Inspirational athlete and outspoken Jesus-follower Wayde van Niekerk, 24, did it again — as he set a new world-best time for the 300m at the Ostrava Golden Spike yesterday, surpassing world-bests by Michael Johnson for the second time in less than a year.
His 30.81 seconds at Ostrava broke Johnson’s previous best of 30.85 seconds set in Pretoria 17 years ago. In August last year he won Olympic gold in Rio, destroying Johnson’s 400m world record for good measure.
Van Niekerk’s 300m time also shattered the meet record of 30.97sec — previously the second fastest time ever run — set by Usain Bolt in 2010.
And the great Jamaican Bolt, 30, who is retiring from athletics this year and won the 100m at Ostrava with an under-par performance, once again tipped Van Niekerk to succeed him as the world’s next star of sprint.
“I think he really wants to be a sprinter because he’s set a personal best in the 100m this year. He’s shown he’s ready for the challenge. He’s really down to earth, he’s really humble, he’s a great person. He listens and wants to be good and if he continues like this he’ll take over track and field.” said Bolt yesterday, reports thesouthacrican.com
Before this week Van Niekerk was already the first sprinter to run sub-10 in the 100m, sub-20 in the 200m, and sub-44 in the 400m. And now he can add an impressive sub-31 in the 300m to that résumé. He will be running the 200m and 400m at this summer’s World Championships in London.
Never hesitant to acknowledge his faith in Jesus, Van Niekerk posted the following comment on his Facebook page earlier this month: “I trust and believe firmly that the Lord is with me during my career and would love us all to have a relationship with him. Never be afraid to take the leap of faith and allow the Lord to ‘Use you’ “