Botswana sprinter, Isaac Makwala, has had a torrid world championships in London. After being quarantined by the IAAF, it saw the 30-year-old not allowed to compete in the 400 metre event on Tuesday evening.
Makwala, understandably, was left heart broken at the decision to not allow the athlete to take part in the race. Speaking to the BBC, the Botswanan claimed that had it been Mo Farah, the Englishman would not have been confined to such restrictions:
“The British would never have allowed it if I was Mo Farah. In Botswana, we have to pay to train, this is not like Britain. I feel this has been a waste of money and training.”
South African and favourite for gold, Wayde van Niekerk, went on to win the event comfortably in a time of 43.98 seconds.
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van Niekerk has also now qualified for the 200 metre final and will be joined by Makwala after the 30-year-old was released from quarantine at 14:00 on Wednesday afternoon.
The sprinter qualified for the semi-finals by running in a solo race in an individual time trial where he clocked 20:20 seconds.
Makwala then ran 20.14 seconds in the first semi-final as he qualified in second place. However, speaking to BBC Sport after the race, the athlete is still feeling the disappointment at the missed opportunity in the 400 metres:
“I’m still running with the heart broken; I wish the IAAF could take the decision for me to run my 400m first. I was ready to run a 400m alone. Then I can run the 200m.”
Makwala’s suggestion that the IAAF would not have accepted an absent Mo Farah from the championships, or Usain Bolt for that matter is an argument difficult to counter.
The current poster boy of the sport, Bolt, is soon to be no more following his retirement, and his lined-up replaced is van Niekerk. Perhaps the South African losing out on his predicted 400 metre gold was a risk the IAAF could not take?
The 200 metre final will take place Thursday evening, where van Niekerk will be looking to take this new role of the pin-up boy of athletics with a world championship double.