Guliyev wins 200 in stun­ning up­set

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY RAF CASERT

It wasn’t Wayde van Niek­erk and it wasn’t Isaac Mak­wala.

In­stead, Ramil Guliyev of Tur­key earned the up­set of the world cham­pi­onships on Thurs­day when he matched Van Niek­erk stride for stride and won the 200-me­tre ti­tle by lung­ing at the line just ahead of the favoured South African.

Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago took bronze, while Mak­wala faded down the stretch and fin­ished sixth.

Guliyev, a lit­tle-known 27-year-old sprinter who trans­ferred na­tion­al­ity from Azer­bai­jan six years ago, was not even among the top-10 per­form­ers this year be­fore he stunned his ri­vals and the 60,000-sell­out crowd at the Olympic Sta­dium, which had come to see Van Niek­erk and Mak­wala fight for gold.

Guliyev fin­ished in 20.09 sec­onds, .02 sec­onds ahead of both Van Niek­erk and Richards. The South African took sil­ver by .001 sec­onds.

Guliyev held his hands over his mouth in sheer dis­be­lief af­ter the slow race.

“This is not a shock, but this does not feel real,” said Guliyev, whose best per­for­mance com­ing into the world cham­pi­onships was a sil­ver medal at the Euro­pean cham­pi­onships last year.

Van Niek­erk can only be dis­ap­pointed with gold and sil­ver. He fell just short of get­ting the first 200-400 dou­ble at the world cham­pi­onships since Michael John­son in 1995.

In the first 200-me­tre fi­nal with­out Usain Bolt since 2009, it was wide open from the start.

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