Food poi­son­ing takes fa­vorite Mak­wala out of 200 at worlds

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Sev­eral ath­letes have come down with a stom­ach bug at the world cham­pi­onships, in­clud­ing medal fa­vorite Isaac Mak­wala of Botswana. Mak­wala pulled out of his 200-me­ter heat Mon­day and later said he had food poi­son­ing.

“There have been a num­ber of cases of gas­troen­teri­tis re­ported by team mem­bers re­sid­ing within one of the of­fi­cial team ho­tels,” the lo­cal or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee said in a state­ment, putting a damp­ener on the 10day event. “Those af­fected have been sup­ported by both team and LOC med­i­cal staff.”

Mak­wala wrote on his Face­book page that other ath­letes were also hit by the bug. Mak­wala was ex­pected to be the main chal­lenger to Wayde van Niek­erk in both the 200 and the 400. The 400 fi­nal is yes­ter­day.

“Let’s hope they will al­low me to run my fi­nal,” Mak­wala wrote. Van Niek­erk cer­tainly wasn’t af­fected by the bug. He eas­ily qual­i­fied for the semi­fi­nals of the 200 and is the fa­vorite for gold in Usain Bolt’s ab­sence. Although Van Niek­erk has a strong chance for dou­ble gold, South African team­mate Se­menya missed out on one Mon­day, fin­ish­ing with bronze in the 1,500 me­ters.

Se­menya had the speed, but left it too late to chal­lenge for the ti­tle. She was in 10th place in the 12-woman fi­nal go­ing into the last lap and fought back to medal be­hind Faith Kipye­gon of Kenya and Jenny Simp­son of the United States.

“A lot can­not go your way in a fi­nal, so to come out with a bronze is amaz­ing,” Se­menya said. Se­menya, a two-time Olympic cham­pion over 800 me­ters, now must con­cen­trate on her signature event later this week to win an­other world ti­tle, eight years af­ter she won her first at the 2009 Berlin worlds.

Kipye­gon took charge in the fi­nal straight when the oth­ers fal­tered to give Kenya its sec­ond gold and fifth medal over­all in the cham­pi­onships.

In the most stir­ring fi­nal of the night, 21year-old Yuli­mar Ro­jas edged Olympic cham­pion Ca­ter­ine Ibar­guen by two cen­time­ters to give Venezuela its first ever world ti­tle. In a see­saw bat­tle, Ro­jas fi­nally came out on top of her Colom­bian ri­val with a mark of 14.91 me­ters on her penul­ti­mate at­tempt, beat­ing the de­fend­ing cham­pion’s ear­lier mark of 14.89.

Any­one look­ing for a feel-good story would gladly have handed the 110-me­ter hur­dles gold medal to Aries Mer­ritt, who had kid­ney trans­plant two years ago and was getting back to the form that won him gold in at the 2012 Olympics in the same sta­dium. It was not to be.

Run­ning in the out­side Lane 9, he fin­ished fifth - well be­hind Olympic cham­pion Omar McLeod. “I am back on the world stage, that’s the main thing,” Mer­ritt said. McLeod gave Ja­maica its first gold of the cham­pi­onships af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing start, when Bolt only got bronze and Elaine Thomp­son fin­ished out­side the medals in the 100 me­ters.

“It’s to­tally dif­fer­ent to last year where we had Usain and Elaine win­ning, which I used to pro­pel me,” McLeod said. “I didn’t have that this time so I re­ally wanted to come out and shine my own light.”

In the first fi­nal on Mon­day, Anita Wlo­dar­czyk of Poland left it late but won her third world ti­tle with one mas­sive ham­mer throw. Wlo­dar­czyk, the dom­i­nat­ing fig­ure over the past half-decade with two Olympic gold medals, took the lead on her fourth of six at­tempts and then had her win­ning throw of 77.90 me­ters on her penul­ti­mate at­tempt.

Early leader Wang Zheng of China took silver with a throw of 75.98 me­ters and an­other Pole, Mal­wina Ko­pron, won bronze with a toss of 74.76. — AP

LON­DON: Botswana’s Isaac Mak­wala re­acts af­ter win­ning his heat of the Men’s 400 me­ters dur­ing the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don Sun­day. — AP

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