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Wayde van Niekerk grabs 400m gold medal and retains title

11 August 2017

Makwala's saga began when he failed to appear for his opening 200 metres heat on Monday and the IAAF said shortly afterwards that he had been ordered to withdraw by its medical delegate.

The 30-year-old was eventually granted an opportunity to reach the 200-meter semifinal on Wednesday - albeit under freaky circumstances.

He had to run a solo time-trial at 6.40pm on Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals at 8.55pm, where he was an additional competitor and qualified for the final.

Makwala was a medal hope in the 400m race before being excluded on medical grounds.

Guliyev clocked a winning time of 20.09 seconds, with South African superstar 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.

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Before the news off his ban was confirmed, Makwala reportedly told the BBC that he was "ready to run".

With Usain Bolt, victor of the last four world titles, opting not to race the distance in his swansong season, the competition was lined up for a duel between Van Niekerk and Botswana's Isaac Makwala, the fastest sprinter over 200m this season. He finished in 20.20 seconds. We only had benefit from the media relating to Makwala's not being allowed to compete which left us heart-broken.

Having missed the 200m heats and 400m semi-finals and final, the IAAF allowed Makwala another chance to compete in the 200m after receiving a written request from the Botswanan federation.

"I am feeling good to run tonight". "But this was the race that mattered to me, the individual race".

"I thought I could go through in first or second but I'm alright", said Blake. "That's my race. 400 is my race".

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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.

"When you fall off a bike you have to just get up and get back on it straight away and that's what I wanted to do", said Johnson-Thompson.

"We have massive empathy for him as he worked so hard to get here".

Felix already has the most gold medals among women with nine overall.

The athlete - who posted the quickest 200m time of the season (19.77 seconds) coming into these championships - had said on his Facebook page Tuesday that he was a victim of a "government trap".

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Wayde van Niekerk grabs 400m gold medal and retains title