Wayde van Niekerk and Isaac Makwala final showdown is on after a dramatic evening of 200m running

Isiah Young qualified with the fastest semi-final time as Yohan Blake's failure to qualify blew the medal positions wide open for the final.

Wayde van Niekerk and Isaac Makwala final showdown is on after a dramatic evening of 200m running
Makwala celebrates final qualification after a busy evening at the London Stadium (photo: Getty Images/Adrian Dennis)

Isaac Makwala admitted to "running with anger" as he qualified for Thursday's final alongside Wayde van Niekerk who had to rely on a fastest loser's position. Yet there was a huge shock as Yohan Blake was run out of the final positions in challenging conditions on the London Stadium track.

Makwala runs two races in two hours to qualify for the final

Makwala was the marquee name in heat one following an astonishing and controversial 48 hours at the IAAF World Championships. Granted a time trial after missing his heat due to a norovirus, the fastest man across 200m this year was drawn in lane one as he looked to make up for being suspended from taking part in the 400m final.

Akani Simbine was the only other man to go under 20 seconds this season, though both Isiah Young and Rasheed Dwyer have been under 19.9 seconds in their career. 

Squeezing across the nine lanes as David Lima held onto the last faster loser's spot following Makwala's inclusion, it was Young who got off to the best start. Yet Makwala showed no signs of fatigue as he came round the bend just behind the American.

The pair continued to hold their form with Young comfortably in front, whilst Britain's second fastest 200m runner ever, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, fell just short of catching Makwala as the Botswanan tied up before the finish line. The Brit was strong on the home stretch but lost speed with a lacklustre bend.

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Blake stunned as poor meeting for Jamaica continues

2012 Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake went into the second heat as the comfortable favourite. With the fastest personal best in the meeting of 19.26 a full second faster than all but Jereem Richards and Britain's Zharnel Hughes in this race, the contest appeared to be a battle for the second qualifying position. 

An even start saw Richards edge ahead of the pack at the turn before a shock unfolded on the home straight. Richards strolled away as surprise package Abdul Hakim Sani Brown began to get a foothold in second place.

Richards progressed comfortably whilst the crowd awaited a response from Yohan Blake. Yet the Jamaican followed many of his sprint compatriot's before him as he failed to produce the anticipated performance and was ran out of the competition by Sani Brown with a disappointing time of 20.52.

Van Niekerk edges through by a fine margin

400m World champion Wayde van Niekerk went into the final heat just two races away from emulating the great Michael Johnson with the 200m-400m double. Ramil Guliyev and Ameer Webb were drawn inside him after clocking sub-19.9 seconds in previous years, whilst 2011 bronze medalist Christophe Lemaitre held an outside chance of qualification.

Britain's Daniel Talbot flew out of the blocks, as did American champion Webb on the inside. Talbot began to struggle off the bend and Guliyev came through to take the lead on the inside.

Both Guliyev and Webb began to stride away, leaving van Niekerk scrapping for a fastest loser position and an anxious wait as he crossed the line in third place just ahead of home favourite Talbot.

Van Niekerk did just scrape a final spot, alongside Mitchell-Blake, with the South African admitting "today was harder than I thought it would be". Where will this tile go on Thursday evening?

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