Athletics

Van Niekerk slowly on the mend

2018-09-09 06:11
Tannie Ans and Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Wayde van Niekerk’s coach Ans Botha will meet with the medical team that is working on the injured sprinter tomorrow.

READ: Semenya, Simbine ready to shine for Africa

The meeting will take place in Bloemfontein to give feedback on Van Niekerk’s progress, Botha told City Press this week.

The 26-year-old hinted last week that he was nearing a comeback after almost 11 months of nursing a knee injury.

The world and Olympic 400m champion has been sidelined since October, when he tore the meniscus and anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee while playing in a celebrity touch rugby match at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

After months of rehabilitation in Doha, Qatar, following surgery, Van Niekerk informed his followers on social media last week that he was pain-free after a session on the track.

“He was very excited that he was able to get the feel of the track without feeling any pain,” said Botha.

However, Botha feels it will still be a while before her charge rejoins her training group at Kovsies, as the University of Free State is known.

“We have a meeting with the medical team on Monday [tomorrow] to hear what they suggest. That is, how far Wayde is from full recovery after the little track [run] he did during the rehabilitation session in Doha last week.”

Having worked with the revved sprinter since 2012, Botha (76) says Van Niekerk’s positive attitude is the main attribute that will help him heal.

“One thing about Wayde is that he is a strong-minded person and positive. This has really helped him.”

In the absence of their top star, it has been business as usual at Kovsies, where Botha has been grooming her newest talent.

She has identified Tsebo Matsoso as her latest prospect.

“Tsebo has done extremely well and is one of our top emerging talents,” Botha said enthusiastically.

The 19-year-old sprinter finished second in the 200m final at the SA University Championships in Sasolburg, Free State, in April.

He boasts a 10.42-second personal best, which he clocked when winning a 100m race at an invitational meeting in Bloemfontein early this year.

Read more on:    wayde van niekerk  |  athletics
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