The 200 meters Men’s final was an exciting race. Wayde Van Niekerk, having won the 400 meters, and run 200 meters twice, was a bit fatigued. Jereem Richards, who was marked by 1997,1999 , and 2001 World Champ 100 meters Maurice Greene, was ready. And so was Turkey’s Ramiel Guliyev.
The race was honest, challenging and brutal. Van Niekerk put his heart into the race, and nearly came out with the double. But, dear and kind readers, our sport has no awards for “nearly”. The runner who gets his or her torso across the plane of the finish line first is the victor. Ramiel Guliyev’s fine finish showed precision, heart and experience. His finish took the gold away from Wayde Van Niekerk, who still has not recieved the credit he deserves for his 400m/200m double attempt. Two medals, six races, very difficult fields.
For Ramiel Guliyev, who has lived in Turkey for six years, having been a fine young European champion from Azerbijan, and saw more opportunities in Turkey. Guliyev focused on the 200 meters, and his focus was rewarded with the gold.
For Jereem Richards, this young man has the future ahead of him. A fine turn, and a blistering finish, Richards took the bronze. This young man will run much faster and will win more medals.
The presser was remarkable for the honesty. Van Niekerk spoke a bit about the maelstrom of bullshit that developed around the South African. Wayde Van Niekerk had nothing to do with Isaac Makwala not running up to his promise, that blame rests squarely with Mr. Makwala and his federation. Anyone who wants to spend a few hours researching that debacle will see what truly happened. Remember, one must show up and run races to even be elgible to win medals. Ramiel Guliyev was one of those quiet souls who lets his running do his speaking for him. Yet, Ramiel was a pleasant surprise. Ramiel also reminds us how global our sport is. Remember Venuste Nyongabo in 1995?
Pressers are a lot of fun, and the energy is fascinating. Check this one out.