Van Niek­erk aims at Bolt record

Ja­maican sprint leg­end says he can achieve mark

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Hu­bert Lawrence Gleaner Writer

WAYDE VAN Niek­erk shocked the world with his record run of 43.03 sec­onds in the 400 me­tres at the Olympics. Now, the speedy South African has his eye on an­other record, the 200-me­tre stan­dard held by Ja­maican sprint great Usain Bolt

None other than Bolt him­self says van Niek­erk could pos­si­bly bet­ter his mark of 19.19 sec­onds.

“My dream is try to get where Usain Bolt is in 200m,” Van Niek­erk said in com­ments noted on the web­site of US tele­vi­sion sta­tion NBC.

“He’s a mas­sive in­spi­ra­tion and mo­ti­va­tion for me to im­prove my­self be­cause I know it is pos­si­ble,” said the 24-year-old South African.

Asked by Tim Ley­den of Sports Il­lus­trated whether van Niek­erk could break his 200m world record, the Ja­maican es­ti­mated: “If he can clean up his tech­nique on the cor­ner, maybe he can do it.”

The South African’s per­sonal best for the 200 me­tres is 19.94 sec­onds. In fact, he was more of a sprinter be­fore in­juries forced him to move up to the 400 me­tres.

“I hate the 400m,” he said to France’s Le Fi­garo, who pro­vided an Eng­lish tran­script of the in­ter­view to NBC. “I hate it be­cause I know what it does to my body, but I love it for what it does for my life.”

He col­lapsed af­ter win­ning the World Cham­pi­onship 400m last year and had to be car­ried off the track.

RI­CARDO MAKYN/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Usain Bolt train­ing with South African Wayde van Niek­erk at the UWI Bowl ear­lier this year.

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