Makwala misses out on World Champs


After not being able to meet the qualification deadline (September 6) for this year’s IAAF World Championships, Isaac Makwala’s coach Justice Dipeba says lack of racing is the main reason why the athlete did not manage to individually qualify for the athletics global show-piece.

Makwala has been struggling to recover ever since he sustained a hamstring tendon tear during a Eugene Diamond League meet last year (May), ultimately being inactive for the whole of 2018. He tried to make a comeback in the international level during the Shanghai Diamond League meet which was held in May but he did not complete his 400m race as he pulled out halfway through and was forced to be side-lined for another few months.

The national 400m record holder (43.72) however tried to make a comeback during the African Games which were held in Rabat, Morocco two weeks back but he did not manage to make it to the finals or even meet the qualification time of 45.30.

“He did not have enough proper races as he was still recovering from his injury. The last time he had a proper race was in May in which he re-injured himself and was forced to have another recovery rest of three months,” said Dipeba. “He then tried to make a return when the qualification period was about to elapse and he had to compete under pressure as he wanted to qualify, so it was always going to be difficult for him to make it.”

This means Makwala will not be able to settle his previous world championships squabble. He was withdrawn from the men’s 400m final due to a medical condition on the instruction of the IAAF medical delegates; he was suspected to be suffering from a norovirus. It was a major blow to him as he was considered to be a leading challenger for the 400m throne at the time.

Makwala’s hopes to participate in the championships now remains with the 4x400m relay team. “He is one of the members of our relay team but we are yet to meet with him to find out if he will be able to travel with the team or not as he just arrived in Botswana,” said the Botswana team manager for the World Championships Oabona Theetso in an interview with Gazette Sport .

The World Championships are scheduled for Doha, Qatar from the 27th of this month to the 6th of October and Makwala will not be the only athlete missing in the men’s 400m individual race in Doha. He will be joined by fellow African in Wayde van Niekerk who will not be able defend his 400m title because he has not fully recovered from a knee injury he sustained playing a charity tag rugby match in South Africa in late 2017.