Van Niekerk breaks 300m world record

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Wayde van Niekerk PHOTO: ROGER SEDRES /SASPA

Bloemfontein’s Wayde van Niekerk won the men’s 300m sprint at the IAAF Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic to bring a close to an very special era in international athletics.

The 25-year-old sprinter broke the American great, Michael Johnson’s last remaining world record when he won the race in a blistering 30.81 sec.

Van Niekerk shaved 0.04 seconds off the time of Johnson to add the 300m world record to his 400m world record (43.03 sec), which he set nearly a year ago at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Recently Van Niekerk won broke the South African 200m record on both the track and a straight street course when he clocked 19.84 sec twice in less than a week. He won the Adidas Boost Boston meet on a street course, before winning the 200m sprint at the Jamaican Invitational six days later.

Last week he won the men’s 100m sprint in Slovenia in 9.94 sec to run a personal best over the distance.

The Grey College old boy remains the only sprinter in history to run a sub-10 100m, a sub-20 200m and a sub-44 400m.

Early next month Van Niekerk will run the 400m sprint at the Lausanne leg of the IAAF Diamond League, as he prepares for his world title defence in London.

Van Niekerk has indicated that he would love to run both the 200m and 400m in London in August. – MORGAN PIEK