JOHANNESBURG - Usain Bolt threw some shade at Wayde van Niekerk when he was asked to list his top-five sprinters of all time at the Puma School of Speed in Roodepoort.
The eight-time Olympic sprint gold medallist started his list with American great Michael Johnson, then added Maurice Greene, and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell before the MC suggested Van Niekerk.
“He is not really a sprinter, is he? He wants to be a sprinter but he is not really a sprinter,” Bolt said in a lighthearted exchange. “Talk to his coach and hear what his coach says. Then I would go with Don Quarrie and me, which makes it five.”
The world’s fastest man was slow out of the blocks when he ran almost an hour late due to Johannesburg traffic.
Bolt has been in the country on a whirlwind tour, which started with the Sun Met in Cape Town over the weekend before he spent some time with Mamelodi Sundowns at Chloorkop on Monday morning.
Van Niekerk and Bolt have had somewhat of a bromance since they first trained together in Jamaica in the buildup to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The South African went on to break the world 400m record with an incredible 43.03 seconds in Rio de Janeiro.
“When he came to Jamaica we all trained together, I was saying to my coach (Glen Mills) in a matter of time, if he is ready, he can break the world record with ease,” Bolt said.
“He (Mills) agreed with me, so when it happened it wasn’t a surprise, it is the fact that he almost ran 42 that I was surprised about.
“That was just brilliant, he is an awesome athlete.”
Van Niekerk is the only man to have produced sub-10, sub-20, sub-31 and sub-44 performances at 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m, respectively.
He boasts a personal-best 100m time of 9.94 and the national half-lap record of 19.84 he set in Jamaica last year.
South African 100m record-holder Akani Simbine, who lined up against Bolt in the finals at the Rio Olympic Games and last year’s world championships in London, received a special invite from the Jamaican to catch up before he jetted off.
“I talked to him when he landed on Friday and I said to him I would be in Joburg so I would probably see him when he comes to Joburg,” Simbine said.
“He phoned me and said he was in Joburg and he said I must come through.”