Athletics: Miller laughs off social media furor over 'that dive'

Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:52pm EDT
 
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By Mark Trevelyan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Shaunae Miller can afford to see the funny side of the storm that erupted on social media after she threw herself over the line to beat American Allyson Felix in the Olympic 400 meters final on Monday.

The athlete from the Bahamas launched herself into a headlong dive to deny Felix by 0.07 seconds, provoking a torrent of largely hostile reaction from U.S. viewers, many apparently unaware that the tactic was entirely legitimate.

Among the images online were photoshopped pictures appearing to show her taking part in the diving competition in the famously green Olympic pool.

"You know I saw a few of the memes and things that they had on social media and I just got a good laugh out of it," Miller told Reuters in an interview on winning her first major title.

"The good thing about it is that those that are involved in the sport, they understand it. It's not like the first time it's happened, it's happened so many times. We understand that sometimes you just can't control it. It's a practice point.

"I don't let things get to me so I was just like, it's whatever. I got my gold medal so I'm happy with it."

Miller said the dive was not part of her race plan, but an instinctive reaction as her legs grew heavy in the last 40m and she lost her balance as she started dipping for the finish.

"I see a lot of people that are saying 'Oh, she dove for the line,'" she said.   Continued...

 
Shaunae Miller at the finish.      REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger