Welcome to Wayde’s world, says Mr Bolt
IN THE wake of his record-shattering performance over 300m, Wayde Van Niekerk has once again received widespread acclaim from his growing legion of fans across the world.
But it’s the tribute from Usain Bolt that has provided the South African Olympic champion more than loads of admiration.
If ever Van Niekerk doubted his ability to dominate the pinnacle of the sprinting world, then the encouraging words from sprint legend and friend, Bolt, should dispel any uncertainty.
“Yeah for sure, I think he really wants to be a sprinter because he’s set a personal best in the 100m this year,” Bolt said of Van Niekerk.
“He’s shown that he’s ready for the challenge. He’s really down to earth, he’s really humble and he’s a great person. He listens and wants to be good and if he continues like this he’ll take over track and field.”
Van Niekerk blitzed home in an astonishing time of 30.81 seconds as he set a new 300m world record at the World Challenge Golden Spike meet in Ostrava in midweek, smashing the previous world record of 30.85sec set by American Michael Johnson back in 2000 in Pretoria.
With his latest victory in the Czech Republic, he has run personal bests in three different races, the 200m in 19.84sec, which is the SA record‚ 100m in 9.94sec in Slovenia and now the rarely-run 300m in Ostrava.
It wasn’t long before he became the first athlete to have broken the 10, 20 and 44-second barriers in the 100m (9.94), 200m (19.84) and 400m (43.03) events.
He also broke the Golden Spike record of 30.97sec set by poster boy Bolt in 2010.
“This world record is a blessing. It’s a massive confidence booster,” Van Niekerk said.
“I’m so pleased, blessed and grateful for this big achievement.”