On Wednesday, South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk, smashed Michael Johnson’s 30.85 World Record in the 300m event, clocking 30.81 seconds at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
The North American, Johnson, achieved the previous record in Pretoria in March 2000. His mark remained intact for 17 years.
Last year, Van Niekerk also shattered Johnson’s 400m World Record at the Rio Olympics, clocking a time of 43.03, which was .15 seconds less than the mark Johnson achieved at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics.
In the past 19 days, Van Niekerk has run three personal bests, clocking 19.84 in the 200m in Jamaica, 9.94 in the 100m in Slovenia and the most recent record of 30.81 in the 300m in the Czech Republic.
According to the former South African sprinter, Mathew Quinn, van Niekerk “just happens to smash everyone when testing himself.”
Van Niekerk is now the first sprinter to break 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200, 31 seconds for the 300 and 44 for the 400.
According to the celebrated Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, Wayde van Niekerk is a suitable candidate to be his successor.
“I think he really wants to be a sprinter because he’s set a personal best in the 100m this year.
“He’s shown he’s ready for the challenge. He’s really down to earth, he’s really humble, he’s a great person.
“He listens and wants to be good and if he continues like this he’ll take over track and field,” said Bolt.
Usain Bolt’s brilliant career is coming to an end. Over 16 years, he has won eight Olympic and 11 world gold medals.
Time to pass the baton is now close, and the 24-year-old Wayde van Niekerk looks like the most probable candidate.