track four months after giving birth. In this article, we profile the decorated track star.

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Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s Early Career

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: Motherhood Couldn’t Stop Her Fantastic Running Career
Shaunae Miller-Uibo holding a medal. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

The sprinter began racing when she was six years old. She did it while her mother practised softball. Soon enough, her parents put her in track and field, where she competed in multiple events: the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, high jump, long jump and shot put.

Although she didn’t like the 100m and 200m, she won multiple titles in the events. In 2010, she switched to the 400m and continued to perform well. She won individual and team medals in the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARFITA) Games.

In 2010, aged 16, Miller-Uibo won the gold in the 400m at the U20 World Junior Championship and was the first Bahamian and youngest athlete to do so. 

The following year, the sprinter produced another record. She won the 400m at the U18 World Junior Championships and was the first athlete to hold both the U18 and U20 titles.

In the subsequent events, the Bahamian was disqualified from the 2011 CARIFTA Games and failed to defend her World Junior Championships titles. Miller-Uibo made a strong comeback to win gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4 by 400m events in the 2013 CARFITA Games.

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Turning Professional

Miller-Uibo turned professional in 2013. The World Championship was her first professional event, and she finished fourth. Her first senior medal came at the 2012 World Indoor Championship.

2015 was a significant year. She won the 400m in two Diamond League meetings, got a silver medal in the World Championships and set a national record in the 4 by 400m with the Bahamian team.

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Rio Olympics

Shaunae Miller-Uibo underlined her credentials in the 400m with a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She beat former American sprinter Allyson Felix by 0.07 seconds and ran a personal best of 49.44 seconds.

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After the Olympics

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: Motherhood Couldn’t Stop Her Fantastic Running Career
Shaunae Miller-Uibo competing in a past event. Image Source: Instagram  licensed under CC BY 2.0

The following year, Miller-Uibo finished the 200m at the Prefontaine Classic in 21.91 seconds. She was the first Bahamian woman to run under 22 seconds. She went on and ran a world record time of 21.76 at the 200 meters straight.

Things only got better for Miller-Uibo. Another record fell for her when she became the first Bahamian to win the 200m and 400m titles in the Diamond League.

In 2018, the Speedstar ran a world-leading time in the 400m, clocking 48.97 seconds. At the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Miller-Uibo recorded the tenth-fastest time in history in the 400m. 48.37 seconds was a national record.

In 2021 and 2022, the Bahamian added to her medal collection at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade and an outdoor title at the World Championships in Eugene.

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Retiring from 400M

After a successful run in the 400m, Shaunae Miller-Uibo retired from the event. Speaking to Olympics.com, she spoke of being content with what she’d achieved in the distance. 

“I’m excited about what I’ve achieved in this event. I ticked the box in everything and I’m proud to have done that.” Miller Uibo said.

The sprinter’s focus shifts to the 200m, which she describes as her first love.

“But for me, it’s just about going to my first love now with the 200 metres and just properly getting some training into it and just focussing on that.” 

Comeback After Pregnancy

The Olympian gave birth to her first child in 2023. A few months later, she returned to the track. As she reflected on her decision, she said that pregnancy isn’t the end for women. Her comeback is a testament that women can still go after their dreams after giving birth.

It’ll be interesting to see what Shaunae Miller-Uibo accomplishes in 200m. At 29, she’s at the prime of her career and has already achieved so much.

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