Wayde van Niekerk set a new 200m SA record in Jamaica. Photo: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

Wayde van Niekerk has done it again!

The Olympic champion in the 400m set a new South African record of 19.84 seconds in the 200m at the Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica early on Sunday morning (SA time).

The 400m world record-holder knocked 0.03 off Anaso Jobodwana’s previous SA 200m mark to go to the top of the global leaderboard and make a strong statement in the half-lap sprint.

Two years ago, Van Niekerk became the first South African to break through the 20-second barrier in the 200m when he blitzed to a time of 19.97 in a ‘B’ final at a meeting in Lucerne.

Jobodwana then lowered the record, setting the previous mark of 19.87 for a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

On Saturday night local time in Jamaica, at a farewell meeting for Usain Bolt, Van Niekerk finished ahead of Jamaicans Rasheed Dwyer (20.11) and London 2012 bronze medallist Warren Weir in 20.18.

The South African’s form in the half-lap event bodes well for his bid at the World Championships in London in August, where he will attempt the 200m-400m double.

The Racers Grand Prix in Kingston is part of Jamaican sprinting legend Bolt’s farewell tour, where he raced in his final 100m on home soil.

Bolt won his race in a time of 10.03, with countrymen Jevaughn Minzie and Nickel Ashmeade finishing behind him in 10.15 and 10.18 respectively.

Earlier, South African 100m record-holder Akani Simbine finished second behind former Jamaican world champion Yohan Blake in a separate 100m race to that of Bolt.

Simbine crossed the line in 10.00, just a fraction behind Blake, who clocked a winning time of 9.97.


IOL Sport

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