The men’s 200 meters was a bit anti-climactic. The 400 meter victory of Wayde Van Niekerk, who makes a 43.98 second run for 400 meters look easy, did not do justice for Mr. Neikerk. The apparent sickness of up to 80 in various hotels, kept Isaac Makwala out of the 400 meter final. Makwala tried to get into the race at last moment, but IAAF doctor, rightly so, felt that the crowd and 2000 athletes should be protected from possible novovirus or something communicable. That the BBC virtually put the IAAF doctor on trial just shows how far BBC has, at times, come from providing information that is curated, and, instead provided a product that could be known as ‘fake news’.
One understands the frustration of Isaac Makwala. The IAAF gave him the chance to return in the 200 meters, by running a 200 meter hit, all by himself, if he could break 20.57. Makwala ran 20.20. 90 minutes later, he ran 20.14. Makwala was hell bent on getting in that 200 meter final.
Van Niekerk, sore from the 400 meters, made the 200 meter final as last qualifier with a time qualifier, not a place qualifier.
In the final, on Friday night, Isaac Makwala was not even in the game. Afterwards, heart broken, he could not speak with BBC. He had, however, accussed Wayde Van Niekerk of being involved in some program to keep Makwala out of the 400 meters.
First, this is complete and utter bullshit.
Isaac Makwala, in his career, has been an athlete who runs fast times, but does not deliver in major championships. It was most unfortunate that he got sick before the 400 meters. He might have been able to medal in the 400 meters, but doubtful if he could have taken down Wayde Van Niekerk.
Secondly, the 200 meters/400 meter is a tough double. Michael Johnson is last guy to do it, in 1996 Olympics and gold in 200/400 in Gotebory 1995.
In the 200 meter final in London, the race came off the turn with six men in contention. Running the finest last 50 meters was Ramil Guyilev, an ethnic Russian from Azerbajan, who has lived in Turkey the past six years and competes as a Turkish citizen. Guyilev came from behind and took a very tired Wayde Van Niekerk, 20.09 to 20.11, for the gold. In the bronze, as predicted by our friend, Maurice Greene (1997-2004, dominated 100 meters), Jereem Richards, TTO athlete who is 19, and ran 20.11 for the bronze.
In the presser, Wayde Van Niekerk gave respect and praise to Ramil Guyilev, who has run well all summer, and has been on European lists since 2007. In 2016, Ramil took the silver in the 2016 European Outdoors in Amsterdam, as well as gold in Baku in 2017, in Islamic Solidarity games over 100m, as well as European Team Championships gold over 200m in 2017.
Wayde Van Niekerk’s race in the 200 meters showed that the 200 meter/400 meter double is a terribly difficult double. Ramil Guyilev focused on one race and he was rewarded with his performance as was Jereem Richards.
While the race, like the 100 meters for men, was a huge suprise, such is sport. Athletics is not professional wrestling, nor is it roller derby. Athletes have good days and bad days, on on Thursday, August 10, it was a fine day and night for Ramil Guyilev!