Last-minute leap shocks the world

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SHAU­NAE Miller broke the pain bar­rier for the Ba­hamas in the women’s 400m, badly graz­ing her hip af­ter lung­ing head­first at the tape to snatch Olympic gold. The 22-year-old ad­mit­ted she had no idea if she had pipped Amer­i­can star Allyson Felix af­ter she went sprawl­ing on the Rio track – un­til she heard her mum screaming.

“I still don’t know what hap­pened,” said Miller, who was de­clared the win­ner of yes­ter­day’s fi­nal af­ter an ag­o­nis­ing wait for the of­fi­cial re­sults to flash up on the score­board.

“When I was on the ground, I didn’t know if I had won or not un­til I heard my mom screaming. When I heard her scream, I knew I had to have won the race.”

Miller, who won with a time of 49.44sec af­ter hurling her­self across the line, re­vealed that her dra­matic swan dive had hap­pened in­stinc­tively.

“It just kind of hap­pened. It was just a re­ac­tion – my mind just went com­pletely blank,” she said af­ter deny­ing Felix a record fifth gold medal.

“I’ve got a few cuts and bruises but I’m okay.

“I didn’t see any­one un­til the last 20 me­tres,” added Miller, sil­ver medal­list be­hind Felix at last year’s world cham­pi­onships.

“The only thing go­ing through my mind was that I had to get the gold medal. It was such an amaz­ing feel­ing to look up and see the score­board.”

Still rid­ing a wave of eu­pho­ria af­ter beat­ing Felix by 7/100hs of a sec­ond, Miller showed off her bat­tle scars, the worst a nasty abra­sion on her right hip bone.

“It re­ally hurts,” she said, draped in her coun­try’s flag af­ter win­ning a fifth Olympic ath­let­ics ti­tle for Ba­hamas.

“All the cuts are kick­ing in now and they’re re­ally burn­ing, but I’m still so thank­ful.”

Miller, whose great-un­cle Les­lie Miller com­peted in the 400m at the 1968 Olympics in Mex­ico City, looked to have blown a com­fort­able lead af­ter go­ing out all guns blaz­ing, only for Felix to reel her in over the last 100 me­tres.

But Miller’s last-gasp ac­ro­bat­ics proved de­ci­sive, leav­ing Felix chok­ing back tears af­ter the race.

“We’ve been train­ing so hard for it all year,” Miller added. “And to fi­nally be vic­to­ri­ous, my coaches are so proud of me, my en­tire coun­try is proud of me, so I’m ready to go back home and cel­e­brate.” –

Photo: AFP

Shau­nae Miller (bot­tom) just beats Amer­i­can Allyson Felix in the women’s 400m, div­ing for gold.

Photo: EPA

The dive left bruises and cuts on Miller’s hip, hands and arms. She says it was worth it.

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