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Isaac Makwala in 200m final after last minute reprieve

After he was controversially banned from competing in the 400m final on Tuesday, Botswanan Isaac Makwala thought his medal hopes were gone. But just hours after his quarantine ended he took to the track, alone.

Shortly before the start of Wednesday's action at the World Championships in London, Makwala got news that he would run a time trial on his own in the pouring rain.

Set a mark of 20.53 to qualify, the Botswanan cruised home in a time of 20.20 before performing some celebratory press-ups. He then came second in the semifinal later the same evening to qualify for Thursday's final.

Makwala was prevented from running in Monday's opening 200 metres heat and Tuesday's 400m final after falling victim to an outbreak of sickness that has hit scores of competitors.

The 30-year-old, seen as a leading contender in both events, had insisted he was fit enough to race while the sport's world governing body had said he had an infectious disease and needed to be quarantined.

The IAAF then relented on Wednesday afternoon and allowed Makwala to compete following a written request from Botswana's athletics federation.

“I put everything on God after what happened," Makwala said after his semifinal win. "I thank God. I am still running with the heart broken. I wish I had run the 400. That is the race I am training for. 200 is what I do sometimes. I am running with anger. I still want my 400. That is my race. I wish to thank the IAAF to give me another chance. The crowd is so amazing.”

Makwala was one of a number of athletes affected by the norovirus, including a number of German competitiors.

Felix denied number 10, Norwegian joy

The first of Wednesday's three gold medals went to China's Lijao Gong, who claimed the win with a throw of 19.94m. Hungary's Anita Marton of Hungary took silver and Olympic champion Michelle Carter won bronze for the USA.

The next gold went to shellshocked Norwegian runner Karsten Warholm, who took the lead early and held on before crossing the line in disbelief.

There was heartbreak for Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the night's final event. The 400m runner streaked clear of the field early on and held her lead until the final 20 meters before seemignly tripping over her own feet and allowing the chasing pack to overtake her.

The Bahamian Olympic champion's loss was Phyllis Francis' gain as the American crossed the line first to muted celebrations. She pipped Bahrain’s Salwa Naser to the line while defending champion Allyson Felix was denied a tenth World Championship gold and had to settle for bronze.

 

 mp (Reuters/AP)

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