#Rio2016Olympics: South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk Smashes world Record to Win his First Olympic Gold


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Wayde Van Niekerk of Republic South Africa celebrates his victory and the new world record after the final Athletics Men's 400m at Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Wayde Van Niekerk of Republic South Africa celebrates his victory and the new world record after the final Athletics Men’s 400m at Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

South African runner Wayde van Niekerk has won gold for the men’s 400m event at #Rio2016.

Niekerk not only won gold, but beat a 17-year-old world record by 0.15 seconds. The record was set by U.S.A’s Michael Johnson in Seville in 1999.

Speaking after his victory, the 24-year-old said:

“I have dreamed of this since I was a kid. I believed it was possible. I am just glad things went my way. I thank Michael Johnson for setting such a great example for us. I just did my best.”


According to BBC, Niekerk, months ago, ran 9.98 seconds for the 100m to become the first athlete to run under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m and 44 seconds for 400m.

With this victory also, Niekerk becomes the first person to win an Olympic 400m title from the 8th lane.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Gold medalist for the men's 400m Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa congratulates gold medalist of the men's 100m Usain Bolt of Jamaica on day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Gold medalist for the men’s 400m Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa congratulates gold medalist of the men’s 100m Usain Bolt of Jamaica on day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bolt who won his 100m gold about 30 minutes after Niekerk, interrupted his own victory celebration to seek out the South African, who spent time in Jamaica working with him (Bolt) and his coach, Glen Mills.

“He’s very fast and keeps on going. I wasn’t really surprised he got it,” Bolt said.

Niekerk is trained by Ans Botha, a 74-year-old great-grandmother who has been coaching track and field since the 1960s.


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