Cape Town - He’s going to run just the 400m at the Rio Olympics, but world champion Wayde van Niekerk has shown he still has the speed to run quickly in the shorter sprints with a blistering 100m time at the South African Student Championships in Polokwane.
On the opening day of competition on Friday, Van Niekerk equalled his personal best of 9.98 seconds in the semi-final, but the time wasn’t official as a tail-wind reading was over the legal limit at plus-four metres per second.
That would’ve been just two one-hundredths of a second off Akani Simbine’s national mark of 9.96. But Van Niekerk produced another scintillating race in the 100m final on Friday, clocked 10.03, which was an official time as the wind was under the legal limit of two metres per second.
The 23-year-old, competing for the University of the Free State, easily outclassed Tuks’ Emile Erasmus in second (10.26), while another Tuks athlete in Thando Roto took the bronze medal with 10.30.
Van Niekerk is unlikely to run during May at all, as he told Independent Media after the SA Senior Championships in Stellenbosch recently that he needed to spend time with his books as he is completing a degree in marketing. His next assignment will be a training camp with Usain Bolt’s team in Jamaica at the start of June.