Wayde van Niekerk (fourth from left) in action in Velenje, Slovenia on Tuesday night. Photo: @TVSLOsport via Twitter

Wayde van Niekerk says he is naturally “very pleased” after setting a new personal best in the 100m at the European Permit Meeting in Velenje, Slovenia on Tuesday night.

Van Niekerk, whose previous best of 9.98 seconds in the short sprint was set in Bloemfontein in March last year, produced a superb time of 9.94 on Tuesday, which now moves him up to second in the all-time South African rankings behind his good friend Akani Simbine (9.89), and ahead of Thando Roto (9.95).

Simbine, though, has run 9.92 and 9.93 as well.

Van Niekerk is working harder on his explosive speed ahead of the world championships in London in August as he will be contesting the 200m, along with his specialist 400m distance.

The Rio Olympic champion in the one-lap race is the only athlete in history to run a sub-10-second time for the 100m, sub-20 for the 200m and sub-44 for the 400m.

Van Niekerk told the IAAF website after his milestone: “I’ve very pleased. It’s my best time, and I’m glad the competition ended the way I wanted it to. This also bodes well for my two main distances.”


He added in an interview with Slovenian TV: “It’s a positive run. I just came out here to improve my time, and do well. Good competition.”

Van Niekerk is next in action in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 28, where he will participate in the seldom-run 300m at the Golden Spike meeting.

Other big names who will be in action include Usain Bolt (100m), David Rudisha (1 000m), Mo Farah (10 000m) and Christian Taylor (triple jump).

IOL Sport

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