Shaunae Miller, the Bahamian athlete who beat USA’s Allyson Felix to win gold in the 400 metres on Tuesday after diving over the finish line, has claimed that she didn’t dive but rather tripped and that she can’t remember what happened at the end of the race.
Felix, the reigning world champion, was closing in on Miller down the home straight and looked set to just edge ahead as the final centimetres of track ran out. But Miller, 22, threw herself over the line to clinch victory in a photo finish.
Miller has now sensationally claimed that she tripped and stressed she couldn’t remember the end of the race.
According to Athletics rules, placings are determined on whose torso crosses the line first. Even if it was a deliberate dive, Miller would not have broken the rules but, bloodied and bruised afterwards, she said she could not remember the winning moment.
‘I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, I am lying on the ground right now”,’ said Miller. ‘I don’t know what happened. My mind just went blank. I heard my mum screaming. When I heard that, I was like, “OK, I must have won the race”.’
‘It’s such an amazing feeling,’ said Miller. ‘My coaches were so pumped. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I just gave it my all. I have cuts and bruises, a few burns — but, hey, I got a medal out of it.’
Her coach Lance Brauman was quick to dispel rumours of cheating. ‘She gave everything she had and her legs gave out at the line,’ he said. ‘It was not intentional.’