Approaching the last 100 m mark, it seemed as if the sprinter was slowing down, when he shocked onlookers with a sudden increase in pace that left other participants trailing across the finish line after him.
In an interview with Game On Magazine earlier this year, Van Niekerk described the difficulty of running the 400 m: “There are moments when I want to give up. But approaching that last stretch, there is always this voice that whispers deep within me, and tells me that it is time to run.” The athlete has developed a close friendship with UP’s Akani Simbine over recent years. Ahead of the Olympics, on 4 June the two travelled to Jamaica to train with Olympic star Usain Bolt. Bolt commented on Wayde’s victory and said, “I told him he could do it. I’m really proud of him.”
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