Guliyev wins 200 in stun­ning up­set at world cham­pi­onships

North Bay Nugget - - SPORTS - RaF Casert

LoN­doN — 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-yearold 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 200400 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. Van Niek­erk was slightly ahead com­ing off the bend but could not make his flu­ent stride count as guliyev stuck with him all the way.

Mak­wala, at the end of the saga that started with a stom­ach virus early in the week fol­lowed by a be­lated en­try in the heats, failed to sus­tain the early pace and quickly fell out of con­tention.

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