Turkish runner Ramil Guliyev became world champion Thursday and gave Turkey its first gold medal in the men's 200 meters in his surprising victory at the world championships in London.
Guliyev, who is a member of Turkey’s Fenerbahçe sports club, finished the race in 20.09 seconds, ahead of South African Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk, who took silver in 20.11 seconds. Trinidadian Jereem Richards settled for the bronze.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated the champion on Twitter.
"I am heartily congratulating Ramil Guliyev, who made us all proud by winning the World Athletics Championships in the men's 200m gold final," he said.
Fenerbahce Sports Club Chairman Aziz Yildirim also congratulated Guliyev.
"I was about to cry tonight,” Yildirim said voicing his pride.
“We need to thank Azerbaijan as well. Ramil has been running as the child of two states but one nation today and made us proud. He has shown and proved to the world that Turkey has existed in athletics." Guliyev was born in Azerbaijan.
Speaking to TRT Sports, Guliyev thanked all those spported him and said it was “an amazing race” for him.
"I have believed for the whole year that I could do it. I hope next time we will have medals in the Olympic Games,” Guliyev said.
The 10-day World Athletics Championships ends Sunday.