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The IAAF World Championships in London produced one of its more surreal moments on Wednesday evening as Botswanan athlete Isaac Makwala won a one-man race.
Makwala was prevented from competing in Monday’s heats as he was “one of 30 athletes and support staff” in quarantine after contracting norovirus while staying at the Tower hotel in London.
The 30-year-old was eventually granted an opportunity to reach the 200-metre semifinal on Wednesday – albeit under bizarre circumstances.
Makwala was the only athlete on the track and had to beat the clock – a race time of 20.54 seconds set by those who raced in the heat – to qualify for the semis.
You can watch Makwala’s race below. The athlete, who was barred from the 400-metre final because of the norovirus bug, “sent a message” to the IAAF at the finish line. He pumped out five unnecessary but crowd-pleasing push-ups, having clocked a qualifying time of 20.20 seconds.
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“I wish to thank the IAAF for giving me another chance – the crowd is so amazing,” Makwala told BBC Sport.
Later that evening, Makwala raced again, this time against his peers, and joined South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk in Thursday’s World Championships 200-metre final, posting a 20.14 seconds time in the semis.