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