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Wayde van Niekerk makes smashing a 17-year-old world record look easy

wayde van niekerk world record citizen59 flickr

The remarkable rise of Wayde van Niekerk is far, far from over.

Setting the 400m World Record at the Rio Olympics last year, some doubters perhaps thought that the South African sprinter’s career had peaked. That is until tonight.

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At the Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic, where non-standard distances are commonly run, van Niekerk became the fastest human being over 300 metres breaking the previous record set by American Michael Johnson in 2000 by 0.04 seconds.

Sure, that might seem like a narrow margin, but this additional stat makes the performance — and van Niekerk’s overall recent form — even more remarkable.

Not even Jamaica’s Usain Bolt held this record.

Quickly picked up by South Africans, the IAAF’s tweet went viral scoring over 600 retweets and a slew of favourites within an hour.

@WaydeDreamer, #GoldenSpike and the IAAF itself all subsequently began trending in the country after van Niekerk’s race.

The mood on South African Twitter is currently one of swelling pride.

“That’s our boy right there and this is just the beginning,” one user wrote.

As for Wayde van Niekerk’s reaction? Well, this quote published by the IAAF just a few hours before the race says it all.

“I’m going to go out there & be ridiculous & see what happens. I’ve got nothing to lose,” he told press, before writing his name in the record books yet again.

Feature image: Wayde van Niekerk in Paris, France, 2015 by Citizen59 via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY-SA, resized)

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