Van Niekerk grabs SA's first gold at IAAF World Champs in China | TeamSA - TeamSA

Van Niekerk grabs SA’s first gold at IAAF World Champs in China

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s golden boy of athletics, Wayde van Niekerk blasted to South Africa’s first medal of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China on Wednesday.
Leading from start to finish the Cape Town born 23-year-old won in 43.48 seconds, a personal best, South African record and world-leading time.
In the heats, Van Niekerk, who now runs out of Bloemfontein had run times of 44.42 in the heats and 44.31 in the semi-finals.
Trailing in his wake were some of the world’s greatest one-lappers, with American LaShawn Merrit second in 43.65 and Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada third in 43.78 in personal and season’s best times respectively.
Van Niekerk was a spent man afterwards, collapsing on the track after the finish line and again on the outer track.
His time was the fifth fastest ever after former Olympic champion Michael Johnson’s 43.18 to win the 1999 world title in Seville, Spain exactly 16 years ago on Wednesday. Perhaps it was written in the stars!
The last South African to win a 400m world title was Bevil Rudd at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp.


Victor Keyster
Victor Keyster

Wayde did not start running yesterday. Being world class and unknown ate questions to be answered by ASA. How many stars are still being kept dimmed under your administration? I promise you if he was white the media would have exposed him years back...The man is already 23 years old. ..