Sat | Oct 20, 2018

200m-400m double unlikely at 2019 IAAF World Champs

Published:Wednesday | September 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Miller-Uibo
Wayde van Niekerk
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Track and field superstars Wayde van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller-Uibo both attempted the 200-400 metres double at the 2017 World Championships. A look at the schedule for next year's Worlds indicates that a repeat of those doubles by van Niekerk, the smooth-running South African, and the leggy Bahamian Miller-Uibo isn't likely. In a departure from the 2017 schedule, the women's 200m-400m combination has become even tougher.

In London at the last World Championships, van Niekerk and Miller-Uibo ran every day for six days, with the 200m heats coming on the rest day between the 400m semis and final. In Doha, the Bahamian has the heats of both the 200m and

400m within two hours

of each other on Day 4

of the meet. There are only 45 minutes between the semi-finals of both events on Day 5.

The finals are separated by a day, with the 200m final on Day 6 and the 400m final the following day.

The men's 200m and 400m don't clash at first, with the 200m heats and semis set for Day 3 and Day 4, but the 400m heats and the 200m final are four hours and five minutes apart on Day 5. The 400m semis, set for Day 6, and the final are separated by a rest day.

Speaking right after he won gold in the 400m and silver in the 200m at the 2017 World Championships, van Niekerk wasn't keen to repeat the exhausting ordeal of six races in six days.

"I'd love to improve all three events, but I'm definitely not doubling up again," said the athlete who uniquely is the only sprinter to have personal bests below 10 seconds in the 100m, 20 seconds in the 200m, and 44 seconds in the 400m.

"I think it was a tough six days for myself," confessed the holder of the 400m world record at 43.03 seconds to the Sport24 website. He lost the 200m to Ramil Guliyev of Turkey.

Speaking to Jamaican reporters at trackside in London, Miller-Uibo promised, "[Year] 2019, we're definitely going to go back for the double and hopefully things will fall into place then."

Olympic 400m champion in 2016, Miller-Uibo was third and fourth in the 200m and 400m, respectively, in London, but is undefeated at both distances and has lowered her best in the longer race to 48.97 seconds.

The Doha competition schedule was released earlier this year.

H.L.