Wayde van Niekerk doubts availability for World Relays in May
World record holder plans to head for training camp in the US
Wayde van Niekerk won the men’s 200m crown in 20.38sec at the SA championships in Pretoria on Saturday night and then said he doubted if he would be available for the World Relays in Poland on May 1 and 2.
He is hoping to head to his training base in the US early next week.
“At the moment‚ no [I won’t go to World Relays]‚” he said. “At the moment I first want to get to the US.”
If Van Niekerk‚ who has trained on his own for more than two months since leaving Ans Botha for Lance Brauman‚ flies out on Tuesday as hoped‚ he would probably have to leave after just a week to head to Europe.
He was selected to run in the 4x400m relay in Poland‚ though national relay coach Paul Gorries had said he wanted to pull him into the 4x100m instead.
But it seems Van Niekerk will not be part of either squad. He also doubted whether he would consider joining SA’s highly regarded 4x100m relay team for the Tokyo Olympics.
“There’s so much work I need to do‚ I don’t want to enter everything that looks nice.”
Ruswahl Samaai‚ the 2017 long-jump bronze medallist‚ won his competition in 8.16m on a chilly evening.
Deline Mpiti of Gauteng North‚ her right thigh strapped up after enduring three hamstring injuries since December‚ took the women’s 400m title in 52.78sec.
She has dropped her personal best by more than 4sec since 2020‚ having switched coaches and doing good work during the last winter.
“My base was a very good base‚ I worked hard in the winter,” Mpiti said.
Zakithi Nene of KwaZulu-Natal was first in the men’s 400m in 45.54. Both Mpiti and Nene are in the SA squad for the World Relays in Poland.
Justine Palframan‚ fourth in the women’s 400m‚ won the 200m in 23.64 just more than two hours later.
Le Roux Hamman and Wenda Nel regained their national 400m hurdles titles‚ clocking 49.70 and 55.60 respectively. Hamman last triumphed in 2017 and Nel in 2018.
Mpho Links beat Breyton Poole in the high jump on countback after both had cleared 2.15m. Just two men contested the men’s discus‚ won by promising Kyle Blignaut with a heave of 20.82m. Jason van Rooyen was second with 20.60.
Tshepo Tshite won the men’s 800m in 1 min 45.79sec and Prudence Sekgodiso took the women’s race in 2min 8.35sec.
Glenrose Xaba‚ second behind Caster Semenya in the 5‚000m‚ retained her women’s 10‚000m crown in 33:35.23. Riette Heyns took the women’s discus in 55.32.
Olympian Wayne Snyman won the men’s 20km walk in 1:29:03 and Zelda Schultz the women’s event in 1:41:50.
Friedrich Pretorius claimed the decathlon with 7,510 points and Shannon Verster the heptathlon with 5,247 points.
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