2015 World Championships
African Record holder, Isaac Makwala opens both hands as he looks up after running 44.11s to win heat 2 of the men's 400m semi-final. Photo Credit: Making of Champions/PAV media.

Botswana’s Isaac Makwala has made history by becoming the first man ever to run a sub-20 and sub-44 in the 200m/400m on the same day, a feat he achieved at the IAAF World Challenge in Madrid on Friday.

The former African Champion destroyed the 400m field at the meeting, dominating from start to finish to run the second sub-44s of his career, a Season’s Best (SB) of 43.92s.

He finished ahead of USA’s Vernon Wood who clocked a distant 44.75s in 2nd place. Spain’s Samuel Garcia was 3rd in 45.36s.

Makwala’s teammates Karabo Sibanda and Onkabetse Nkobolo placed 4th and 5th respectively in the race, posting times of 45.74s and 45.91s.

Less than two hours later, the sprinter made the headlines by racing to a scorching World Lead (WL), Meeting Record (MR) and National Record (NR) of 19.77s to win the 200m, smashing Carl Lewis’ 30-year old MR of 19.92s in the process. USA’s pair of Brandon Carnes and Dedric Dukes followed in 20.42s and 20.50s respectively.

The 30-year old has demonstrated that he is in top form ahead of next month’s IAAF World Championships in London where he is hoping to battle for GOLD in the 400m against World Record (WR) holder Wayde Van Niekerk.

He recently finished 2nd behind the South African at the IAAF World Challenge in Ostrava where the former stormed to a WR of 30.81s in the 300m, with Makwala racing to an NR of 31.44s to occupy the 5th spot on the all-time list.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “I’m satisfied, but I know I can run faster. My goal in London is the GOLD medal; I can do it.”

2015 World Championships
African Record holder, Isaac Makwala opens both hands as he looks up after running 44.11s to win heat 2 of the men’s 400m semi-final. Photo Credit: Making of Champions/PAV media.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .

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