Wayde van Niekerk ends his 2020 season but is ’far from done’
CAPE TOWN - Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk may have opted to end his 2020 season, but says “I am far from done” with athletics.
The 28-year-old was due to take part in his third consecutive Athletics Central North West league meeting in Potchefstroom on Tuesday, where he may have run in either the 150m race or a 400m.
He was scheduled to run a 150m event last week, but a heavy thunderstorm that swept through the NWU McArthur Stadium led to the meeting being called off at around 7pm.
Van Niekerk was able to get in some speed work as he clocked 6.62 seconds in a 60m race.
Having been one of the few premier local athletes to participate in these Tuesday events – following a disrupted international season following a positive Covid-19 test in Italy – Van Niekerk was keen to get some “racing in the legs” as part of his preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The 400m world record holder said in a statement on Monday evening that he was ending his 2020 season. “We did consider competing again in Potch this week, but we’ve achieved what we had hoped to get out of these last couple of races,” he said.
“We know what to focus on now, so we can go back to training and concentrate on preparing for the 2021 season. I look forward to racing again next year.”
On Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram, Van Niekerk posted a picture of himself lining up to race in one of the Potchefstroom meetings, which was accompanied by the caption:
“Focus 2021 I AM FAR FROM DONE!!!”
He is likely to be back on a local track around April next year, when the SA championships are normally scheduled, before moving on to his international season ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where the athletics programme starts on July 1.
Apart from the 400m, Van Niekerk could also qualify for the 100m and 200m events.