Sat, Aug 12, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Win no surprise to 200m champ Guliyev

OUTSIDE IN:American Kori Carter served up another shock by winning the 400m hurdles from the outside lane, drawing attention from her Olympian teammate

Reuters, LONDON

Christian Taylor competes in the men’s triple jump at the World Championships in London on Thursday.

Photo: Reuters

Among the eight sprinters lined up at the start of the world 200m final and the 56,000 people in the crowd watching, only one man probably thought Ramil Guliyev would be the winner: the Azerbaijani-born Turk himself.

His faith was fully justified as 20.09 seconds later, he crossed the line ahead of a host of favored rivals to take the gold medal that had been the property of Usain Bolt since 2009.

Wayde van Niekerk, seeking a 400m-200m double, had to settle for silver in 20.11 seconds, a thousandth of a second ahead of Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago.

The result was universally acclaimed as a shock, but Guliyev, who became a Turkish citizen in 2011 and was cleared to represent his new country in 2013, was having none of it.

“This is not a shock,” he said. “I have shown my best throughout this competition. I delivered my best race at the right time. I was competing against some of the best athletes in the world, so it didn’t bother me that the attention was on them. Maybe at the next competition everyone will look at me instead.”

It would have been a tough quiz question before Thursday to name the second-fastest junior ever after Bolt, but it was Guliyev, who posted 20.04 as a 19-year-old.

Those lost years when he battled with the sport’s officials to allow him to run for Turkey took him off the scene, but when he came back he was not exactly tearing up trees.

A collection of medals from the Mediterranean Games, the Summer Universiade, the Islamic Solidarity Games and the European Championships did not mark him down for glory, until now.

Also on Thursday, American Kori Carter pulled off the next in a growing number of shocks, achieving the rare feat of winning the 400m hurdles title from the outside lane.

All eyes had been on Carter’s US teammate, Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad, who had been the strong favorite, but it was the former American champion in lane nine who maintained her form best to race to victory in 53.07 seconds.

“I am on top of the world right now. What a blessing to be world champion. This is just an incredible feeling like I’ve never experienced,” the 25-year-old Carter told the crowd.

Meanwhile, double Olympic champion Christian Taylor continued his dominance of the triple jump when he won his third world title, once again beating fellow American Will Claye into second place.

Taylor leapt 17.68m with his third attempt to win by 5cm, well short of the 18.11m he managed in Eugene earlier in the season.

The 27-year-old Taylor became the first triple jumper to win three world titles, having also claimed victory in Daegu in 2011 and in Beijing two years ago.

He won gold at the 2012 and last year’s Olympics with Claye finishing second on both occasions.

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