Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Maicel Uibo talk relationships, heptathlon, 200m in Tokyo and more

Track and field power couple Shaunae and Maicel joined the Olympic Channel Podcast for an in-depth interview ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

By Ed Knowles
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

There was a special moment for married couple Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Maicel Uibo at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Both of them were competing in the same session, their medals would be decided literally moments after each other.

Reigning Olympic champion Shaunae finished second in the women's 400m. At that time, it looked like Maicel may have a shot at winning the decathlon.

“I was just like, ‘He's going to win. He's going to win it!’” Shaunae said on the Olympic Channel Podcast.

Maicel finished in second place overall.

“Both of us being able to take home silver medals and hold our [the Bahamas and Estonia] flags up together and celebrate that moment together… it was amazing.”

“For her, it was a regular day at the office,” Maicel added.

“She knows which way the victory lap goes!”

Here are five more things we learnt during the episode.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo dived over the line in the 400m to win the Olympic title ahead of Allyson Felix at Rio 2016
Picture by 2016 Getty Images

How did Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Maicel Uibo meet?

The pair married in 2017 but they met at the University of Georgia.

They were waiting in line for some medical tests early in their freshman year.

Maicel recalls that it wasn’t exactly romantic.

“I think my first words to her were, “Oh, so you're the girl who has the [better] PB than me… meaning the four hundred metres…”

Shaunae didn’t really understand what he meant.

Eventually, Shaunae realised he was a decathlete and not a 400m runner.

“I was a little confused… [Initially I thought], ‘how did you get on the team?’”

Maicel Uibo at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: Rio 2016, the famous fall / dive, and becoming an Olympic champion

It has become one of the most iconic moments of the Olympic Games in Rio.

Shaunae insists that she fell to the line on her way to becoming Olympic champion in the 400m ahead of U.S. favourite Allyson Felix.

The photograph looks like a dive, and with such a tight finish too, even Shaunae has accepted other people’s interpretations.

“I've met a lot of people afterwards [who] came to me in such an inspiring way… just telling me that it inspired them to actually go after [a goal].

“It's all a blessing and a humbling experience.”

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: Switching from the 400m to the 200m

At Rio 2016, the track athletics schedules were switched, which meant women's runners including Felix had a chance to compete in both the 200m and 400m.

The American's quest didn’t work out how she had hoped.

Shaunae had hoped her attempt at the two events during the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 would work out better.

“The goal was to focus on the double. But the schedule still doesn't permit it.”

Instead, Shaunae has decided to concentrate this season on the 200m.

“[My] coach is on board with it. We're training towards that… And we'll see how quick we can go at the championship.”

Shaunae Miller-Uibo wins the 400m at the NB Indoor Grand Prix in New York
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: where they will party after the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021

With both athletes in the husband and wife pair hotly tipped for a podium place at Tokyo 2020, the real question is what happens after the Games.

Where will they celebrate?

After the success in the world championships in Doha, they first went to the home country of Shaunae: the Bahamas.

“They were all celebrating him as well,” she said.

“And then we went over to Estonia and they also welcomed me as well.”

The plan is to repeat the same thing – only this time with Olympic medals.

As for who throws the best party?

“We don't want to get in trouble,” said Maicel through a smile.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo: trying the heptathlon after Tokyo 2020

After Tokyo 2020, Shaunae is looking to take on a new challenge in the heptathlon.

“I'm willing to give it a try and give it one good year and see how it turns out.

“I'm not saying I'm going to change into a gifted athlete. It's a lot of work as well.

Her husband's experience in multi-discipline events was a factor in her decision.

“I'm inspired by him to try this new this new avenue and see how it turns out.”


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