Turkey's Guliyev stuns field to win 200 meters


Azerbaijani-born Turkish athlete Ramil Guliyev upstaged the eagerly-anticipated battle between South African Wayde van Niekerk and Botswana's Isaac Makwala as he surged to a shock 200 metres victory at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships here tonight.

Guliyev clocked a winning time of 20.09 seconds, with van Niekerk second in 20.11 and Jereem Richards from Trinidad and Tobago third in a race where only two hundredths of a second separated the top three finishers.

The Botswanan was forced to run an additional solo qualifying time earlier in the evening as the IAAF had barred him from competing in the initial 200m qualifiers (and also the 400m final) because he had been diagnosed with the highly contagious norovirus and was put under a 48-hour quarantine.

It was Turkey's first-ever gold medal at a world athletics event.

In the final, Makwala brought the crowd to its feet as he led marginally going into the finishing straight.

Richards, a World Indoor bronze medallist in 2012, recorded the best result of his career as he was third.

"It's not a shock", insisted the 27-year-old Guliyev, who was draped in both Azeri and Turkish flags.

Wayde van Niekerk came to these world championships trying to be the first man since the great Michael Johnson in 1995 to claim the 200m/400m double.

Van Niekerk, who has set his sights on the 100m/200m double at next year's Commonwealth Games, described his world championships campaign as a "rollercoaster". "I've got time to recover now and give it my all in the final".

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He said: "It's one of the craziest championships". I think it's great for my career and another moment to be grateful for.

Makwala's plight has become the story of the world championships after he was banned from running in the 400m final because of red-tape and an IAAF ban over a virus outbreak. There are many people who don't think I deserve this.

Van Niekerk had struggled through his semi-final, going through as a fastest qualifier by just 0.02 seconds, but he was still tipped to rebound to his best in the final.

"Maybe at the next competition everyone will look at me instead".

"I work just as hard as every other competitor and show everyone respect but I don't believe I got the respect I deserved after the 400".

"I felt good out there apart from that last lap", said Muir. Claye, the runner-up behind Taylor at the last two Olympics, was five centimeters behind for silver.

But he was pushed all the way by Claye in a fine competition, the latter jumping 17.54m in the first round before Taylor passed him with 17.57 in the second round.

Van Niekerk can only be disappointed with gold and silver. "I know I'm better than I ran today and hopefully I can show it in the final".