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Makwala comments “not cool” says Van Niekerk

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 01:01

Wayde van Niekerk said it was ''not cool'' for Isaac Makwala to suggest the South African was involved in a conspiracy that saw the Botswana athlete excluded from the 400-metre final.

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SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 11, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OLYMPIC AND WORLD 400-METRE CHAMPION, WAYDE VAN NIEKERK, TALKING ABOUT COMMENTS MADE BY ISAAC MAKWALA WHO SUGGESTED HE WAS STOPPED FROM COMPETING IN THE 400 METRES BECAUSE THE IAAF FAVOURS VAN NIEKERK, SAYING: "Yes I think it's not cool but at the same time I don't really care. This is track and field. We all come out here to compete, we all come out here to win medals so I came out here to do my job. I've proven my worth as an athlete and that's all I could have done." 2. WHITE FLASH 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OLYMPIC AND WORLD 400-METRE CHAMPION, SAYING: "I think I've got a lot of sympathy for what he (Issac Makwala) has done and with a lot of his comments there was a lot of anger in it so it's understandable. As competitors we do get upset. We do get angry and if we look at his 200-metre semis as well he was very, very upset of the situation. Yes I wouldn't take away what I said (about giving Makwala his 400-metre gold medal if he could) but at the same time I believe I was always going to win the gold medal." 4. WHITE FLASH 5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OLYMPIC AND WORLD 400-METRE CHAMPION, SAYING: "I definitely won't be doubling up again. I think, whenever, whenever I speak 400 I will have to do it as an individual event and try and improve myself as a 400-metre athlete and then if I ever have to double I would rather do the 100 (metres) than 200 (metres)." STORY: Wayde van Niekerk said on Friday (August 11) it was "not cool" for Isaac Makwala to suggest the South African was involved in a conspiracy that saw the Botswana athlete excluded from the 400-metre final. Van Niekerk was speaking to Reuters the day after he claimed the 200-metre silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in London, two days after retaining his 400-metre title. Makwala was due to run in the 400-metre final but was barred by the IAAF for medical reasons. Makwala fell victim to an outbreak of sickness that has hit many competitors. The 30-year-old, seen as a leading contender in both the 200 metres and 400 metres, had insisted he was fit enough to race while the sport's world governing body had said he had an infectious disease and needed to be quarantined. Makwala was eventually allowed to compete in the 200 metres and finished sixth in the final after having to run three rounds in two days. Van Niekerk claimed the silver in the 200 metres. Van Niekerk said he had sympathy for Makwala but believed he would have won the gold medal whether the Botswanan was competing in the 400 metres or not. Van Niekerk, who now has two 400-metre world titles and an Olympic 400-metre title said he was pleased with his performances in London but vowed never to attempt the 200-metre/400-metre double ever again as it was too mentally and physically demanding. The 24-year-old said he would focus on the 400 metres in future championships and might even run in the 100 metres rather than the 200 if his body feels up to it. He added that he wants to do so much more in his career and show what he's capable of. Van Niekerk is the only athlete to run sub 10 seconds for the 100 metres, sub 20 seconds for the 200 metres and sub 44 seconds for the 400 metres.

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Makwala comments “not cool” says Van Niekerk

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 01:01