Former Georgia track and field champion Shaunae Miller blazed to a personal-best time in the 400-meter dash and captured the gold medal in thrilling fashion at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.
Miller, a native of the Bahamas, edged Team USA’s Allyson Felix by .07 seconds by diving across the finish line. Miller’s personal record of 49.44 topped her previous personal best of 49.55, which was the world-leading time this year, clocked earlier this summer. Felix finished just ahead of Miller in the semifinal round on Sunday.
Miller, who won the 2013 NCAA indoor title and was second at the national outdoor meet that year, came into the Games with two of the world’s top three 400m times this year. This is Miller’s second straight trip to the Olympics after she advanced in 2012 while still in high school. That year, she only competed in the qualifying round.
This is the Bulldogs’ first track and field medal of the Games and 13th in history. It is the first for the Lady Bulldogs since Hyleas Fountain won the silver medal in the heptathlon in 2008. A fellow native of the Bahamas, five-time Olympian Debbie Ferguson, was the last current or former competitor from the Georgia women’s team to win a gold medal (4x100m relay, 2000).