FILE - 400m world Olympic champions Wayde van Niekerk made an impressive start to his local season as he won the 200m race at a league meeting in Potchefstroom in a time of 20.64. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix
FILE - 400m world Olympic champions Wayde van Niekerk made an impressive start to his local season as he won the 200m race at a league meeting in Potchefstroom in a time of 20.64. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

No mess, no fuss for Wayde van Niekerk in Potch 200m

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Mar 23, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – The way in which Wayde van Niekerk attacks the bend in a 400m race is something to behold.

But on Tuesday in Potchefstroom, he had to start on the bend in the 200m at a league meeting of Athletics Central North West.

No problem, though, for the 400m Olympic champion and world record-holder. As he builds up to the Tokyo Olympics, Van Niekerk began his local season with a half-lap race to do some speed work, and he was impressive from the start.

The 28-year-old stormed out of the blocks and was quickly into his stride at the NWU McArthur Stadium – with the event live-streamed by Squared Sports on YouTube – and he was far in front as he headed into the final straight.

Van Niekerk pushed hard all the way to the finish line, and stopped the clock at 20.64 seconds, which was into a strong wind too. It is well short of his personal best of 19.84, but at this stage of the season, all that matters is that he completed the race without any fuss.

He has said previously that he is unlikely to compete in the 100m and 200m at the Tokyo Olympics, as he wants to concentrate on defending his 400m gold medal, but Van Niekerk could be a valuable ally in the SA 4x100m relay team in Japan.

He is still awaiting clearance documents to travel to the United States, where he will train with 200m star Noah Lyles and his coach Lance Brauman, having recently parted ways with his long-standing coach ‘Tannie’ Ans Botha.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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