Van Niekerk looking forward to time off


Kovsies and South African 400 metres athlete Wayde van Niekerk is looking forward to some time off after a busy season ended for him this weekend in Marrakech in Morocco.

Van Niekerk participated in the Continental Cup meeting as part of the African team. He ended fourth in the 400 metres for men on Saturday and later helped South Africa to gold in the 4×400 metres relay. Ending a season that included running a new South African record in the 400 metres in a time of 44:38, winning silver in the same race at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as winning the 400 metres at the Varsity athletics and national meetings, Van Niekerk is ready to spend some time at home relaxing, away from the athletics track for a while.

Wayde van Niekerk in action at the national championships earlier this year. Photo: Trev Palframan

Wayde van Niekerk in action at the national championships earlier this year. Photo: Trev Palframan

“In the 400 metres, I fought from the gun to the very end. Now it is time for some much needed rest. I can’t wait,” Van Niekerk said all the way from Marrakech in Morocco, adding that he doesn’t know which meeting will be his first in the new year. “I have no idea. I’m just focussed on some down time now.”

The young star athlete says there are two main highlights in his year that has seen him perform on local, national and international levels. The first is bettering the South African record in the 400 metres jointly held by Hendrik Mokganyetsi and Arnaud Malherbe. The other is to always give his very best to make sure his supporters and siblings have something to smile about.

“The Diamond League meeting in New York (where he bettered the SA record) is definitely one of the highlights. The other is being able to make my family and friends proud in everything I do. That is always a highlight,” he added.

And after such an successful year on the track many people will ask what is left for Van Niekerk to achieve in his running. But the youngster who has shown so much gusto and fighting spirit throughout the year had a plain and simple answer. “I definitely want to grow,” he said.



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