Man of the moment, Isaac Makwala became the first man in history to run a 200m within 20 seconds and a 400m within 44 seconds on the same day, which itself is a huge feat. However, Makwala went one further to strike gold by winning both events at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in the Madrid, Spain on Friday (July 14).
Makwala tackled the 400m race on an evening that saw the mercury soar to almost 40C in the Spanish capital. Having already posted times of 31.44 for 300m and 44.08 for one lap of the track this season, it was evident Makwala was well and truly in his element. Drawn in lane six, the 30-year-old sprinter led the race throughout and by the halfway point, was already way ahead of the rest of the athletes. He crossed the line in a stunning 43.92, his second career sub-44-second clocking, narrowly missing Michael Johnson’s meeting record of 43.90 set in 1994. USA’s Vernon Norwood was a distant second with a time of 44.75.
“I’m satisfied, but I know I can run faster. My goal in London is the gold medal; I can do it,” a jubilant Makwala said in the 75-minute gap between events.
Given the fact that world record-holder Wayde van Niekerk will also be in contention there, some might scoff at Makwala’s fighting talk, while others may think he’s punching above his weight. But shortly afterwards, Makwala replaced the South African as the quickest man so far this season in the 200m race.
In still conditions, he won the 200m in a PB of 19.77, shaving 0.19 off his previous best and breaking the meeting record of 19.92 set by Carl Lewis back in 1987. USA’s Brandon Carnes finished well behind Makwala with a time of 20.42.
Makwala’s next race will be at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 21. Makwala seems to be on fire right now and in fact, 2017 appears to be a good year for Batswana athletes in general. We are in awe of your athletic prowess and all your triumphs…very well done and way to go, Makwala! Good luck for the IAAF Diamond League on the 21st. You make us proud to be Batswana.
Watch as Makwala makes history