Shaunae Miller wins 400m final at Rio Olympics
Shaunae Miller wins 400m final at Rio Olympics : It was the only dive into anything that resembled blue water at the Rio Olympics – and it resulted in a gold medal for the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller in the women’s 400 metre final.
It was a dive that would have made Billy Slater proud, but to make it even more incredible, Miller’s effort on a wet Rio track was probably the difference between a gold or silver medal for the 22-year-old from Nassau.
American Allyson Felix, the defending champion from the London Olympics, was closing in on Miller over the last 100 metres.
But just as it looked like the United States would collect yet another gold medal, Miller lunged at the finish line and managed to finish 0.07 seconds in front of her closest rival (49.44 to 49.51 seconds).
“I’ve never done it before,’ Miller said of her dive. “I have some cuts and bruises, a few burns… it hurt.”
“When I was on the ground I didn’t know I’d won, I still don’t know how it happened. What was in my mind was I had to get a gold medal. The next thing I was on the ground. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Miller competed in London in 2012 but did not finish the race, but four years on she finished in style to upset the American whose silver medal was her seventh overall in four Olympic campaigns.
Miller was in disbelief after the race, laying on the floor for several minutes as she soaked in the enormity of the occasion.
She only realised she had won gold when she heard her mother yelling from the stands.
“While I was laying on the ground, she was looking at me like, ‘Get up, get up’,” Miller said.
“And I was like, ‘Not right now, just leave me to catch myself real quick’. “That’s how I found out. I was laying on the ground, the results hadn’t came out yet. I heard her scream and she was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ So I was like, ‘Ok, I had to have won the race’.”
Earlier Kenya’s David Rudisha stormed to victory in the Olympic 800m final, retaining his title with a devastating final lap sprint.
Rudisha, the world champion and world record holder, hit top gear in the final 300 metres to become the first man since New Zealander Peter Snell in 1964 to successfully defend the Olympic 800m title.
Rudisha crossed the line in 1.42.15, several metres ahead of Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi, while fast-finishing American Clayton Murphy grabbed bronze.