BEIJING, China, Sporting Alert – Bahamian quarter-miler Shaunae Miller has her eyes well set on winning the gold medal in the women’s 400m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Being backed by many, the Caribbean youngster enters these championships as one of the favourites to strike gold in the event – having clocked a personal best of 49.92 seconds earlier this year, and she is looking forward to carrying over her great early season form into the championships.
Miller comes to Beijing as the faster starter in the field after world-leader Francena McCorory (49.83), who has the three fastest times in 2015, failed to qualify for the American 400m team.
“I think I am in really great shape,” Miller told TrackAlerts.com in an interview. “I’ve changed training camps this year and training has been going extremely well.
“I am really impressed with how I have been competing this year.
“I am just excited to see how the championships go and is expecting a lot of competition from the other girls.”
After finishing fourth in the 200m final in Moscow in 2013, one would think the expectations for Miller this time round is to break into the top three and secure a medal in the one-lap event.
However, the World Junior and World Youth champion from 2010 and 2011, respectively, wants nothing less than the gold medal, as she seeks to follow in the footsteps of Tonique Williams-Darling, who won the 400m title at the 2005 world championships in Helsinki.
“I am here to collect the gold,” Miller revealed. “That would satisfy me the most. That’s my main gold.”
Allyson Felix, who normally competes over the 200m at major championships, has decided to step up and tackle the 400m this year.
The American champion (50.05), although not breaking the 50 seconds barrier as yet this season, is expected to be one of the main challengers to Miller and the 21-year-old Bahamian star can’t wait for the battle.
“I am excited to compete against her (Felix),” Miller noted. “She is a great competitor. I know she’s been competing for many years, but I am going to bring my A-Game to the table and I know she will too.
“We’ll just see what happens from there.”
Miller also noted that she is expecting a strong challenge from her Caribbean rivals from Jamaica, including Commonwealth Games champion Stephenie Ann McPherson, who finished fourth in 2013, and the veteran Novlene Williams-Mills, a finalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.