South African Athletics

Van Niekerk: SA sprinters to be the 'next' Jamaica

2017-04-24 13:18
Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Olympic gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk believes that South African athletics is transitioning to become as great as the athletics powerhouse country Jamaica.

Van Niekerk was speaking after the country's successful national championship on Saturday, which saw Van Niekerk, Caster Semenya, Akani Simbine, Thando Roto, Anaso Jobodwana and Simon Magakwe set Potchefstroom alight.

On Friday, Simbine got the better of the 400m world record holder to win the 100m title in a time of 9.95 seconds with Van Niekerk earning silver in a photo finish with a time of 10.04 and Thando Roto rounding off the podium in third place.

Van Niekerk ran the best 200m time this year of 19.90 seconds winning gold in the South African national championships in Potchefstroom.

Van Niekerk praised the South African athletic depth, saying that he was excited for the future, as they prepare for the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

"I'm quite excited because the new generation of athletes coming through is very strong," said Van Niekerk, as quoted by City Press.

"Slowly but surely, we are turning into Jamaica. We have great depth.

"I pushed myself hard in the final, but there are a lot of areas that need to be sharpened."

According to the IAAF website, four South African sprinters occupy the top times in the world in the 200m this year with Van Niekerk spearheading the charge.

Read more on:    wayde van niekerk  |  athletics
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