Shaunae Miller is not clear what happened in the final stages of the women’s 400 metres at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but one thing she is sure about, is that she doesn’t care what other’s might be thinking.
Miller’s name has been swirling around the internet since the final of the event on Monday, as she pipped American Allyson Felix for the gold medal, in what some argue is a dive and others, as a fall. Most of who believe it is a dive, is of the opinion that it is cheating and she should not have been awarded the race.
According to Miller, however, she lost her sense of awareness during that time.
She said, “everyone is talking about fall or dive, I really don’t know what happened. Whether it is a dive or a fall I really don’t care. I am victorious and I am really just thankful to God.
“I saw Allyson probably like the last 20 metres of the race and my mind just went blank after that and all I was thinking I have to get this gold medal. I ‘woke’ up on the ground and I heard my mom screaming, and when I heard her scream, I said I have to have gotten the gold medal. I am just so thankful to God,” she said.
She, credits herself with following her coaches’ instructions for the victory. She agrees that the plan worked well as she was running without the knowledge of knowing what Felix, her main rival, was doing, because of the lane draw.
Miller said, “running blind we had a lot of great girls behind, as the field was really stacked. They (coaches) told me that I have to go out there and take full control of the race and that’s exactly what I did. It is crazy because my coach told me that ‘you can’t let anyone catch you before that first 300’. And when I crossed the 300 I said I am a star because I am all by myself,” she said laughing.
“Before I started the race, all we said, was going in, we are going to do our best and my coaches’ last message was ‘give it your all and we will be satisfied with that’ and I told them that I got it and I am going to be fine.
“At the blocks I said ‘God I am leaving this in your hands’ and I said I am going to execute my race and however I finish God is going to help me, and you know he did,” Miller said.
According Miller, who dethroned Felix to become the new Olympics champion, the lane draw worked in her favour, as it assisted her in taking control of the race.
She said, she has not celebrated yet, but will be waiting until her fiancé, Maicel Uibo, who competes in the Dec for Estonia completes his schedule to do so because “my whole family is here, as well as his mom so we are going to celebrate when he is through.
“It really hasn’t (hit her that she is the Olympic champion). I got emotional when I was on the track for so many different reasons, but it really hasn’t really kicked in as yet. I have so much more tears inside of me so…,” she said, cutting herself off with laughter. “It is an amazing feeling. It is such an amazing feeling.
“I was keeping up with everyone’s post. I just want to say thank you to everyone who have been supporting me. I did it for my country. I bring back home a gold medal like I said I was going to,” she said.