400 Round Qualifying: All 3 Americans Advance, But Makwala Says “We want to take the 400 to Africa, to make it (an) African race.”

  • submit to reddit

by LetsRun.com
August 5, 2017

LONDON — The men’s 400m qualifying rounds at the 2017 IAAF World Championships went largely according to form this morning. The heavy favorite, world record holder, Wayde Van Niekerk, won his heat in 45.27, the only of the six 400 qualifying rounds to be won in over 45 seconds. Van Niekerk may want to save as much energy as possible as he is attempting the 400/200 double and the first round of the 200 is on the day between the 400 semi and 400 final.

Van Niekerk’s chief challengers on paper coming into the meet all won their heats as Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who is also attempting the 200/400 double, had the fastest time of the day (44.55), the Bahamas Steven Gardiner ran the second-fastest time of the day (44.75) as America’s Fred Kerley of the US ran 44.92 (5th fastest).

We now share with you some of the insight we got from talking to the runners after the race. At the end of the article, we give you full results.

Makwala was asked about the emerging success of African runners in the 400 and he wasn’t shy in his ambitions.”We want to take the 400 to Africa, to make it (an) African race. It was an American race, we want to take it to Africa,” he said. That will only add fuel to the fire of those who believe Botswana has a shot to defeat the US in the 4 x 400 (MB: Could Botswana challenge America in the 4×4?)

The focus with the media has been on van Niekerk attempting to the double, but Makwala, never higher than 5th in a global championshiops, said he can pull it off. Asked about the 400m final, he said, “The final is going to be crazy. It’s going to be hard because we are doubling.”

.45 behind Makwala in heat#5 in 45.00 was 2008 Olympic Champ LaShawn Merritt. Merritt hasn’t raced since USAs and has been battling injuries this year but is here to compete. “I haven’t been having the best of seasons. I’ve been dealing with a little bit here and there,  (but) I’m a quarter miler, I’m going to lineup and go at it.”

Merritt acknowledged he’s battling father time. The crazy thing is at 31,  he’s only a year older than Makwala (30) and we’re also not sure how familiar Merritt is even with Makwala as Merritt said of his heat, “I didn’t really push it , push it at the end, neither did the guy who won (speaking of Makwala).”

Merritt’s Post Race Comments

22 year old NCAA and US champ Fred Kerley is America’s best hope for gold in the 400 and Kerley looked great in heat 1. The only problem for Kerley was he was so far ahead in his race that he started looking around 300 meters into his race to see if he could shut it down. He continued to look around down the homestrech and nearly lost his balance and almost fell out of his lane. He threw up his hands to keep his balance but still got the heat win.

Michael Johnson on the BBC coverage didn’t see that Kerley nearly stumbled and thought he was just showboating, but he didn’t like Kerley looking around so early. Johnson said, “He is a real talent. I didn’t like this really. Just run the race. Get on with it. You can relax without having to look around. I’m not sure what that was throwing his hands out there. This is serious business. This is the preliminaries. He’s a young athlete. He’ll need to learn from that.”

Kerley throws up his hands as nearly falls out of his lane

Kerley throws up his hands as nearly falls out of his lane

Gil Roberts (44.92) and Wil London (45.10) of the US both advanced automatically as well to the semifinals by finishing second in their heats. London,who runs collegiately for Baylor, is only 19 and said running the Olympic Trials last year helped him deal with the huge morning session crowd here (the stadium was nearly full).

Results – Summary. Heat by heat results appear farther down.

POS RANK HEAT BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY RESULTS MS*
1 1 5 708 Isaac MAKWALA BOTBOT 44.55 
2 1 4 667 Steven GARDINER BAHBAH 44.75 
3 1 3 712 Baboloki THEBE BOTBOT 44.82 
4 1 6 1071 Nathon ALLEN JAMJAM 44.91 
5 1 1 1413 Fred KERLEY USAUSA 44.92  .912
6 2 6 1431 Gil ROBERTS USAUSA 44.92  .917
7 2 3 1084 Demish GAYE JAMJAM 44.98 
8 2 5 1426 LaShawn MERRITT USAUSA 45.00 
9 2 1 1325 Lalonde GORDON TTOTTO 45.02 SB
10 3 5 766 Jamal WALTON CAYCAY 45.05 
11 3 1 688 Kévin BORLÉE BELBEL 45.09 
12 4 1 833 Pavel MASLÁK CZECZE 45.10 SB .091
13 2 4 1422 Wilbert LONDON III USAUSA 45.10  .092
14 4 5 871 Óscar HUSILLOS ESPESP 45.22 PB
15 3 6 1266 Abdalelah HAROUN QATQAT 45.27  .264
16 1 2 1282 Wayde VAN NIEKERK RSARSA 45.27  .265
17 5 1 961 Matthew HUDSON-SMITH GBRGBR 45.31 
18 3 4 1055 Brian GREGAN IRLIRL 45.37 
19 3 3 952 Dwayne COWAN GBRGBR 45.39 
20 4 3 1143 Boniface Ontuga MWERESA KENKEN 45.58 
21 5 3 1249 Rafal OMELKO POLPOL 45.69 
22 4 4 689 Jonathan BORLÉE BELBEL 45.70 
23 2 2 1065 Davide RE ITAITA 45.71 
24 5 4 843 Luguelín SANTOS DOMDOM 45.73 
25 5 5 1132 Raymond KIBET KENKEN 45.75  .748
26 6 5 977 Martyn ROONEY GBRGBR 45.75  .750
27 3 2 1324 Machel CEDENIO TTOTTO 45.77 

Steven Gayle of Jamaica was DQd.

Heat by Heat Results
Heat 1

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK REACTION TIME
1 1413 Fred KERLEY USAUSA 44.92 Q 0.151
2 1325 Lalonde GORDON TTOTTO 45.02 Q SB 0.187
3 688 Kévin BORLÉE BELBEL 45.09 Q 0.147
4 833 Pavel MASLÁK CZECZE 45.10 q SB 0.198
5 961 Matthew HUDSON-SMITH GBRGBR 45.31 q 0.152
6 714 Lucas CARVALHO BRABRA 45.86 0.169
7 857 Lucas BÚA ESPESP 46.00 0.153
8 1129 Collins Omae GICHANA KENKEN 46.10 0.192
9 768 Bachir MAHAMAT CHACHA 47.50 0.224
 Heat 2
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK REACTION TIME
1 1282 Wayde VAN NIEKERK RSARSA 45.27 Q 0.185
2 1065 Davide RE ITAITA 45.71 Q 0.163
3 1324 Machel CEDENIO TTOTTO 45.77 Q 0.216
4 915 Teddy ATINE – VENEL FRAFRA 45.90 0.153
5 813 Yoandys LESCAY CUBCUB 45.93 0.228
6 1289 Luka JANEŽIC SLOSLO 46.06 0.244
7 654 Steven SOLOMON AUSAUS 46.27 0.220
8 1456 Kimorie SHEARMAN VINVIN 47.05 0.172
802 Nery BRENES CRCCRC DQ 0.194
 Heat 3
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK REACTION TIME
1 712 Baboloki THEBE BOTBOT 44.82 Q 0.184
2 1084 Demish GAYE JAMJAM 44.98 Q 0.206
3 952 Dwayne COWAN GBRGBR 45.39 Q 0.162
4 1143 Boniface Ontuga MWERESA KENKEN 45.58 q 0.219
5 1249 Rafal OMELKO POLPOL 45.69 q 0.271
6 868 Samuel GARCÍA ESPESP 46.37 0.176
7 1272 Pieter CONRADIE RSARSA 46.62 0.141
8 1288 Warren HAZEL SKNSKN 46.96 0.173
9 630 Narek GHUKASYAN ARMARM 49.70 SB 0.198
 Heat 4
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK REACTION TIME
1 667 Steven GARDINER BAHBAH 44.75 Q 0.230
2 1422 Wilbert LONDON III USAUSA 45.10 Q 0.221
3 1055 Brian GREGAN IRLIRL 45.37 Q 0.186
4 689 Jonathan BORLÉE BELBEL 45.70 q 0.174
5 843 Luguelín SANTOS DOMDOM 45.73 0.182
6 929 Mamoudou Eliman HANNE FRAFRA 45.89 0.137
7 794 Yilmar HERRERA COLCOL 47.18 0.204
1085 Steven GAYLE JAMJAM DQ 0.198
 Heat 5
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK ms* REACTION TIME
1 708 Isaac MAKWALA BOTBOT 44.55 Q 0.232
2 1426 LaShawn MERRITT USAUSA 45.00 Q 0.219
3 766 Jamal WALTON CAYCAY 45.05 Q 0.153
4 871 Óscar HUSILLOS ESPESP 45.22 q PB 0.167
5 1132 Raymond KIBET KENKEN 45.75 .748 0.252
6 977 Martyn ROONEY GBRGBR 45.75 .750 0.145
7 1328 Renny QUOW TTOTTO 45.95 0.149
8 1032 Winston GEORGE GUYGUY 46.02 0.239
9 909 Sailosi TUBUILAGI FIJFIJ 48.98 0.173
Heat 6
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK REACTION TIME
1 1071 Nathon ALLEN JAMJAM 44.91 Q 0.144
2 1431 Gil ROBERTS USAUSA 44.92 Q 0.226
3 1266 Abdalelah HAROUN QATQAT 45.27 Q 0.204
4 1049 Muhammed Anas YAHIYA INDIND 45.98 0.155
5 1208 Samson Oghenewegba NATHANIEL NGRNGR 46.63 0.200
6 1113 Takamasa KITAGAWA JPNJPN 47.35 0.158
7 711 Karabo SIBANDA BOTBOT 47.44 0.153
1016 Emmanuel DASOR GHAGHA DNS

Advertisement

Never miss running news. Get the LetsRun.com news letter.
Sent weekly or when big news breaks.