By BRENT STUBBS
Senior sports journalist
WITH another 400-meter gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics delayed by COVID-19 a year later, Shaunae Miller-Uibo was in vintage form as she had her name stamped on another female athlete from the year of Tribune Sports.
In replicating her dramatic achievement when she crossed the finish line in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to overtake American Allyson Felix for her first gold medal, Miller-Uibo left nothing to chance. as she cleared the pitch in Tokyo, Japan on Friday, August 6, 2021.
Leaving his impression also in the National Record Books of North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NACAC) and the Association of Bahamian Sports Associations, Miller-Uibo won a number of performances. premieres performed by eminent basketball player Jonquel Jones, swimmer Joanna Evans, hurdler Devynne Charlton and tennis star Sydney Clarke, to name a few in the final voting process.
With his 6-foot, 1-inch frame extended around the track on a lap of the Olympic Stadium, Miller-Uibo stood on his feet as his time of 48.36 was so quick as Marileidy Paulino (49.20) and Felix ( 49,46) of the Dominican Republic could only accompany you in its domination of the NACAC.
After her resounding defeat at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, behind Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, now suspended for doping, for her second silver medal, Miller-Uibo kept her best for her second appearance in the final of the same Olympics, avenging his disappointment. in the 200m when she was forced to run across the finish line with a slight hamstring pull.
Denied from her second candidacy to become the first Bahamian woman to win the 200/400m at one of the renowned world events, Miller-Uibo stood atop the medal platform as the national anthem was played. played during the ceremonies, a feat achieved only by Tonique Williams with her back-to-back victories at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
This is the second female athlete of the year award for Miller-Uibo, 27, who won the senior female of the year award from the Department of Youth, Sports and Culture on November 20 at the Baha Mar Convention Center. And for the second time, Miller-Uibo was among the sport’s governing body’s top 10 nominees for epic female athlete of the year.
However, she could only watch Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah display two world-leading marks to win both world championships; 100 and 200m, while adding another as a member of their victorious 4x100m relay.
Jonquel Jones back in style
In a performance eclipsed only by Miller-Uibo’s record-breaking gold medal, Jonquel Jones returned from his relaxation at home in Grand Bahama for the 2020 season bottled by the Women’s National Basketball Association in a bubble at the IMG Academy. from Bradenton, Fla., to produce a phenomenal 2021 season for the Connecticut Sun.
As a finalist in The Tribune’s year-end selection, the 27-year-old 6-6 center became the 2021 WNBA’s unanimous MVP after helping the Sun close the season with a 14-game winning streak for a league. -Best 26-6 win-loss record.
While she ended up averaging a career-high points and assists averaging 19.4 points 11.2 rebounds 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals, Jones’ performance did not enough to propel Connecticut to the top as they failed 3-1 in the championship at Chicago Sky.
In tribute to his season, Jones was also a part of the WNBA’s first defensive team and also nearly won the DPOY. Upon winning the MVP title, Jones became the first female player in WNBA history to win the MVP title, the sixth woman of the year and the WNBA’s top female player award.
With unfinished business to settle, Jones extended her formidable scoring and rebounding skills in the EuroLeague with the UMMC Ekaterinburg Foxes, where she is averaging 16.7 points, nine rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1 , 3 block per game. And with the highest efficiency rating of any player at 22.5, she’s also in the conversation for another MVP honor on a squad roster that is chock-full of WNBA stars like Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury). , Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm), Allie Quigley (Chicago Sky) and Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky).
Before the end of the WNBA season, Jones secured some national duties for her adopted home from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the FIBA ââWomen’s EuroBasket 2023 Qualifier where she finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds in an 80-64 victory over North Macedonia and a career-high 44 points and 22 rebounds in his side’s 87-81 win over Belgium.
Joanna Evans splashing in the pool
Two years after graduating from the University of Texas in 2019, Joanna Evans continues to sizzle as she produced a record breaking year to win the 2021 Swammy Award for Central American and Caribbean swimmer of the year. .
Retaining third place in The Tribune’s voting process, the Grand Bahamian native has competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the 2021 FINA World Championships and the 2021 International Swimming League regular and playoff seasons.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Evans placed 13th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4: 07.50, narrowly missing the national record of 4: 07.33 she set in May 2021 at the Longhorn Elite Invite.
Evans, 24, placed 18th in the prelims in the 200-meter freestyle, posting a time of 1: 58.40, just 0.37 off her own 2018 national record.
The 5-foot, 11-inch Evans was a vital member of the DC Trident during the 2021 ISL regular season and playoffs. With ISL being a very sprint-oriented competition venue, many teams lack middle distance specialists. .
Evans, however, rose to the Trident spot in the 200 and 400 freestyle, lowering the Bahamas national record in the 200 freestyle first in Game 1 with a time of 1: 56.63.
Later, in Game 4, Evans cut the record to 1: 56.37, which she followed with a 1: 55.70 from the ISL (Napoli Match 11) ‘deathmatch’ that saw DC win their very first ISL match and earn a spot in the semi-finals.
And in Playoff Match 1, Evans posted a 1: 55.43, and a week later a 1: 54.98 in Playoff Match 3. In Playoff Match 5, Evans lowered the record again to 1: 54.36, the record that stands today.
Evans also repeatedly lowered the Bahamas’ national record in the 400 freestyle during the 2021 ISL season, first posting a time of 4: 04.48 in Game 1 of the regular season in Naples, beating the national record in the 200 m freestyle at the halfway point in 2: 00.75.
When she competed in the 200 individual freestyle the next day, Evans lowered the record to 1: 56.63. In Game 4, she also knocked it down in the 400m to 4: 03.38 before lowering it again to 4: 02.12 in Game 5.
And in the Match 11 âdeath matchâ in Napoli, Evans won the 400 freestyle by more than two seconds in his winning time of 4: 00.14.
Evans, competing with Izaak Bastian, Lilly Higgs and Lamar Taylor, closed his season at the 15th edition of the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships a few weeks ago in Abu Dhabi.
She became only the second swimmer from the Bahamas to advance to a short course world championships final, following in the footsteps of Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who won bronze in the 50m freestyle in the 2011 version of the competition.
In Abu Dhabi, Evans advanced to the 200 and 400 freestyle finals, finishing 8th in the 200 freestyle and 7th in the 400 freestyle, while failing to lower her national records in each final.
Devynne Charlton back in shape in fourth place
As she qualified for her second Olympics appearance, Devynne Charlton, who missed the first opportunity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 with a back injury, made her official debut in Tokyo.
As one of the two representatives of the event, Charlton reached the final where she failed to make all 10 ends from 2 to 9 hurdles high in the 100m race in 12.74 in another scan of the NACAC.
Olympic record holder Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.37) won the first gold for Puerto Rico ahead of US world record holder Kendra Harrison (12.52) and Jamaican Megan Tapper (12.55) got bronze.
It was a remarkable comeback year for Charlton, who reunited with his former Purdue University Boilermakers trainer, Bahamian Roland ‘Lonnie’ Greene, as he took over as head coach of the University. of Kentucky.
Former national record holder Pdrya Seymour, making her second appearance at the Olympics, finished 16th in the standings after placing eighth overall in her semi-final in Tokyo in 13.09.
Sydney Clarke climbs to fifth place
With the return of the Giorgio Baldacci Open Tennis Tournament after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Sydney Clarke retained her women’s title in a field of exhausted competitors this weekend at the National Tennis Center. Playing in just two games, seed Clarke was also flawless in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over college girl Sierra Donaldson in the semi-final and 6-2, 6-0 over the seed. # 2 Elana Mackey in the final.
Returning from college like her counterparts, Clarke did her charity for the second year in a row by securing food items for the Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel before focusing on her field duties.
The former CR Walker star who attended Windsor High and Albany Tennis Academy before enrolling at Arlington University in Birmingham, also played with Mackey and Sierra with player / captain Kerrie Cartwright in the Bahamian team at the Billie Jean King Cup, formerly the Fed Cup.
Clarke, now 20, posted a record 2-1 wins and losses behind Cartwright’s perfect 3-0 mark as the Bahamas placed third in the Americas II draw with a decision of 2-0 against El Salvador in Panama City in June.
Due to their top two positions at Giorgio Baldacci, Clarke and Mackey have both booked their tickets as members of the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup which is expected to be played at a location and on a date yet to be confirmed by the International Federation of tennis.