South African Athletics

Van Niekerk gears up for NY

2014-06-13 12:00
Athletics (File)

Johannesburg - Facing a stellar field in the men's 400m race, Wayde van Niekerk hopes to improve his career record and stamp his authority as the country's top one-lap sprinter at the Diamond League meeting in New York on Saturday.

"I'm feeling positive and looking forward to the opportunity. I would love to go for a personal best," Van Niekerk said.

The 21-year-old rising star clocked 44.92 seconds at the national championships in Pretoria in April, becoming only the sixth South African to break the 45-second barrier.

He continued his fine form last week, securing a solid victory at the World Challenge meeting in Hengelo in 45.07, but Van Niekerk will be up against a stronger field in the Big Apple.

Seven of the nine men in the race boast Olympic Games or IAAF World Championships medals, spearheaded by global champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States.

"I haven't set myself a time goal at all this season. I just want to go as fast as possible," Van Niekerk said.

"To win (in New York) I have to run a personal best because it's a crazy line up, so it's all or nothing." Meanwhile, training partners Cornel Fredericks and LJ van Zyl will hope to make a real impact on the international track and field circuit for the first time this year.

Fredericks, who was a respectable third in Hengelo, and Van Zyl, who has failed to break 50 seconds at two other international meetings during the last week, will be eager to hold their own in the men's 400m hurdles race.

Discus thrower Victor Hogan, who was fifth at last year's global championships in Moscow, will face stiff competition in his specialist event.

Eight of the other nine men in the line-up have throw further than Hogan this season.

Rounding out the SA contingent in New York, 22-year-old long jumper Rushwal Samaai, who set a personal best of 8.13m in Germiston in March, will make his Diamond League debut.

Read more on:    iaaf  |  wayde van niekerk  |  athletics
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Campbell scoops top Oz award

2014-12-22 15:20

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.