Isaac Makwala storms into 200m final at London 2017 World Athletics Championships after banned runner gets second chance

 
Frank Dalleres
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Makwala was given a second chance to qualify for the semi-final - and then finished second (Source: Getty)

Reprieved Isaac Makwala admitted he was "running with my heart broken" after seizing his second chance and storming into the 200m final at the World Athletics Championship in London tonight.

Officials bowed to criticism of their decision to exclude Makwala from Monday's 200m heats and the 400m final the following day, having diagnosed him with norovirus and decreed he should be quarantined until Wednesday afternoon, and allowed him to run a solo race in an attempt to meet a qualifying time of 20.53.

Makwala duly ran 20.20, celebrating pointedly with a set of press-ups, and then went even quicker in his semi-final just two hours later, clocking 20.14 to finish second and keep alive hopes of an improbable medal in Thursday's final.

"I'm running with my heart broken," said the Botswanan. "I wish the IAAF had taken the decision to let me run the 400m first. I was ready to run the 400m alone and then the 200m. The 400m is the race I've been training for; the 200m I do sometimes."

Makwala paid tribute to a London Stadium crowd that defied incessant rain to cheer him on, seemingly louder than for Briton Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, who finished third in their semi-final and also reached the final.

"The crowd has been amazing," he added. "They made me believe and I just want to thank this crowd."

Wayde Van Niekerk kept his bid for double gold alive after the 400m champion scraped into the final with one of the fastest times outside the automatic qualifiers.

Former Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake failed to progress, as did Briton Daniel Talbot and French former European champion Christophe Lemaitre.

Farah into 5,000m final

Britain's only medallist so far Mo Farah stayed on course for his second title of the week by qualifying for Saturday's 5,000m final.

Farah finished second in his heat and insisted he had recovered from scrapes suffered in Saturday's 10,000m triumph but admitted to feeling like a marked man.

"It would be pretty amazing to bow out with another double gold but these guys are coming for me," he said. "I have to be ready. I am going to do it."

American Phyllis Francis ran a personal best 49.92 to win the women's 400m after Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo buckled in the final 10m.

Norwegian Karsten Warholm claimed his first senior global title with a commanding victory in the men's 400m hurdles.

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