Van Niekerk arrives for Racers Grand Prix

Sports

Van Niekerk arrives for Racers Grand Prix

Monday, June 05, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – South Africa's 400 metre world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk along with the emerging Akani Simbine arrived in the island a short while ago at the Norman Manley International Airport to compete at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday.Van Niekerk, who broke the 400m world record clocking 43.03 at the Rio Olympic last year, will be running the 200 metres at the Racers Grand Prix and is excited to be honouring the legend Usain Bolt on his final race on Jamaican soil.

“It's a massive privilege to be here and pay respect for what he has done for track and field and we are looking forward to see his final year and support him all the way for what he has done for us as athletes and the way he has inspired us. He has been massive,” Van Niekerk told OBSERVER ONLINE.

Van Niekerk has run a blistering 19.84 in Boston on a straight 200m track, showing that he is in good form heading into the Racers Grand Prix.

Van Niekerk, the only man in history to break 44 seconds for the 400m, 20 seconds for the 200m and 10 seconds for the 100m, will show his talent in the 200m as he attempts the rare 200/400 double in the London World Championship.

His 100m and 200m personal bests are 9.98 and 19.94 respectively.

Meanwhile Simbine who was fifth at the Rio Olympic, was also looking forward to paying his tribute to Bolt.

“It's a great honour to come run here in Usain Bolt's final race in Jamaica. It's a big deal for athletics in Jamaica and athletics as a whole and for me, being here is an honour,” said Simbine.

“I am a young athlete that's trying to take the sprinting world as well and just being at a race where he [Bolt] is saying goodbye to athletics, is a great gain for me as well,” he pointed out.

Simbine who clocked 9.94 for fifth at the Rio Olympics, has so far registered three of the four fastest times in the world this year of 9.92, 9.93 and 9.94. Only Zambia's Sydney Siame has gone faster.

Howard Walker


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