Awe­some Wayde on an­other planet

Oc­ca­sion for an Os­trava cel­e­bra­tion as Bloem sen­sa­tion jolts John­son’s WR

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VILLIERS

THE WORLD Is in awe of Wayde van Niek­erk as the South African proved once again he is the heir ap­par­ent to the soonto-be-va­cant sprint king ti­tle .

Van Niek­erk dis­man­tled yet an­other Michael John­son world mark when he posted a new 300m world best 30.81 sec­onds at the Os­trava Golden Spike meet­ing on Wed­nes­day evening.

The South African knocked 0.04 off the pre­vi­ous mark John­son set in Pre­to­ria back in 2000.

“I had a nervy build-up be­cause I’ve been avoid­ing the 300m and the 400m but I’m glad to fi­nally break through that and it is a good step to­wards the 400m in Lau­sanne,” Van Niek­erk said.

“I’m feel­ing quite pos­i­tive and let’s see how it goes. I just need to keep on work­ing and im­prov­ing and hope to keep on mak­ing the coun­try proud.”

Van Niek­erk was fol­lowed by Botswana’s Isaac Mak­wala in sec­ond place while fel­low South African Clarence Mun­yai posted a new ju­nior world best of 31.61.

Mun­yai an­ni­hi­lated his na­tional ju­nior best tak­ing more than a sec­ond off the time he posted ear­lier this year.

The pre­vi­ous world ju­nior best of 32.08 held by Amer­ica’s Steve Lewis was posted in a one-lap race.

“It in­spires me a lot be­cause go­ing into this race I think ev­ery­one knew Wayde was to run a world record and I also wanted to be part of that history,” Mun­yai, a Tuk­sS­port/ HPC spon­sored ath­lete, said.

“It was one of the best races I’ve run and my aim was to run sub-32 and a world best. And I did that.

“I had to fo­cus on my own race. From the be­gin­ning I knew I had to come out re­ally fast and run my own race.

“I knew the guys I was run­ning with did 400m and if I used my 200m speed in the be­gin­ning it could be an ad­van­tage.”

Van Niek­erk is prov­ing to be the right­ful heir to Bolt’s sprint crown break­ing the Ja­maican icon’s meet­ing record in Os­trava.

He is the only man to have gone un­der 10, 20, 31, and 44sec in the 100, 200, 300, and 400m dis­tances.

Fly­ing be­low the radar in the 400m, Van Niek­erk will be back in the blocks at the Lau­sanne Di­a­mond League meet­ing next week for his first one-lap in­ter­na­tional race of the sea­son.

Boast­ing the South African 200m record of 19.84 and the new 300m world best, Van Niek­erk’s form sug­gests ath­let­ics en­thu­si­asts can ex­pect more fire­works in the 400m.

In his world record-break­ing run at last year’s Olympic Games, he came close to be­com­ing the first man to dip be­low 43 sec­onds with a new global mark 43.03.

It is no longer be­yond the realm of pos­si­bil­ity for Van Niek­erk to achieve what was once deemed im­pos­si­ble to go sub-43.

Mean­while, 100m hur­dles ace Rikenette Steenkamp be­came only the sec­ond South African to dip be­low 13 sec­onds in her spe­cial­ist event.

The short hur­dler posted a new per­sonal best of 12.99, edg­ing her within 0.05 of Corien Botha’s na­tional record.

“It is a big break­through even if it is just be­low 13 sec­onds. I be­lieve it is a mas­sive con­fi­dence boost es­pe­cially against a strong field,” Steenkamp said.

“It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Two days ago I didn’t even know I was go­ing to run here.

“I be­lieve strong com­pe­ti­tion brings out the best in you. There were a lot of but­ter­flies but the goal for the evening was to run sub-13.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.