Wayde van Niekerk has decided to rather be cautious after opting to withdraw from the South African athletics championships on Thursday.
Olympic champion Van Niekerk was due to make his return to big-time athletics in the 400m heats on Thursday afternoon at the Germiston Athletics Stadium.
But with rain having fallen in the morning, which was likely to result in a wet track, the 26-year-old felt that he would rather be safe than sorry.
“Sad to announce my withdrawal from the @AthleticsSA_ Senior Champs. Was looking forward to competing again on home soil after a good build-up but the weather isn’t playing along so we don’t want to take any chances. I look forward to representing SA on the international circuit,” Van Niekerk posted on Twitter.
Good news in Germiston. The rain has subsided and the lightning has stopped. The action will resume at 11am. Join us for day one of the ASA Senior Champs #LevelUp @SizweMedFundZA @3_sixty_life pic.twitter.com/dE6GPyW35l— Athletics_SA (@AthleticsSA_) April 25, 2019
The 400m world record holder missed the entire 2018 season due to a knee ligament injury sustained in a tag rugby match at Newlands, and recently made his comeback to the track.
Van Niekerk is now likely to be back on the track in the European season in what will be a lengthy build-up to the IAAF World Championships in Doha, which starts in late September.
Sad to announce my withdrawal from the @AthleticsSA_ Senior Champs. Was looking forward to competing again on home soil after a good build-up but the weather isn’t playing along so we don't want to take any chances. I look forward to representing SA on the international circuit.— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) April 25, 2019