Makwala’s 200m Ambitions Make Sense

BONGANI MALUNGA

Former African 400m champion and current 400m IAAF Diamond League title holder Isaac Makwala might have chosen the perfect time to focus on 200m races. With the 2018 Commonwealth Games only less than two months away, Makwala stands out as the biggest name in the 200m bracket given the rise of his popularity at last year’s IAAF World Championships.
The former African champion was in the form of his life last year as he won the hearts of millions of fans, he won his first global accolade (the Diamond League) and set an impressive 19.77s record in the 200m race of an IAAF meet in Madrid Spain on July 14 last year.
His record was unique in the sense that he is the 15th fastest athlete in 200m history, he is also the fastest ever African athlete in the 200m races after his Madrid heroics.
Makwala is best known for his 400m exploits but last year he proved himself as a 200m star, he recorded the fastest time in the 200m races in all of 2017 outclassing the likes of Yohan Blake (19.97s on June 25) and his Southern African rival Wayde Van Nierkek (19.84s on June 10).
The Botswana athlete will also be boosted by the unavailability of Van Nierkek for the Commonwealth Games, the latter is still recovering from a knee injury which required an operation towards the end of the year.
Van Nierkek’s availability would have renewed the duo’s rivalry and staged an entertaining duel for the Gold Coast held Games in April, Makwala could have a better chance of claiming his first ever gold medal at the tournament if he replicates last year’s form.

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