SPORTS


The Guardian hails victory of Azerbaijan’s athlete Ramil Guliyev

Baku, August 15, AZERTAC

The Guardian has published an article headlined “Ramil Guliyev tears up the script in 200m to eclipse Wayde van Niekerk”.

The article says: “After all the hype and hoopla, the new 200m champions of the world is – drumroll please – Ramil Guliyev. He is a 27-year-old Azerbaijani now running for Turkey, whose outstanding achievement in the sport until this point was his silver medal at the European championships last year.

This, you guess, wasn’t necessarily the result the IAAF would have chosen if it had its pick. That would have been Wayde van Niekerk, the sport’s brightest new superstar, who was second, two-hundredths of a second back. Which means Michael Johnson is still the only man to do the 200m/400m double at the world championships. All things considered, the most conspicuous competitor in this race may just have been the one who wasn’t in it: Usain Bolt.

Just to hammer home the point, Guliyev won in a time of 20.09sec, which made this the slowest 200m final since 2003, when John Capel won in 20.30sec. That was also the last final until this one in which Bolt wasn’t competing. Seems this is what the comedown feels like.

The result will go down well in Turkey at least. It was their first gold medal at the world championships. Guliyev has been a Turkish citizen for all of five years now. He had already established himself as one of the best young sprinters in Europe when he won the 200m at the World University Games in 20.04sec.

Qatar had also bid for him, but he preferred Turkey because “I do not feel any difference between Azerbaijan and Turkey, the language and culture are the same in both countries”.

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