Wayde for it! It’s another stunner!
VOWING to produce the “ridiculous”, Wayde van Niekerk mace true on his promise as he smashed the 300m world best at the Ostrava Golden Spike with a time of 30.81 seconds.
Van Niekerk erased yet another Michael Johnson world mark when he knocked 0.04secs off the time the American set in Pretoria back in 2000.
Bunny-hopping past Jamaican legend Usain Bolt and Johnson on the all-time list, Van Niekerk improved his previous African mark of 31.03secs.
Racing ahead of Bolt’s first European race of the season, Van Niekerk also erased the Jamaican’s meet record to signal a changing of the guard.
Lining up next to Van Niekerk, compatriot Clarence Munyai smashed his South African 300m mark in what appears to be a new world junior best of 31.61.
The previous world junior best of 32.08 held by America’s Steve Lewis’ was posted in a one-lap race. Munyai took more than a second off the national junior best of 32.87 he clocked earlier this year. On the eve of the meeting, Van Niekerk told the media he would take a stab at Johnson’s world best.
“It’s not really an official event, so I’m going to go out there and be ridiculous , I’ve got nothing to lose,” Van Niekerk said.
“It’s the only 300m of the year … I’ll try and give you a show.”
Van Niekerk is making a habit of erasing Johnson’s global marks after he smashed the American’s 400m record at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
He raced to an incredible 43.03secs at the Olympic Games knocking 0.15 off Johnson’s previous mark.
The South African is making the strongest possible statement that he is the heir apparent to Bolt’s throne as the world’s springing king.
Boasting personal best of 9.94 seconds in the 100m and 19.84 in the 200m, Van Niekerk has proven his incredible ability over the shorter distance too.
He is the only man to have gone under 10, 20, 31, and 44sec in the 100, 200, 300, and 400m distances.
It also proved to be a breakthrough evening for 100m hurdles aced Rikenette Steenkamp, who dipped below 13 seconds for the first time.
Steenkamp finished second in her short hurdles final posting a new personal best of 12.99 edging her within 0.05secs of Corien Botha’s national record.
She stopped the clock 0.01sec short of the A-qualifying time for the IAAF World Championships in London in August.
Steenkamp finished second behind Germany’s Pamela Dutkiewicz clocking a winning time of 12.72.
Earlier, female sprinter Alyssa Conley raced to second place in the half-lap sprint posting a time of 23.03 seconds. Conley finished behind Marie Ta Lou of Ivory Coast, crossing in a time of 22.44.
South African 110m hurdlers record-holder Antonio Alkana’s did not quite go according to plan as he knocked the fifth hurdle before clipping the sixth to finish in fourth place in 13.37sec.