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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Guliyev takes Turkey's first ever World Championship gold in the 200m

27-year-old shocks South African 400m winner Van Niekerk to take his adopted country’s first top spot on the podium

Turkey's Ramil Guliyev reacts as he wins the final of the men's 200m athletics event at the 2017 World Championships at the London Stadium
Turkey's Ramil Guliyev reacts as he wins the final of the men's 200m athletics event at the 2017 World Championships at the London Stadium

Turkish sprinter Ramil Guliyev shocked a class field in the men’s 200m final at the World Championships when he won his adopted country’s first ever gold medal on Thursday night at the London Stadium.

With the world champion Usain Bolt missing through retirement, the race was wide open for a new name to write themselves into the history books, although the pre-race favourite was South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, who had destroyed the field in the 400m final on Wednesday night to top the podium.

And all eyes were focused on Botswana’s Issac Makwala, who had been disqualified from the 400m final because the IAAF had ruled that he was too ill to compete, having apparently suffered from a bout of norovirus.

But it was Guliyev who grabbed the race by the scruff of its neck, taking a lead out of the bend that he never looked like giving up, taking the title in a relatively slow of 20.09. Van Niekerk held on for silver, holding off the challenge of Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago, who took bronze.

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Elsewhere, Christian Taylor and Will Claye of the United States engaged in a thrilling battle for the triple jump gold, each recording huge jumps that their compatriot would then better with their next jump. In the end, Taylor took his third world championship with a leap of 17.68m.

Taylor had hoped to challenge Briton Jonathan Edwards’ world record mark of 18.23m, which was set just over 22 years ago at the world championships in Gothenborg, but the American was never in the running and so the long-standing record remains.

In the women’s 400m hurdles, Kori Carter and Dalilah Muhammad made it another American 1-2, taking the nation clear at the top of the medals table with six gold, seven silvers and six bronzes, way clear of Kenya in second place.