Wayde will only return in September

The three champions - Grenada's Kirani James won the 400m gold at the 2012 London Olympics, Bloemfontein's Wayde van Niekerk won the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the USA's LaShawn Merritt claimed the honours during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. PHOTO: ROGER SEDRES / SASPA

The new 400m sprint world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk, may be shifting his focus after winning the Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro earlier this week.

Earlier this year Van Niekerk became the first man ever to run a sub 44 second 400m, a sub 20 second 200m and a sub 10 second 100m.

Winning the gold at the Olympics and World Championships and clocking a world record time is an accomplished mission for the 24-year-old.

Van Niekerk’s first love is the 200m sprint and this is exactly where the sprinter may be turning his attentions to.

The athlete’s coach, Tannie Ans Botha, who has become an overnight sensation across the world and perhaps even the most famous great-grandmother in the world, says there is a strong possibility that

Van Niekerk will be looking for a new challenge.

“Wayde and I discussed it but we didn’t make a final decision.

“Wayde’s first love is the 200m and I think he reached his dream of winning the 400m gold and with that the world record.

“Perhaps we will go back to the 200m but we haven’t made a final decision on that.

“When go back and he has had some rest then we will make a decision on the new strategies etc.”

Van Niekerk and his family were expected back in Bloemfontein on Sunday, however, Botha confirmed to Courant that she and Wayde are first heading to Gemona in Italy and they will head back home on 11 September. However, they will be try and return earlier. – MORGAN PIEK