Wayde record stuns Bolt

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s Wayde van Niek­erk left Ja­maican sprint star Usain Bolt stunned after win­ning the Olympic 400m gold medal in record break­ing time.

Van Niek­erk smashed Amer­i­can Michael John­son’s 17-year old record by 0.15, win­ning in 43.03. Some 25 min­utes later, Bolt won the 100m ti­tle in 9.81. But Bolt was left stunned when he saw Van Niek­erk break the world record.

Bolt also went over to con­grat­u­late Van Niek­erk in per­son.

It was a fit­ting mo­ment be­tween two cham­pi­ons, and Van Niek­erk re­vealed the na­ture of their con­ver­sa­tion af­ter­wards. “I was over there (Ja­maica) for about two weeks train­ing with him,” Van Niek­erk said. “He’s been such a huge rock in in­spir­ing me as an ath­lete. “He told me back in Ja­maica that I would break the world record and he came to me af­ter­wards and said ‘I told you that you can do it’.

“These are guys that in­spire me each and ev­ery day to be the best Wayde that I can be.”

Van Niek­erk added that he would love the op­por­tu­nity to race against Bolt one day.

“My favourite event is the 200m so I would love to race him one day when I’m big,” the fastest man ever over 400m said.

Wayde van Niek­erk says he doesn’t re­mem­ber a thing after his world record run in the 400m at the Rio Olympics.

Van Niek­erk set the Games alight on Sun­day night (Mon­day morn­ing, SA time) with a 43.03 run that broke Amer­i­can leg­end Michael John­son’s world record that had stood since 1999.

It will surely be one of the big­gest per­for­mances of this year’s Olympics by any ath­lete from any coun­try.

Speak­ing to me­dia after his race, Van Niek­erk said that it was all a blur. “I re­ally can’t com­ment on that race. I don’t re­mem­ber a thing and I will lit­er­ally have to go and watch the race for me to tell you about it,” he said.

“I’m not nor­mally speech­less when it comes to in­ter­views ... but I think I still need to let it sink in. I don’t even think I was in that race tonight, that’s how un­real it feels.”

Van Niek­erk, run­ning out of lane 8, said he went into the race with­out a clear-cut plan. “There was no strat­egy ... I just went,” he said. The 24-year-old had said be­fore the race that he had 10 rel­a­tives mak­ing the trip from South Africa to sup­port him, and he ran straight to them after he had achieved the nearim­pos­si­ble.

“Hav­ing my whole fam­ily here meant the world to me tonight,” he said. “I’m so grate­ful to have had the op­por­tu­nity to have them here live to wit­ness that.

“This is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to thank each and ev­ery one who has sup­ported me and been a part of this jour­ney and to thank ev­ery­one in South Africa.

“I had no pres­sure ... ev­ery­one in South Africa was sup­port­ing me. My whole coun­try helped me be­lieve in my­self.”— Sport24.

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