Isaac Makwala has made a big leap in the Wanda Diamond League standings after clinching a morale boosting second spot in the 400m race in Oslo, Norway last week. Prior to the Olso performance Makwala had been struggling in the multi series competition as he had previously failed to finish higher than fifth in his first three races.
Makwala was previously ranked sixth with only seven points on the board, he is now ranked joint third with 14 points so far. Only Kirani James (Granada) and Vernon Norwood (USA) are ahead of him in the qualification standings while he is level on points with British athlete Matthew Hudson Smith.

The Rome edition was an all time low for the local 400m ace as he finished eighth. The disappointment proved to be an unlikely springboard for success as he went back to his best in Oslo.

Placed in lane seven, Makwala started the Oslo race with a strong sprint to line up alongside first placed James. The Botswana track star managed to finally do what he could not do in previous races as he managed to maintain a strong running form while also accelerating his speed in the final 50m of the race.

Other athletes such as Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor, South Africa’s Zakhiti Nene and the Netherlands’ Liemarvin Bonevacia were also gathering pace in the final moments of the Oslo race but Makwala did just about enough to fend off their late surge.

Makwala had to make sure of his second spot by sticking his head out as Taylor was dangerously close to him on the finish line. Makwala finished the race with a time of 45.45 behind James. The last qualifying race in the 400m race will be held in Choreow, Poland on August 6.

The grand final will be held in Zurich, Switzerland on September 8. If Makwala finishes in the top five in the Poland race he will qualify for the final and stand in line to challenge for his second Diamond League trophy.