SA Wayde van Niekerk Breaks World Record, Wins Gold In Rio Olympics
Wayde van Niekerk has won South Africa its first gold medal at the Rio Olympics this morning. He broke Michael Johnson’s 400m world record.
“I have dreamed of this since I was a kid. I believed it was possible. I am just glad things went my way. I thank Michael Johnson for setting such a great example for us. I just did my best.” said van Niekerk.
Wayde clocked 43.03 as he smashed American Johnson’s 1999 mark of 43.18. This is good news for South Africa and hashtag #WaydeVanNiekerk started trending as early as 4:00 on Monday morning.
The second place was taken by Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada who couldn’t keep up with Van Niekerk, and finished second in 43.76.
According to a BBC Sport report Van Niekerk is trained by Ans Botha, a 74-year-old great-grandmother who has been coaching track and field since the 1960s.
They have been working together for the past three years, during which Van Niekerk has become world and now Olympic champion.
Earlier this year, he ran 100m in 9.98 seconds to become the first athlete to run under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m and 44 seconds for 400m.
City Sun joins thousands of South Africans who are congratulating this young hero.