Wayde van Niekerk

Last updated

Wayde van Niekerk
Wayde van Niekerk 080817 London 2017ceopped.jpg
Wayde van Niekerk at the 2017 World Championships
Personal information
NationalitySouth African
Born (1992-07-15) 15 July 1992 (age 28)
Kraaifontein, Western Cape, South Africa
Height183 cm (6 ft 0 in) [1]
Weight70 kg (154 lb) [1]
Sport
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Sprints
Team adidas [2]
Coached byLance Brauman [3]
Anna Botha (2012–2021) [4]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 100 m: 9.94 (2017) [5]
  • 200 m: 19.84 (2017) [6]
  • 300 m: 30.81 WB (2017) [7]
  • 400 m: 43.03 WR (2016) [8]

Wayde van Niekerk ( South African English:  /ˈwdfʌnnˈkɛərk/ , Afrikaans:  [fan niˈkɛrk] ; born 15 July 1992) is a South African track and field sprinter who competes in the 200 and 400 metres. In the 400 metres, he is the current world and Olympic record holder, and Olympic champion. He also holds the world-best time in the 300 metres.

Contents

Van Niekerk was the silver medallist in the 400m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and took bronze in the 4×400 metres relay at the 2013 Summer Universiade. He also represented South Africa at the 2013 and 2015 Athletics World Championships. At the 2015 World Championships, he won the gold medal in the 400 meters. He defended his title two years later, in London, where he also won the silver medal in the 200 meters race.

In the 2016 Olympic Games men's 400m, Van Niekerk won the gold medal with a world record time of 43.03 seconds (reaction time 0.181 s [9] ) at age 24 years and 30 days, beating the time of 43.18 seconds set by Michael Johnson during the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville, Spain.

In 2016, Van Niekerk became the first sprinter in history to have run the 100 metres in under 10 seconds, 200 metres in under 20 seconds, and 400 metres in under 44 seconds. [10] In 2017, after a 30.81 seconds victory in the seldom-run 300 metres distance, breaking Michael Johnson's world-best time of 30.85 which was set in 2000, Van Niekerk became the only sprinter in history to have run sub-10, sub-20, sub-31 and sub-44 performances at 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m respectively. [11]

Early life

Van Niekerk was born in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, to Wayde van Niekerk and sprinter Odessa Swarts. [12] He was born prematurely and needed a blood transfusion. [13] Van Niekerk attended Bellville Primary [14] and Simonberg Primary [15] until he and his mother moved to Bloemfontein in 2005. [12] There he went to Grey College before going on to study marketing at the University of the Free State. [16]

Career

He made his international debut at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where he placed fourth in the 200m with a personal best time of 21.02 seconds. He also ran in the 4×100 metres relay heats with the national team, alongside Gideon Trotter. [17] His senior breakthrough came at the age of eighteen at the 2011 South African Athletics Championships when he won the 200m title in a new personal best time of 20.57 seconds. [18] He competed in the same event at the 2011 African Junior Athletics Championships, but did not make the final. He ran sparingly in 2012, but began to show a talent for the 400 metres, setting a best time of 46.43 seconds. [19]

The 2013 season marked Van Niekerk's emergence as a 400m runner. He won the second national title of his career over that distance at the 2013 South African Championships, winning with a sub-46-second time. [20] He won the IAAF Meeting de Dakar before travelling to Europe and placing second to Olympic champion Kirani James at the Golden Spike Ostrava, improving his best time to 45.09 seconds in the process. [21] He entered the 400 metres at the 2013 Summer Universiade and narrowly missed out on the final as the fastest non-qualifier. [22] He managed to reach the podium and receive his first international medal in the 4×400 metres relay as the South African men took the bronze. His performances earned him a place in the 400m at the 2013 World Championships, where he did not progress past the heats. [17]

A national title win in April 2014 saw Van Niekerk top the world rankings with a best of 44.92 seconds - his first sub-45-second run. After a win at the FBK Games in the Netherlands, he ran at the New York Diamond League race and placed second to LaShawn Merritt, and his time of 44.38 seconds was a new South African record, bettering Arnaud Malherbe and Hendrick Mokganyetsi's shared record from March 1999 and September 2000, respectively. [23] A 200m best of 20.19 seconds followed to a fourth-place finish at the Athletissima meet. [19] He entered both sprint events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and won his first individual senior medal over 400m, placing behind Kirani James with a time of 44.68 seconds -his second-fastest run at that point. He reached the semi-final of the 200m, but did not repeat his success of the longer sprint. [24]

2015 proved to be the start of Van Niekerk's status as a sprinting phenom. On July 4, 2015, Van Niekerk lowered his South African record to below 44 seconds with a 43.96 at the Meeting Areva and ranking himself in the all-time top 12, whilst beating Kirani James for the first time. Ten days later, on July 14, 2015, he won a 200m race at the Luzern Spitzen Leichtathletik in 19.94 seconds, his first 200m run under 20 seconds. This also made him the second man in history to have gone under 20 seconds for the 200m, and 44 seconds for the 400m. A month later, Van Niekerk represented South Africa at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, focusing sorely on the 400m. Winning his heat, Van Niekerk managed to beat LaShawn Merritt, with the defending champion taking second. The results repeated in the final, as he won gold in 43.48 seconds, making him the fourth-fastest runner of all time, ahead of Merritt who was running his personal best as the sixth-fastest in 43.65. [25] Kirani James finished third in 43.78 seconds, a season's best.

On 12 March 2016, Van Niekerk became the 107th athlete to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres. That made him the first individual to break 10 seconds for 100 metres, 20 seconds for 200 metres, and 44 seconds for 400 metres. [26] Van Niekerk qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics and was the flag bearer for South Africa. [27]

Van Niekerk won the gold medal in the 400 metres at the 2016 Summer Olympics with a world record [28] time of 43.03 seconds, breaking Michael Johnson's record time from 1999. Van Niekerk became the only man to have won the Olympic or world 400 metres from lane eight: usually, runners in this lane are at a disadvantage due to the staggered start. [29] Van Niekerk's Olympic win set off a racial debate after a tweet storm when Coloured South Africans celebrated his win by creating a hashtag #ColouredExcellence. In November, he won the Association of National Olympic Committees Best Male Athlete of the Rio 2016 Olympics award. [30]

On 8 August 2017, Van Niekerk successfully defended his 400 metres world title at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London with a time of 43.98 seconds. Two days later he finished second in the 200m in a time of 20.11 seconds at the World Championships. He became the first South African athlete to land two individual sprint medals at a single meet.

On 31 October 2017, Van Niekerk participated in a celebrity funded rugby match that was sponsored by FC soccer. During this match, he unfortunately made an inverted cut and tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He began treatment immediately after surgery and due to this injury, he was unable to attend any meets during the year of 2018. [31] Wayde van Niekerk has been in intense rehabilitation throughout 2018, to prepare himself for the beginning of the 2019 season and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. [32] On 31 May 2019, it was announced that he would run at the IAAF Diamond League event in London in July, his first major race since his comeback from injury. [33]

Van Niekerk's coach is Ans Botha, who is known to her athletes as Tannie Ans, Afrikaans for Aunty Ans. [34] [35] His manager is Peet van Zyl. [36]

Personal life

Van Niekerk married Chesney Campbell on 29 October 2017. He is the cousin of South African World Cup-winning rugby union and rugby sevens player Cheslin Kolbe. [37] He first started using his speed while playing rugby in junior school in Cape Town. He and his cousin, Kolbe, were on the same team. More than 12 years later they were both in the South African Olympic Team in Rio, with Kolbe playing in the Sevens. [36]

Van Niekerk's biological parents are divorced, and he was living with his mother Odessa Swarts and step-father Steven Swarts in Bloemfontein as of 2016. [12]

Van Niekerk supports Liverpool Football Club. [29] He is a Christian, tweeting "Jesus Did It" and "GOD IS POWER" after setting the world record for the 400 metres. [38]

Statistics

Information from World Athletics profile unless otherwise noted. [39]

Personal bests

EventTimeVenueDateNotes
100 m 9.94 Velenje, Slovenia 20 June 2017
200 m 19.84 Kingston, Jamaica 10 June 2017Former NR
300 m 30.81 Ostrava, Czech Republic 28 June 2017 WB [note 1]
400 m 43.03 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil14 August 2016 WR, OR
4×100 m relay 38.84 Durban, South Africa24 June 2016
4×400 m relay 3:00.02 Marrakesh, Morocco14 September 2014

400 metres world record split times

2.5
5
7.5
10
12.5
15
0–100 m
100–200 m
200–300 m
300–400 m

Van Niekerk ran the opening 200 metres in 20.5 seconds and the closing 200 metres in 22.5 seconds, giving a differential of 2.0 seconds. The 100-metre-long-section beginning after the first 100 metres was completed in 9.8 seconds. [43]

International championship results

YearCompetitionVenuePositionEventTimeNotes
Representing Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa and Africa (orthographic projection).svg Africa (Continental Cup only)
2010 World Junior Championships Moncton, New Brunswick 4th 200 m 21.02 PB
11th 4×100 m relay 40.32 PB
2011 African Junior Championships Gaborone, Botswana DNF 200 m
2013 Universiade Kazan, Russia9th 400 m 46.39
2nd 4×400 m relay 3:06.19 PB
World Championships Moscow, Russia26th 400 m 46.37
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland2nd 400 m 44.68
13th 200 m 20.69
African Championships Marrakesh, Morocco2nd 400 m 45.00
2014 Continental Cup Marrakesh, Morocco4th 400 m 45.27
1st 4×400 m relay 3:00.02 PB
2015 World Championships Beijing, China1st 400 m 43.48 WL, NR, PB
2016 African Championships Durban, South Africa1st 4×100 m relay 38.84 PB
1st 200 m 20.02 SB
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil1st 400 m 43.03 WR, OR
2017 World Championships London, England1st 400 m 43.98
2nd 200 m 20.11

Circuit wins

Seasonal bests

Year200 metres400 metres
201021.02
201120.57
201220.9146.43
201320.8445.09
201420.1944.38
201519.9443.48
201620.0243.03
201719.8443.62
2018
201947.28
202020.3145.58

National titles

Notes

  1. World Athletics does not recognize the 300 m for world record purposes; van Niekerk's time of 30.81 s is considered to be the world best. [40] [41] [42]

Related Research Articles

Sprint (running)

Sprinting is running over a short distance at the top-most speed of the body in a limited period of time. It is used in many sports that incorporate running, typically as a way of quickly reaching a target or goal, or avoiding or catching an opponent. Human physiology dictates that a runner's near-top speed cannot be maintained for more than 30–35 seconds due to the depletion of phosphocreatine stores in muscles, and perhaps secondarily to excessive metabolic acidosis as a result of anaerobic glycolysis.

Michael Johnson (sprinter) American sprinter

Michael Duane Johnson is an American retired sprinter who won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals in the span of his career. He formerly held the world and Olympic records in the 200 m and 400 m, as well as the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also once held the world's best time in the 300 m. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field.

400 metres Sprint running event

The 400 metres, or 400-metre dash, is a sprinting event in track and field competitions. It has been featured in the athletics programme at the Summer Olympics since 1896 for men and since 1964 for women. On a standard outdoor running track, it is one lap around the track. Runners start in staggered positions and race in separate lanes for the entire course. In many countries, athletes previously competed in the 440-yard dash (402.336 m)—which is a quarter of a mile and was referred to as the 'quarter-mile'—instead of the 400 m (437.445 yards), though this distance is now obsolete.

Harry Lee Reynolds Jr., commonly known as Butch Reynolds, is an American former track and field athlete who competed in the 400 meter dash. He held the world record for the event for 11 years with his personal best time of 43.29 seconds set in 1988. That year, he was the silver medalist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a relay gold medalist. He was falsely accused and banned for drug use for two years by the IAAF; until The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Reynolds due to an apparent drug testing procedural flaw. Reynolds was awarded $27.3 million dollars due to the false accusation damages; however, he never received a penny.

L. J. van Zyl South African hurdler

Louis Jacobus van Zyl, better known as L. J. van Zyl, is a South African athlete competing in the 400 metre hurdles. He is the South African record holder in the event with a personal best of 47.66 seconds, which he achieved twice, three months apart. His time ranks him in the all-time top 25. He is a three-time African Champion in the event and competed for his country at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

LaShawn Merritt American sprinter

LaShawn Merritt is an American track and field athlete who competes in sprinting events, specializing in the 400 metres. He is a former Olympic champion over the distance and his personal best of 43.65 seconds makes him the ninth fastest of all time.

Kirani James Grenadian sprinter

Kirani James is a Grenadian sprinter who specializes in the 200 and 400 metres. He won the 400 m at the World Championships in 2011 and the 2012 London Olympics. He is Grenada's first and only Olympic medalist.

The 300 metres is an uncommon sprinting event in track and field competitions.

Ramil Guliyev

Ramil Guliyev is an Azerbaijani-born naturalized Turkish sprinter. He competes in the 100 metres and 200 metres events. At the 2017 World Championships, Guliyev became World Champion in the men's 200 metre race, winning Turkey's first ever gold medal in the World Championships. His club is Fenerbahçe Athletics. In 2018, he won the gold medal in the 200 m event at the European Championships.

Aaron Brown (sprinter) Canadian sprinter

Aaron Brown is a Canadian sprinter who specialises in the 100 and 200 meters. He won an Olympic bronze medal as part of Canada's 4 x 100 m relay team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Brown has also won two medals as part of Canada's relay teams in the 4 x 100 m at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics.

Jereem Richards Trinidad and Tobago sprinter

Jereem Richards is a Trinidadian track and field sprinter who specializes in the 200 metres and 400 metres events. Richards is from Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago, and attends the University of Alabama. He was part of the Trinidad and Tobago team that won the bronze medal in the 4×400 m relay at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, and the gold medal in the 4 x 400m relay at the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

Luguelín Santos Dominican sprinter

Luguelín Miguel Santos Aquino is a Dominican sprinter, who specialises in the 400 m. He was the silver medallist in the event at the 2012 London Olympics at the age of eighteen (?). His personal best is 44.11 seconds.

Saviour Kombe is a Zambian track and field sprinter who specialises in the 400 metres. His personal best for the distance is 45.27 seconds. He is a joint holder of the Zambian record in the 4×100 metres relay and 4×400 metres relay.

Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Mens 400 metres

The men's 400 metres event at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place between 12 and 14 August at the Olympic Stadium. Fifty-three athletes from 35 nations competed. The event was won by Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, the nation's second gold medal in the men's 400 metres. Kirani James of Grenada and LaShawn Merritt of the United States became the sixth and seventh men to win two medals in the event, but Michael Johnson remained the only man with two gold medals.

The 2015 Diamond League was the sixth season of the annual series of outdoor track and field meetings, organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It consisted of fourteen one-day meetings, starting on 15 May in Doha, Qatar, and ending on 11 September in Brussels, Belgium. Other events were held in Shanghai, Eugene, Rome, Birmingham, Oslo, New York City, Paris, Lausanne, Fontvieille, Monaco, London, Stockholm, and Zürich. All previous venues remained on the tour, with the exception that London returned to host the second meeting in the United Kingdom, having been replaced by Glasgow during the 2014 IAAF Diamond League.

2015 World Championships in Athletics – Mens 400 metres

The men's 400 metres at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Beijing National Stadium on 23, 24 and 26 August.

Bralon Taplin Grenadian athlete

Bralon Taplin is a Grenadian sprinter. He competed in the 400 metres event at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing without advancing from the first round.

The men's 400 metres at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics was held at the London Olympic Stadium on 5, 6, and 8 August.

Emile Erasmus is a South African male track and field sprinter who specialises in the 100 metres. He holds a personal best of 10.01 seconds for the distance.

2019 World Athletics Championships – Mens 400 metres

The men's 400 metres at the 2019 World Athletics Championships was held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on 1, 2 and 4 October 2019.

References

    1. 1 2 "Wayde VAN NIEKERK". olympicchannel.com. Olympic Channel Services. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
    2. Chutel, Lynsey; Kazeem, Yomi (5 August 2017). "Usain Bolt says South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk is athletics next superstar". qz.com. Quartz . Retrieved 23 January 2019.
    3. "Wayde van Niekerk moves from famed coach, heads to U.S." NBC Sports. 19 February 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
    4. "The 74-year-old coach behind South African's golden run at Rio 2016". cnn.com. CNN. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
    5. Ramsak, Bob (20 June 2017). "Van Niekerk clocks 9.94 personal best in Velenje". iaaf.org. IAAF . Retrieved 27 December 2018.
    6. "Wayde van Niekerk breaks SA 200m record". espn.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
    7. Jonkerman, Carlo (28 June 2017). "Van Niekerk outshines Bolt with new 300m record". espn.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
    8. Prior, Ian (15 August 2016). "Wayde van Niekerk smashes Michael Johnson's record to claim 400m gold". theguardian.com. The Guardian . Retrieved 27 December 2018.
    9. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    10. "South African sprinter's 'crazy' feat". NewsComAu. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
    11. "Van Niekerk breaks 300m world best in Ostrava". IAAF. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
    12. 1 2 3 Wayde's Olympic glory: what his parents have to say, IOL
    13. "Wayde Van Niekerk gives back for something close to his heart". eNCA. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
    14. "Achievements of Past Pupils – Bellville Primary School".
    15. "Wayde van Niekerk's primary school brims with pride".
    16. Profile: Wayde Van Niekerk. Varsity Sports SA. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    17. 1 2 Wayde van Niekerk. IAAF. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    18. Ramsak, Bob (12 April 2011). Van Zyl sizzles 47.73 in Durban. IAAF. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    19. 1 2 Wayde van Niekerk. Tilastopaja. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    20. Magakwe stays SA's sprint king. Sport24 (12 April 2014). Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    21. Asafa Powell wins in Ostrava. Jamaica Gleaner (28 June 2013). Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    22. Men's 400 metres Semifinals results [ permanent dead link ]. Kazan2013. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    23. Mothowagae, Daniel (22 June 2014). ‘This is your year, Wayde’. City Press.South Africa Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    24. Wayde Van Niekerk. Glasgow2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
    25. "Van Niekerk wins gold for Team SA" . Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    26. "SA's Van Niekerk makes sprint history" . Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    27. "Wayde, Zanele named as SA flagbearers at Rio send-off – SASCOC – SASCOC" . Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    28. "Rio 2016: Van Niekerk breaks world record to win 400m gold". OmRiyadat English. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    29. 1 2 "Rio Olympics 2016: Wayde van Niekerk breaks world record to win Olympic gold". BBC Sport. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    30. "Wayde on top of the world again | Cape Times" . Retrieved 9 January 2018.
    31. "Wayde Van Niekerk Tears ACL During Celebrity Rugby Match, Out Six Months".
    32. "Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk sets sights on Doha". Olympic Channel. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
    33. "Six more reigning world champions confirmed for London - IAAF Diamond League", iaaf.org, London, 31 May 2019, retrieved 2 June 2019
    34. "Meet the great-grandmother coach behind Wayde van Niekerk" . Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    35. Crouse, Karen. "This Great-Grandmother Coaches an Olympic Champion. Now Let Her By". International New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
    36. 1 2 "World all-time 300m list". iaaf.org. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
    37. "Twee neefs soek goud". Netwerk24 (in Afrikaans). 16 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
    38. "Wayde van Niekerk glorifies God after winning men's 400m: 'JESUS DID IT' – Christian News on Christian Today".
    39. "ATHLETE PROFILE Wayde VAN NIEKERK". World Athletics . Retrieved 26 February 2021.
    40. James Dudko (28 June 2017). "Wayde van Niekerk Breaks 300m Record at IAAF World Challenge League". bleacherreport.com. Bleacher Report . Retrieved 5 March 2019.
    41. "Wayde van Niekerk breaks 300m world best in Ostrava". athleticsweekly.com. Athletics Weekly. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
    42. Alexis Haden (29 June 2017). "Watch: Wayde van Niekerk breaks the 300m World Record [video]". thesouthafrican.com. The South African. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
    43. Vazel, Pierre-Jean (15 August 2016). "How van Niekirk broke the 400m world record". track-stats.com. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
    Records
    Preceded by
    Flag of the United States.svg Michael Johnson
    Men's 400 metres world record holder
    14 August 2016 – present
    Incumbent
    Preceded by
    Flag of Botswana.svg Isaac Makwala
    Men's 400 metres African record holder
    26 August 2015 – present
    Incumbent
    Achievements
    Preceded by
    Flag of Grenada.svg Kirani James
    Men's 400 metres season's best
    2015, 2016, 2017
    Succeeded by
    Flag of the United States.svg Michael Norman
    Awards
    Preceded by
    Flag of the United States.svg Ashton Eaton
    Men's Track & Field News Athlete of the Year
    2016
    Succeeded by
    Flag of Qatar.svg Mutaz Essa Barshim
    Olympic Games
    Preceded by
    Caster Semenya
    Flagbearer for Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
    Rio de Janeiro 2016
    Succeeded by
    Connor Wilson