By Mitch PhillipsLONDON, England (Reuters) – Wayde van Niekerk retained his world 400 metres title in dominant fashion yesterday as he stormed to victory in 43.98 seconds, but there was almost as much interest in the empty lane alongside him where Botswana’s Isaac Makwala should have been.South African van Niekerk, the Olympic and defending champion and world record holder, ran a controlled race and was even able to ease down over the final strides as he secured the first half of what he hopes will be a 400/200m double.Steven Gardiner, 21, of the Bahamas was a clear second in 44.41 and 20-year-old world junior champion Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar blasted through at the end to snatch bronze in 44.48.Makwala, third-fastest in the year this season, was scratched from the race earlier yesterday having also been withdrawn from Monday’s 200m heats after vomiting before he got on to the track.He insisted he wanted to run but IAAF officials ruled him out and refused him entry to the stadium amid a swathe of nanovirus and gastroenteritis cases that have affected about 30 athletes from a selection of countries.In his absence, van Nierkerk looked an even shorter-odds favourite and duly delivered, barely seeming out of breath when he crossed the line with his thoughts already turning to the 200m.“I’ve got a good team to help me recover and it’s back to work tomorrow (today),” he said.Long-striding Gardiner, who set a national record 43.89 in the semis, could not quite reproduce that on a cold London night but looks equipped to challenge van Niekerk in the future.Haroun, who switched nationality from Sudan to Qatar two years ago, edged past Baboloki Thebe of Botswana and Jamaica’s Nathon Allen in the final metres.Fred Kerley had scraped into the final as a fast loser but finished last as the United States failed to medal in the event for only the second time since the championships began in 1983.
Dear Editor,In a letter to the Editor on May 15, 2017, I expressed serious concerns following (then) Minister of Natural Resources Honourable Raphael Trotman’s statement on the Production Sharing Agreement with ExxonMobil whereby it was noted that “ExxonMobil is allowed to recover expenditure as part of the contract, this is easily understood. What is not clear is exactly what expenditure, is it the expenditure to the point of discovery? Do we have a figure of how much it cost ExxonMobil to discover the Liza field well and is that the amount to be recovered by ExxonMobil or is it that we will have to repay all of ExxonMobil’s subsequent costs as they continue to explore?”That was over two years ago, answers were never provided, for no doubt they were dismissed as ‘non-expert’. Sadly, the Government is now asking the International Monetary Fund the same questions. The concluding statement of the 2019 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV Mission to Guyana states: “authorities have indicated their concerns that the absence of a ring-fencing arrangement in the Stabroek Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) could potentially affect the projected flow of Government oil revenues”.The harsh truth is that this omission from the PSA could not be made if the persons negotiating on the behalf of the Guyanese people applied logic, common sense, if you will, and genuine concern for the future wellbeing that oil revenues could provide. The adviser on petroleum to the President, Jan Mangal, now claims to have been absent from negotiations. No special knowledge of ‘oil and gas’ was required; just honest care, we may never know if the negotiations were so poorly done due to negligence, corruption, deficient logic or basic stupidity; what I do know, is that no Administration that cares so little for the future wellbeing of its people, should ever be elected again. The Guyanese people are not incapable of logical thought and we know the clichéd “fool me once” applies in spades.Respectfully,Robin Singh