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May 19, 2021, 10:12

FILE - Wayde van Niekerk runs the Men Senior 200m during the 2021 ASA Senior Track and Field Champs at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
FILE - Wayde van Niekerk runs the Men Senior 200m during the 2021 ASA Senior Track and Field Champs at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Wayde van Niekerk will finally able to get back on track in America

CAPE TOWN - Wayde van Niekerk’s favourite hashtag is #QuietStorm, but it’s about to get loud in his world once again.

The 400m world record holder and Olympic champion will be making his first appearance on the track since moving to his US training base on Sunday, when he lines up in the 200m at the Adidas Boston Boost Games.

The event is held in the street, with special equipment used to host sprint races in Copley Square, about 10 minutes away from downtown Boston.

ALSO READ: There is still time for ’great talent’ Shaun Maswanganyi to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Van Niekerk’s agent, Peet van Zyl, told Independent Media yesterday that the 28-year-old will finally run his first 400m race of 2021 next week in Florida, where he is under the tutelage of new coach Lance Brauman, who also has 200m world champion Noah Lyles and 400m women’s Olympic winner Shaunae Miller-Uibo in his training group.

Van Niekerk, under instruction from Brauman, has only run the half-lap event this year, with a season’s best time of 20.38 seconds. He did post a 20.10 in Johannesburg in late March, but a strong tail-wind of 2.1 metres per second meant that the time was not recognised.

ALSO READ: WATCH: New sprint sensation Shaun Maswanganyi denied SA 100m record in the US

It’s all part of the bigger plan, though, to break his 43.03 world record he posted at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Van Niekerk technically hasn’t run a qualifying time yet in any event for Tokyo, but that is sure to come soon.

“To me, it’s about growth. And for me, growth means breaking a world record. Anyone else can say they want growth and then it would not be a world record necessarily, but mine is a record because at the moment I’m the record holder,” he said during an Instagram Live interview with Adidas Runners on Monday night.

So, to me, I want growth. To me I want an improvement. To me, I want times that are better than I currently have out there. So, that definitely means the world record, but with that being said as well, I want to be at the level that is somewhat untouchable, that’s somewhat out of reach and that’s, that’s where my mind is at, that is where I want to be.

“I want to own every record that I can now and that’s my dream, that’s my goal. I’m going to do the 100 and the 200 somewhere along the way as well, during the processes. I want to be the fastest, I want to be the greatest at every single event that I do.”

Meanwhile, Van Niekerk’s good friend Akani Simbine is already at his European training base in Gemona, Italy.

Van Zyl said that the South African 100m record-holder has not yet been pencilled in for a race, due to having to isolate for 10 days as he did not receive the Covid-19 vaccine before leaving home.

That means he has to miss today’s Golden Spike event in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and the Gateshead Diamond League meeting on Sunday.

Long jump star Ruswahl Samaai is also in Gemona, and will compete in the FBK Games in the Netherlands on June 6.

May 19, 2021, 10:50

Hope it works out well for him.  

May 20, 2021, 00:46

He should focus on the 400....as the coach said of the Scot in Chariots of fire ‘he is no 100 metre man’

May 20, 2021, 05:03

It's a miracle that he is running again, easy enough to thank modern science but considering how  devastating the injury it's amazing that not only is he doing great times he could well win and break his own WR. 

May 20, 2021, 23:19

Well he is a beautiful, effortless runner....the male version of Allyson Felix, they glide along gaining pace down the final straight.

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