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Ramil Guliyev Upsets Wayde van Niekerk In 200m

Ramil Guliyev Upsets Wayde van Niekerk In 200m
Photo: Getty Images for IAAF
In a massive upset, Ramil Guliyev of Turkey claimed gold in the men's 200m at the IAAF World Championships in London on Thursday night. He beat 400m world-record holder and Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk and Trinidad and Tobago's Jereem Richards. 

Guliyev crossed the finish line in 20.09, van Niekerk followed in 20.11, and Richards closed in 20.11. 

For Guliyev, the performance marks his first medal at a global championship and the first-ever gold medal for Turkey at the IAAF World Championships. The 27-year-old, who previously competed for Azerbaijan, finished seventh at the 2009 world championships, sixth at the 2015 world championships, and eighth at the 2016 Olympic Games.


Van Niekerk's performance followed a dominant victory in the 400 meter final on Tuesday night. The South African was attempting to be the first athlete since Michael Johnson to capture gold in the 200m and 400m, but will have to settle for gold and silver. The performance marked his sixth race in six days. 

Richards earned his first individual medal at a global championship and his first career medal since contributing to Trinidad and Tobago's 4x400m relay at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. The performance ends a breakthrough season for the Alabama junior, which included a third-place finish in the 200m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and a personal best of 19.97 at the NCAA east preliminary meet.

World leader Isaac Makwala was unable to emerge with a world title when he finished a distant sixth in 20.44. The sprinter from Botswana capped off a stressful week of sickness and denied entry into the meet. He was prevented from competing in the 200m heats and the 400m final as one of 30 athletes quarantined after contracting a norovirus while staying at the Tower Hotel in London. After 48 hours, the IAAF granted him the opportunity to run a solo time trial on Wednesday. He had to run under 20.54 and he ran 20.20 to easily qualify for the semifinal. He even did a couple push-ups after crossing the finish line. Makwala went on to run 20.14 to finish second in his heat of the semifinal. 

Americans Ameer Webb and Isiah Young finished fifth and eighth, respectively. For Webb and Young, the performance marked their first-ever global championship final.
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