Gardiner sets new record

Bahamas's Steven Gardiner competes in the Men's 400m Round 1 during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016. / AFP / Johannes EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

If this weekends’ performance at the 2018 Miami Hurricanes Alumni Invitational in Miami, Florida, was any indication of the season Bahamian Olympic medalist Steven Gardiner is going to have, then the 6’2” quarter-miler will be one to keep an eye on this year.

Gardiner set another national record at the meet however, this time it wasn’t in his specialty, the 400-metres (m).

Against a competitive field, Gardiner became the first Bahamian to go under 20 seconds in the men’s 200m dash, crossing the line in 19.75 seconds. Michael Mathieu previously held the record of 20.16 seconds, which he ran at the 2012 Grand Prix Caixa Governo in Pera, Belem, Brazil.

“I feel very excited about it,” Gardiner said.

“It’s a new national record and now I have the 200/400 double. I just want to say thanks to God and my coach for keeping me healthy.

“For the first time, I think I executed the perfect race like my coach (Gary Evans) told me to.”

Gardiner, who was also the first and only Bahamian to go under 44 seconds in the 400m said, his ultimate goal is to run the double (200m and 400m) at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

“Last year I was focusing on the 400m and this year my focus is on the 200m. This is my first time putting together a race like this, so I now know what to expect when I run it again,” he said.

Gardiner’s time is the second-fastest in the world so far this year. Only Clarence Munyal, from the Republic of South Africa, was faster, winning the event in Pretoria in 19.69 seconds.