Van Niek­erk takes 400

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

Wayde van Niek­erk didn’t even push through the line to win the 400 me­ters at the world cham­pi­onships in Lon­don on Tues­day. His tough­est op­po­nent, Isaac Mak­wala, was miss­ing from the race. The Botswanan run­ner, who came down with a stom­ach virus, was kept out of the fi­nal be­cause or­ga­niz­ers wanted him in quar­an­tine. Run­ning just in­side Mak­wala’s empty Lane 7, Van Niek­erk kept up a sus­tained pace un­til eas­ing at the fin­ish. He still pro­duced a sub 44-sec­ond time, win­ning in 43.98 sec­onds. Sil­ver medal­ist Steven Gar­diner of the Ba­hamas was .43 sec­onds be­hind and Ab­dale­lah Haroun of Qatar fin­ished in 44.48 for bronze. Be­fore Van Niek­erk’s race, Kenya con­tin­ued its dom­i­nance in the steeple­chase. Cons­es­lus Kipruto got his na­tion an­other gold medal with an un­match­able kick over the fi­nal 300 me­ters, leav­ing him enough of a gap to cel­e­brate ex­u­ber­antly down the fi­nal stretch. Kipruto eas­ily held off Soufi­ane El Bakkali to win in 8:14.12, .37 sec­onds ahead of the Moroc­can. Stan­ley Kebenei (Arkansas Ra­zor­backs) fin­ished fifth. Evan Jager of the United States, who led much of the way, took bronze. The United States did get gold, though, when Sam Ken­dricks was the only man to scale 19 feet, 6 1/4 inches in the pole vault. Piotr Lisek of Poland took sil­ver with a jump of 19-4, edg­ing world-record holder Re­naud Lav­il­le­nie of France on a count­back. Pierre-Am­broise Bosse made up for French dis­ap­point­ment. He earned the up­set of the evening when he took the lead with 200 me­ters to go in the 800 fi­nal and hung on for gold. Be­hind him, Adam Kszc­zot of Poland took sil­ver, edg­ing Kipye­gon Bett of Kenya.

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