VAN NIEKERK RECLAIMS HIS THRONE – Day 5 Report
Day 5 saw only 3 South Africans stepping out for action, this time led by World Record Holder in the 400m, Wayde van Niekerk.
Van Niekerk stepped onto the track with one mission on his mind, to defend the World title he attained in 2015! The build up to this final was set up to be a fierce duel between Van Niekerk and his closest ‘rival’ from Botswana, Isaac Makwala. There was great deal of uncertainty about Makwala appearing in the final after he was pulled out of the 200m and this proved to be even more disappointing when he was denied entrance to the stadium when he arrived ready for the duel with Van Niekerk. The absence of Makwala meant that Wayde’s victory was a dress rehearsal and a superb time of 43.98 was sufficient for victory without being pushed to the line. Runner-up in the 400m was Steven Gardiner from the Bahamas in 44.41 to claim silver and Abdalelah Horoun from Qatar who came from miles back to snatch Bronze in 44.48 from Baboloki Thebe from Botswana who finished outside the medals in 44.66. Van Niekerk slacked off with 20m to go reserving as much energy as he could as he still has the tough task of going for the double gold. After crossing the line it looked like the ending of a war movie as all the enemies where left grounded after a brave attempt to dethrone the World Record holder. Van Niekerk will have his sights on the 200m where he still have a semi-final and possible final ahead of him so recovery will be his immediate goal till then.
Another of the South Africans who competed on day 5 was sprinter Justine Palframan who was in the heats of the 200m. Palframan finished 4th in a time of 23.35 and this was sufficient for her to make it to the semi-finals. Palframan will need to be in the form that she was in a few weeks before the Championships for a possible chance to run in the final.
Wenda Nel on the other hand finished 3rd in the 400m Hurdle semi-finals in a time of 55.70 but this was not sufficient as she just misses out on the final by 2 spots ending her campaign in 10th place.
Written by Black Legend