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World Championships Heats Up

American Phyllis Francis won the World Championships 400 metres final on Wednesday as Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo stumbled when seemingly certain of victory and dropped to fifth place.

Francis looked out of it with 80 metres to go but maintained her form amid the carnage to post a personal best time of 49.92 seconds and take a shock gold medal.

Bahamanian Miller-Uibo, who famously dived over the line to pip Felix to Olympic gold last year, was clear with 20 metres left but as she tired and tied up she tripped on her own foot, stumbling almost to a standstill as her rivals stormed past her.

China’s Gong Lijiao ended her long wait for a global outdoor title when she won the shot put gold medal, utterly dominating the competition. Gong made of light of the wet conditions as she broke 19 metres with five of her six attempts and won with a fifth throw of 19.94 metres.

There were only two other throws over 19 metres – Anita Marton’s final effort of 19.49 which won silver for the Hungarian and American Michelle Carter’s third throw of 19.14 which took bronze.
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala reached the 200 metres final against all the odds, qualifying from the notoriously difficult inside lane made even more difficult by wet conditions after gaining a reprieve from the IAAF.

First, he had to run alone in the rain inside 20.53 seconds – the slowest of Monday’s qualifiers to reach the semi-finals.

Although conditions were much worse than the competitors had in the first round two days ago with the rain teeming down in the London Stadium, Makwala sped round the wet track in 20.20 seconds.

Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, double Olympic silver medallist on the same London Stadium track five years ago, failed to qualify after finishing third in his heat in 20.52.

South African Wayde van Niekerk, bidding for a double after his 400 metres gold, sneaked into the final as second of the two fastest losers after edging third place in his heat from Christopher Lemaitre by two hundredths of a second.

Source: Reuters

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