Silver for Van Niekerk in Glasgow


Bloemfontein – Wayde van Niekerk once again showed his big match temperament last night when he won silver in the men’s 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Kovsies student was out of the blocks fast and led the race deep into the home straight before Kirani James of Grenada passed him to win in time 44.28 seconds to set a new Games record.

Van Niekerk held onto the second to clock a time 44.68 seconds, while Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze.

"It was tough, I had a fast start because I know the first 200m is my forté and I also know that Kirani has a very strong final 100m. My goal going into the race was always going to be top three" said Van Nierkerk.

"It was close though and I could hear that Trinidadian guy coming up on my inside so I had to kinda dive in the last few metres.

"I think the fact that I ran the 200m first round this morning helped a bit because it loosened my legs. Now we must remember that the African championships is waiting.

"It’s great to win my first Commonwealth Games medal, I feel the door is now open for me," the sprinter concluded.

The Commonwealth silver medal completes a brilliant year for the Bloemfontein speedster after sensationally breaking the 15-year-old national record at the Diamond League meeting in New York in June with a time of 44.38 seconds.

Van Niekerk has another possible chance of winning silverware as he will feature in the 200m semi-finals.

Meanwhile, South African javelin queen and double Commonwealth Games champion, Sunette Viljoen has been dethroned at the Games in Glasgow.

However, she clinched the silver last night after Australia’s Kim Mickle smashed her Games record with a gigantic throw of 65.96m.

Viljoen was aiming for a hat-trick of Games titles with an impressive heave of 62,95m, however feel over 3 metres short of the Australian.

In the men’s long jump final, Zarck Visser and Rushwahl Samaai continued South Africa’s good night in Glasgow.

The SA Champion, Visser won the silver with a leap of 8,12m, while Samaai claimed the bronze with a jump of 8,08m.