Tag Archives: Isaac Makwala

Mweresa Expelled for Doping

African Games 400m silver medallist Boniface Mweresa has been expelled from Team Kenya camp from the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Nigeria for testing positive of banned substances.

Mweresa, was given marching orders by Athletics Kenya (AK) to leave the training camp on Thursday testing positive to doping tests carried out by Anti-Doping Agency (ADAK).

The fate of the disgraced sprinter is now in the hands of Athletics Kenya (AK) expected to handle Mweresa’s case in accordance with the anti-doping law.

Mweresa who managed to reach the semifinals at the 2017 World Championships held in London, the UK in 45:93 seconds was a member of Team Kenya for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships scheduled for August 1st-8th in Asaba, Delta State in Nigeria.

Mweresa is best remembered for anchoring Kenya to clinch the 2015 All Africa Games 4 X 400m relay by staving off rivalry from three times and Commonwealth Games 400m champion Botswana’s anchor Isaac Makwala.

The Kenya 4 X 400m team brought down the curtain on the athletic program at the 2015 All African games in dramatic fashion, holding off a strong Botswana team. In the process they set a new games record of 3:00.34 courtesy of Mweresa’s anchor leg.

Mweresa’s personal bests in the event (400m) are 45.01 seconds outdoors (Brazzaville 2015) and 46.33 seconds indoors (Portland, USA 2016).

The 24 year old, sprinter was busted a few days after Kenyan elite athletes including three times World metric mile champion Asbel Kiprop and Bahrain’s Kenyan born Olympic champion Ruth Chebet are facing disciplinary proceedings for doping.

 

Isaac Makwala achieves his golden promise

Botswana’s Isaac Makwala has achieved what he set out to do, winning his first major championship gold medal with a well-executed 44.35 in the men’s 400m final.

The race also gave the southern African nation its third gold medal at a Commonwealth Games and it’s fourth medal with teammate Baboloki Thebe pipping Jamaica’s Javon Francis to silver.

“I came here ready for this and everything has been going well since the IAAF World Championships,” Makwala said after his winning race.

Anyone who has ever played left-back on a soccer field against a speedy right winger knows it can be a hairy experience. So defenders across the globe should breathe a sigh of relief that Makwala eventually decided to swap his footy boots for track spikes.

“I was a good footballer, and I was always up the right wing,” he laughs.

“I was so fast, it was difficult to mark me! I concentrated on playing football until I was 23 but then I tried out athletics, and I realised I liked doing a solo event rather than a team one. I felt that I could be good, so I decided to become an athlete.”

Makwala believes his late start in professional sport is the reason it’s only now, aged 31, that he seems to be entering his prime. Last summer, at the Meeting de Atletismo Madrid, he became the first man ever to run the 200m in under 20 seconds (19.77) and the 400m in under 44 seconds (43.92) on the same day.

“I think starting late means I took longer to get fast, and I am definitely peaking a bit later than a lot of runners,” he says.

Usain Bolt was a star attraction at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The sight of him anchoring Jamaica to 4x100m gold, and then dancing to The Proclaimers with the crowd, is one the Hampden Park spectators won’t forget in a hurry.

But with the greatest sprinter of all time since retired, there’s a vacancy at the top and Makwala feels it will be filled by another Commonwealth athlete.

“My aim is to become the best, to move up, and be number one,” he says.

The 200m especially is wide open at the moment, and there is a chance for somebody new to try to dominate the event.

“There’s Wayde van Niekerk and of course the Jamaicans, who produce so many good runners. The competition is going to be really good. It’s an exciting time for the sport.”

Makwala had an odd 2017. There was the blistering performance in Spain, but also the disappointment of the World Athletics Championships in London, during which he caught the norovirus and was initially barred from running in the heats.

He eventually completed a bizarre solo time trial to make the semifinals (and celebrated with a press-up in front of a wild London crowd), but struggled in a final which was won by Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev.

“It wasn’t so good for me, and Rio (2016 Olympic Games, where he failed to reach the 400m final) wasn’t so good, but now I am looking for my chance this season,” he says.

Makwala and Thebe will now join forces in pursuit of another gold for Botswana in the men’s 4x400m relay on Saturday 14 April at Carrara Stadium.

“We also should have a very competitive relay team at the Gold Coast,” he said.

I feel like the Botswana team is top four in the world.”

Makwala’s mantra is ‘champions are not born, champions are made’. As a Manchester United and Barcelona-supporting soccer fan who loves Lionel Messi, the man who switched sports eight years ago knows what it takes to be a winner.

“Anything can be achieved through training hard and hard work,” he says.

And few will be training harder, or running faster, at the Games.

source: gc2018.com

Rudisha headlines Shanghai Diamond League

Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha headlines a list of no fewer than 14 world and Olympic champions who are expected to grace the Shanghai Diamond League on May 12.

Rudisha, the world record holder over the distance will hope to make it third time lucky after finishing fifth on his Shanghai debut in 2016 and third last year.

Fellow Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot will be hoping to start his Diamond League trophy defence on a the right foot when he parades in the 1500m race.

The stellar line-up includes eight gold medallists from the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and six athletes who struck gold at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, plus nine event winners from last year’s Diamond League and two newly crowned world indoor champions.

Kendra Harrison clinched her first global crown when she took the 60m hurdles title in Birmingham earlier this month, equalling the North American record of 7.70. The outdoor world record-holder will make her Shanghai debut in the 100m hurdles and will face Olympic champion Brianna McNeal (nee Rollins).

The Shanghai crowd will be treated to another tasty head-to-head in the women’s 200m in which two-time world champion Dafne Schippers takes on Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Schippers will be racing in Shanghai for the first time, while Miller-Uibo has fond memories of the city, having triumphed over 400m for the past two years. The Bahamian set an early world lead to take the Shanghai title in 2017 and went on to claim overall Diamond League trophies for both 200m and 400m, setting a national record of 21.88 in the half-lap final in Zurich when her Dutch rival was fourth.

In the men’s 100m China’s world indoor 60m silver medallist Su Bingtian will take on two world champions, Justin Gatlin and Ramil Guliyev. Su brought the crowd to its feet 12 months ago when he clinched his first ever IAAF Diamond League victory and the Chinese record-holder will be hoping for a repeat performance against the world 100m and 200m champions.

Botswana’s Diamond League champion Isaac Makwala will face world silver medallist Steven Gardiner in the 400m.

Omar McLeod will target a third successive Shanghai victory in the 110m hurdles when he takes on Spain’s Orlando Ortega. Jamaica’s world and Olympic champion broke the 13-second barrier when he triumphed here in 2016 before going on to claim the Olympic crown just ahead of Ortega.

Other reigning IAAF Diamond League champions who will be looking for early points include Dalilah Muhammad in the women’s 400m hurdles and Maria Lasitskene, the world indoor and outdoor high jump champion.

Colombia’s Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen is targeting a winning return to Shanghai after she won the women’s triple jump here in 2013 and 2015, as will Luvo Manyonga, the South African who leapt to an IAAF Diamond League and African record of 8.61m to take maximum points in the long jump last May before going to win the world title and Diamond trophy in August. Manyonga will face China’s newly minted Asian indoor champion, Shi Yuhao.

Sam Kendricks, another of last year’s world and IAAF Diamond League champions, takes on the host nation’s World Championships fourth-place finisher, Xue Changrui, in the men’s pole vault. Like McLeod, Kendricks is seeking a Shanghai hat-trick after beating world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie with a vault of 5.88m 12 months ago.

Chinese stars will also feature heavily in the women’s throws, not least world and IAAF Diamond League champion Gong Lijiao, who hopes to repeat her season-boosting shot put victory from 12 months ago. Asian record-holder and world bronze medallist Lyu Huihui will also have high hopes in the javelin. More big names will be announced in the next few weeks.

Makwala Targets Sub 31sec In 300m at Tuks

Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who won the 400m at the inaugural Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meeting in Roodepoort, Johannesburg on Thursday, 01 March, has his sights set on breaking the 31 second barrier at the University of Pretoria’s Tuks Stadium in Tshwane this coming Thursday, 08 March.

The 300m is not an often run event and as such, only three athletes have broken through the 31sec mark. These three are illustrious names indeed. Wayde van Niekerk holds the world best of 30.81sec (Ostrava, 28 June 2017), having broken the previous record set by Michael Johnson of 30.85sec (Tshwane, 24 March 2000) and Usain Bolt (30.97sec – Ostrava, 27 May 2010).

Makwala will only be the 4th athlete to go under 31sec should he accomplish the feat on Thursday, 08 March.

Clearly in a confident mood, Makwala said that if the race was in June he would be looking at the world record. But it is March, so a sub 31sec is a more realistic target. After running national records for both the 200m (19.77Ssec – 14 July) and 300m (31.44sec – Ostrava, 10 June) last year, the 31-year-old has clearly grown in confidence.

Makwala also holds the 400m national record for Botswana, 43.72sec run at La Chaux-de-Fonds in 2015.

“I did not go flat out in the 400m on Thursday (1 March) because I still had the 200m a bit later in the evening. But there is only the 300m for me this Thursday (8 March), so I feel very confident about getting close to that sub 31sec,” said Makwala.

He will line up against among others, Pieter Conradie, who was third in Ruimsig (45.77sec) and young Thapelo Phora who ran a Personal Best of 45.39sec to finish second behind Makwala in Ruimsig. Also in the field is the dangerous Ofentse Mogawane who is renowned for his aggressive front running tactics.

Source: supersport.com