South Africa: World 400m Champ Wayde Van Niekerk Finally Makes It to Olympics 2020

(file photo).
21 June 2021

Cape Town — Wayde Van Niekerk the World 400m champion, finally produced the goods with a qualifying time of 44.56 at a World Athletics Continental Tour event in Madrid on June 19, 2021 that will see him compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The 28-year-old Olympic champion and world record holder in the 400m, Van Niekerk has for the past few seasons been battling injury but now can prepare for his title defence in Japan.

The South African finished second as Colombia's Anthony Jose Zambrano won in 44.51 to also ensure an Olympic spot. Van Niekerk was 0.34 seconds inside the Olympic qualifying time. Up until this race, Van Niekerk had not yet made the qualifying mark for the Tokyo Games in either the 200m (20.24s) or 400m.

Unfortunately for South Africa's other Olympic champion, Caster Semenya, world record holder in the women's 800m, there was no such joy on the same night at a meet in Germany. The two-time 800m gold medalist was chasing qualification in the 5,000m in Regensburg, Germany, and needed a time of 15 minutes and 10 seconds (15:10.00) to make it to Tokyo. But the 30-year-old was unable to reach that mark, finishing fourth in a time of 15:57.12. Semenya will give the 5,000m another shot in a meet in Belgium on June 30, 2021.

More From: allAfrica

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

X