Wayde van Niekerk, 400m Olympic champion and world record holder (44) won the much talked-about 200m sprint of the 2nd leg of the ASA Athletix Invitational Meet powered by AVANTI at Ruimsig Athletics Stadium, Roodepoort Johannesburg. Photo VELI NHLAPO
Wayde van Niekerk, 400m Olympic champion and world record holder (44) won the much talked-about 200m sprint of the 2nd leg of the ASA Athletix Invitational Meet powered by AVANTI at Ruimsig Athletics Stadium, Roodepoort Johannesburg. Photo VELI NHLAPO

The word coming out of Wayde van Niekerk’s camp is that the Olympic 400m champion is not seriously hurt after pulling up in a sprint in the US on Sunday.

The straight 200m race at the Boston Games was won by Jerome Blake of Canada in 19.89sec ahead of Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (19.93). Van Niekerk‚ who arrived at his new training camp with coach Lance Brauman in Florida only two weeks ago after a months-long wait because of Covid-19 protocols‚ was fourth in 20.86.

Van Niekerk told his coach his right hip had tightened up and “he pulled up to make sure he didn’t do any more damage”‚ said one source close to his camp. He limped off the track‚ but one report from the race quoted a broadcaster saying he was walking normally later.

Van Niekerk also tweeted that he tightened up a bit but that he was well.

Van Niekerk has yet to qualify for the Tokyo Games‚ and will have to beat the 44.90 automatic entry standard before the qualifying window closes on June 29. He clocked his 43.03 world record winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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