On Thursday night, Wayde van Niekerk was going for gold once again after a busy week of racing. A tall order, but the athlete nabbed another incredible podium finish in an epic battle for gold.
Just two days after claiming gold in the men’s 400m final, van Niekerk took to the track once again in the men’s 200m final in an attempt to become the second man in history to win gold in both the 200m and 400m. The first achieved by Michael Johnson in 1995.
Starting in lane three, Wayde shot out the blocks looking incredibly strong but was pipped to the post in the final stretch by Turkish runner Ramil Guliyev who took gold in 20.09. This was Turkey’s first world athletics gold.
It was a tight race to silver between van Niekerk and Richards, but in the end, Wayde took silver finishing in 20.11 (.106) – followed by Trinidad & Tobago‘s Jereem Richards who won the bronze medal by a narrow margin of 20.11 (.107). Van Niekerk beat him by one one-thousandth of a second.
MEN’S 200M FINAL
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Van Niekerk made it through the semi-final by the skin of his teeth, finishing third in his heat and was the slowest of the eight men going into the final. Due to that performance, he wasn’t an outright favourite from the start – despite him claiming the second quickest time over a half-lapper earlier this year with a 19.84 PB. RELATED: 11 Fast Facts You Should Know About Wayde van Niekerk Van Niekerk is the first South African to win two medals at a single World Championships. South Africa sits third on the medal table with two golds, one silver and two bronze medals. This is a new record for South Africa! RELATED: Meet Tannie Ans – Wayde Van Niekerk’s 75-year-old Coach Despite suffering back problems that threatened to derail his winter training, Van Niekerk has continued to break records: the world and Olympic 400m champion is the only sprinter in history to have run faster than 20 seconds for 200m and 44 seconds for 400m. Fellow South African Akani Simbine failed to qualify for the finals after finishing in seventh position on Wednesday night in a time of 20.62.
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 10, 2017
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 10, 2017