Wayde van Niekerk. Photo: EPA

CAPE TOWN – He almost made it to the finishing line in front, but Wayde van Niekerk was just pipped to the line in the 200m final at the IAAF World Championships in London on Thursday night.

The 25-year-old South African star, who is the world record holder in the 400m, was attempting a sprint double after winning the one-lap race on Tuesday night.

And despite racing for a sixth consecutive night on Thursday, Van Niekerk made a strong start as he tried to stay with the rest of the field in the first 100m.

He managed to achieve that, and Van Niekerk showcased his strength by taking the lead off the bend, and seemed to have the gold medal in the bag.

He led for most of the rest of the way, and just when it looked like he had pulled it off, Turkish sprinter Ramil Guliyev put in an extra burst just before the line and dipped ahead of Van Niekerk to win in 20.09, with Van Niekerk second in 20.11.

Trinidad and Tobago's Jereem Richards had the same time as Van Niekerk, but was awarded the bronze.

It was a close finish in the end, and apart from the clear winner in Guliyev, the rest of the field waited to see who had finished on the podium, and Van Niekerk looked elated and clapped his hands in delight after realising he had won the silver.

Botswana's Isaac Makwala was quick out of the blocks, but finished sixth in 20.44.

IOL Sport