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August 19, 2019

Miller-Uibo sparkles as Blake shows he is not a spent force


August 19, 2019

BIRMINGHAM: Bahamas star Shaunae Miller-Uibo came from behind to overhaul home hope Dina Asher-Smith and win a star-studded women’s 200 metres at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.

Asher-Smith fell just short, as did her compatriot Adam Gemili in the men’s 100m, the injury-plagued sprinter being held off by the slimmest of margins by Jamaica’s 2011 world champion Yohan Blake.

There was a consolation for Asher-Smith as well as two-time world champion at the distance Dafne Schippers who finished a distant fourth. That’s because Miller-Uibo will only contest the event in which she is Olympic champion — the 400m — at the world championships in Doha which begin on September 27.

“Nothing went right for me from the get go,” said Miller-Uibo. “I had to really fight to get back on level terms but once I pulled upsides her I knew I had the power to win,” added the 25-year-old.

Asher-Smith was satisfied with her run which saw Jamaican great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finish third. “The competitor inside me always wants to win but with that field I am more than satisfied to be second,” said Asher-Smith.

Blake and Gemili have both had injury woes down the years but they provided a thrilling finish to the 100 metres. Blake timed 10.07sec holding on by eight thousandths of a second from the fast-finishing Gemili in a race that had lost some of its lustre with the withdrawal on Friday of American champion Christian Coleman.

“I am feeling good and I want to keep on improving,” said 29-year-old Blake. For Gemili it was a very encouraging performance with the likes of training partner and triple Olympic medalist Andre de Grasse and Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine behind him.

“To finish second in a field like this is fantastic,” he said. Danielle Williams landed a big psychological blow ahead of the world championships, Jamaica’s 100 metres hurdles world champion in 2015 winning in a meeting record of 12.48 seconds.

The 26-year-old beat a top class field with several of her main rivals for world gold behind her including world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States.

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