GULIYEV STUNS VAN NIEKERK

Turkey’s star wrecks South African’s dou­ble hopes

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON cham­pion Dalilah Muham­mad was un­able to add the world gold as she was run out of first by com­pa­triot Kori Carter, the 25year-old pre­vi­ously re­garded as a jour­ney­woman.

Van Niekerk, who had won the 400m ear­lier in the week, took a swipe at peo­ple who he feels have be­lit­tled his achieve­ments.

“There are many peo­ple who don’t think I de­serve this,” said the 25-year-old, who pro­duced the per­for­mance of the Olympics last year break­ing the 400m world record in win­ning gold.

“I work just as hard as ev­ery other com­peti­tor. I don’t think I got the re­spect I de­served af­ter the 400m (win­ning the world gold) but it’s only the be­gin­ning and I will show my dom­i­nance.”

As Guliyev’s win was con­firmed af­ter a thrilling fin­ish to the 200m, some boos rang out and thou­sands of spec­ta­tors couldn’t make the exit quickly enough.

The 27-year-old Azer­bai­jan­born sprinter, who be­came a Turk­ish cit­i­zen in 2011, then draped him­self in both the Turk­ish and Az­eri flags as he per­formed his lap of hon­our.

“It’s not a shock. I wanted to win and this year I thought it was pos­si­ble and I made it,” said Guliyev. “Yes I be­lieved in my­self.”

Taylor won well enough but the threat­ened as­sault on Jonathan Ed­wards’s 22-year-old world record never ma­te­ri­alised.

He did show his cham­pion’s men­tal­ity in twice com­ing back to bet­ter Claye’s marks and leave his 26-year-old ri­val to add an­other sil­ver to his ever grow­ing col­lec­tion in his tro­phy cab­i­net.

“Will makes it tough ev­ery sin­gle time,” said 27-year-old Taylor who added he will move up to the 400m only when he breaks the world record and has a per­ma­nent re­minder of the 18.30m he needs to do so...on his wrist.

“I have this watch from my spon­sor with 18.30 on it. I will try to fight, I will get this num­ber,” he said.

“The record is still on. I am still mo­ti­vated to break that record.”

Carter, who is man­aged by Amer­i­can ath­let­ics leg­end Allyson Felix’s brother Wes, more than jus­ti­fied her de­ci­sion to opt for ath­let­ics ahead of her first love for foot­ball.

“When you work so hard and sac­ri­fice so much for some­thing, for it to pay off in the end is so sat­is­fy­ing,” said Carter.

“It’s a sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence right now. Me and my coach (Bobby Kersee), our whole goal and fo­cus was to get on the podium this year, it’s what we’ve been com­mit­ted to.”

Caster Se­menya looked to have more than re­cov­ered from her ex­er­tions in the 1500 me­tres where she took bronze as the two-time world cham­pion eased through her 800m heat to reach yes­ter­day’s semis. AFP

Ramil Guliyev

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