Makwala given thumbs-up by IAAF to run 200m

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By AFP
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Botswanan star Isaac Makwala will be able to compete in the 200 metres at the world championships in London, after the IAAF decided to allow him to run a solo time-trial on Wednesday after missing Monday’s heats.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) offered the fastest man in the world this year another chance, as his quarantine period for the contagious norovirus had expired.

The 30-year-old had been barred from running in Tuesday’s 400m final after being diagnosed with the stomach ailment on Monday — which under English health recommendations requires 48 hours’ quarantine.

This had provoked a row between the sport’s governing body and the Botswana athletics bosses, with the former insisting it was sad but had to follow the recommendations from Public Health England, whilst the latter said he was perfectly fine to run.

Makwala subsequently turned up at the warm-up track ahead of the final but was turned away, with the athlete angrily accusing the IAAF or “the British” of sabotage — as he was seen as the main threat to South Africa’s 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk.

As it is, Makwala will still get a chance to deny van Niekerk the 200m/400m world double — which American legend Michael Johnson achieved in 1995 — when he runs alone in a bid to reach the semi-finals, which are later on Wednesday.

“Given his quarantine period expired at 14:00hrs (1300GMT) today (9 Aug) and following a medical examination which has declared him fit to compete, we have agreed under our existing rules that assuming he makes the qualification time, he will run in the 200m semi-final round this evening,” read the statement from the IAAF.

“Makwala is required to run a time of 20.53 or faster to advance to the semi-finals. He will run at 18:40hrs (1740GMT) this evening on his own in lane 7, which was his original lane draw in the opening round.

“No athletes already qualified for the semi-final will be adversely affected.”

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