Sport

Guliyev wins 200m with Van Niekerk second & Makwala sixth

Guliyev wins 200m with Van Niekerk second & Makwala sixth”

Van Niekerk, seen as the next superstar after Usain Bolt, seemed content with his second finish.

"It was a tough week, there were a lot of people who felt I didn't deserve it", he said. "Maybe at the next competition, everyone will look at me instead".

He ran under the targeted time and then finished second in the semi-final to earn a place in the final.

The South African had to settle for the silver medal but that wasn't even the sob story of the race.

Guliyev held his hands over his mouth in sheer disbelief after the slow race - the slowest final since 2003.

"This is not a shock", said the champion.

Van Niekerk said he was delighted with the performances of several other South Africans at the championships and the fact that his achievements have helped persuade others to take up the sport instead of opting for the more traditional ones of football, cricket or rugby.

Evora, the Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medallist, leapt 17.19m to clinch the fourth World Championships medal of his career at the age of 33.

First Usain Bolt was denied the flawless ending to his career, then fellow veteran Allyson Felix missed out on gold in the 400m and now to cap it off the 200m men's final went against the fairytale as well.

Guliyev had the second-slowest start of the eight finalists, but he quickly surged among the leaders.

But the Azerbaijan-born Guliyev was coming through on his shoulder, and over in lane three van Niekerk edged in front halfway down the straight. I feel like I have let the nation down today. "I will always pray to not face this again", Makwala said.

Triple jump great Christian Taylor added another medal to his haul with a third world title, after a ding-dong battle with USA teammate Will Claye.

As usual, Taylor came out on top.

Earlier on day seven of the World Championships, women's 800m favourite Caster Semenya cruised into Friday night's semifinals, delivering another clinical tactical effort with a late burst to comfortably win her first-round heat in 2:01.34. Claye, the runner-up behind Taylor at the last two Olympics, was five centimeters behind for silver.

"When I got into the race I was feeling good, but the last 50 metres I was feeling exhausted, the lactic acid came". I never use blocks, but I am happy I was in the final. "It makes the competition fun".

However, he reached last year's Olympic final and has shown good form this season, taking gold at the European Team Championships and beating a decent field to win the Paris Diamond League meeting.

That was 0.43 seconds ahead of Dalilah Muhammad.

Jamaica's Ristananna Tracey took bronze in 53.74.



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