Wayde Van Niekerk On Fire Ahead of World Champs
World record holder Wayde van Niekerk earned his third World Athletics Diamond League victory of the season in London last weekend. Van Niekerk won the one-lap race in the English capital in 44.36 seconds, holding off powerful challenges from American opposition in a blanket finish. Bryce Deadmon took the runner-up spot in 44.40 and Vernon Norwood finished third in 44.46.
“Taking it step by step. I have the momentum of victories now,” the South African superstar said.
The focus now turns to the World athletics Championships in Budapest. Having won all of his races thus far, Van Niekerk said he would head back to his US base to prepare for next month’s World Championships.
“I’ve got a bit of a break before Budapest. Hopefully I can use it to my advantage, regroup and just get my mind and body strong for the world championships and come back with a fight.”
The World Championships will be held from August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary.
New SA 3000m record
Adriaan Wildschutt broke his third South African record of the season when he lowered the national 3 000m mark at a World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Wildschutt took fourth position in 7:39.25, crossing the line less than three seconds behind South Sudanese athlete Dominic Lobalu, who won the race in 7:37.98.
The 25-year-old SA star, who had already set national 5 000m (13:02.46) and 10 000m (27:23.10) records this year, shattered his personal best over the 3 000m distance.
In the process he became the first South African to run under 7:40 outdoors, slicing nearly two seconds off the SA mark of 7:40.99 set by Jerry Motsau in Italy in June 2021.
South African athletes have been on fire in 2023. With Wildschutt’s 3000m record in the bag, it takes the tally to 29 SA records that have been broken, smashed and obliviated in 2023.
Tete Dijana won the Nedbank breaking Barriers 50km earlier this year, is waiting to see if he has set a new World Record. The current record is held by South African, Stephen Mokoka. Stephen’s record was broken by an American CJ Albertson in October of 2022, but the run has yet to be ratified by World Athletics. If World Athletics do not ratify the Americans record, then Tete will be awarded the World Record.
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