24-year old South African sprinter, Wayde van Niekerk has made history at the Rio 2016 Olympic games by breaking a 17-year-old record.
Wayde van Niekerk lit up the heart of South Africans when he smashed the 400m world record, making him the new record-holder.
The 24-year-old won the gold medal for the men’s 400m in a world breaking time of 43.03 seconds. The previous record-holder was Michael Johnson, a US sprinter who finished the 400m in 43.18 seconds in 1999.
The record-breaking race took place in the wee hours of the morning in most parts of Africa. Basically, most Africans woke up to great news, giving them more reasons to walk tall as Africans today.
Van Niekerk started out really fast in the first 200m , and after that, he seemed to be slowing down as other athletes edged on
Wayde van Niekerk’s win was remarkable because not only is he the first man to win an Olympic medal from lane eight, he is also the first South African to win gold in the 400m in 96 years.
Even more spectacular is that he is the first athlete ever to have run under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for 200m and 44 for 400m
The Olympic champion was surprisingly coached by a 74-year-old great-grandmother, Ans Botha. About her, he says:
“She’s an amazing woman. She has played a huge role in who I am today and kept me very disciplined and very focused on the role and who I need to be. I’m very grateful my coach has pushed me to the limit. Anything is possible. I’m just grateful I can trust in her work.”
Thank you to everyone…
GOD IS POWER pic.twitter.com/hQIRy0ynhN
— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) August 15, 2016
The former record-holder, Michael Johnson who made history at the Seville games in 1999 described Van Niekerk’s win as a “massacre”.