Botswana’s Makawala runs solo to qualify for 200m semis

Botswana’s up-and-coming sprinter Isaac Makwala ran solo to qualify for men’s 200m semifinals in a rare sight at the World Athletics Championships after he recovered from a bout of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus which had kept him quarantined for 48 hours.

As it is, Makwala will still get a chance to deny van Niekerk the 200m/400m world double -- which American legend Michael Johnson achieved in 1995 -- when he runs alone in a bid to reach the semi-finals, which are later on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

Botswana’s up-and-coming sprinter Isaac Makwala ran solo to qualify for men’s 200m semifinals in a rare sight at the World Athletics Championships after he recovered from a bout of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus which had kept him quarantined for 48 hours.

Makwala could not run in the men’s 200m heats on Monday after he threw up at the call room just before the race. He was later found to be having gastroenteritis due to norovirus infection and quarantined for 48 hours. Some other athletes staying at the same team hotel as Makwala were also quarantined and had to withdraw from their respective events.

Makawala’s quarantine time ended at 14:00 hrs local time on Wednesday and he was then declared fit after a medical examination to run a solo race. “The IAAF has received a written request from the Botswanan federation for Isaac Makwala to compete in the 200 metres. Given his quarantine period expired at 14:00 hrs today (Aug 9) and following a medical examination which has declared him fit to compete, we have agreed under our existing rules that assuming he makes the qualification time, he will run in the 200m semi—final round this evening,” the IAAF said in a statement.

“Makwala is required to run a time of 20.53 or faster to advance to the semi—finals. He will run at 18:40 hrs this evening on his own in lane 7, which was his original lane draw in the opening round. No athletes already qualified for the semi—final will be adversely affected,” the statement added.

Makawala, who is tipped to give a tough fight to South African Wayde van Niekerk for the 200m gold, eventually ran 20.20secs in the solo race to qualify for the semifinals.

After crossing the finish line, he did push-ups three times before performing a salute.

Meanwhile, no Indian is affected by gastroenteritis or any other medical condition, according to the team management.