Unlucky rugby Van Niekerk runs in Lucerne

Athletics

Unlucky rugby Van Niekerk runs in Lucerne

South African Wade van Niekerk will give his Olympic rehearsal at the Lucerne meet on Tuesday. For many years he dominated the specialty of 400 AD.

Wade van Niekerk ran 45.58 seconds over the 400m at last year’s meeting in Bellinzona.

Photo: Keystone (September 15, 2020)

It’s been six years since a 22-year-old South African man caught his eye in Lucerne: Wade van Niekerk won over 200m in Series B at the Lucerne meeting and ran faster than the first-class competitor in Series A. The time of 19.94 seconds is still the third fastest at the 200m in Lucerne.

Van Niekerk will return to the Allende Cable Car on Tuesday. But as a 400-meter runner. In this field he is an Olympic champion, two-time world champion and world record holder.

Grand Dominator on the 400m road طريق

But one after another. The 1.83-meter Van Niekerk started as a high jumper in his youth. With a personal best of 2.05m, he moved on to the sprint disciplines as he qualified for the World Junior Championships in Canada in 2010 and was fourth there at 200m (21.02). As a result, he was the first-ever African to run 100m under 10, 200m under 20 and 400m under 44sec.

After rupturing a tendon in his knee, Van Niekerk switched to the 400m from 2013 onwards. In 2014, he managed the record for South Africa. After impressing in Lucerne in 2015, he won the world title for the 400m in Beijing. Two years later he defended the 400m throne in London impressively and also won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the 400m. A record time of 43.03 won the gold medal, winning the Ikhamanga gold medal in South Africa. This medal is awarded in South Africa each year in fine arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sports.

Missed the World Cup due to a torn cruciate ligament

But Van Niekerk had to survive another setback: in the fall of 2017, he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his knee during a famous rugby match in Cape Town. He had to watch the 2019 World Cup in Doha in front of the TV in Cape Town. Just last year, he returned to Bellinzona with a time of 45.58. Last weekend in Madrid he ran with a time of 44.56 seconds. Lucerne is the important 400m test for him on the Tuesday before the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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