Sports

Van Niekerk ready to take on legendary Bolt's mantle

Van Niekerk ready to take on legendary Bolt's mantleā€

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse has pulled out of the World Championship set to begin later this week in London, after suffering a hamstring injury.

As Bolt breezed into London for his final media appearance ahead of the World Championships in Stratford, the appetite to see him remains feverish among fans and the media.

"I knew it would provide for myself and my family".

So now the South African, who finished fourth in the 200m final at the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, can claim to be the only man who has run sub-10, sub-20, sub-31 and sub-44 for 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m.

"It's still something that we're working on every day", said Van Niekerk, when asked whether he might shift more in the future to the 100m and 200m events that have always been Bolt's domain rather than the one-lap event.

"(But) in retrospect in a few weeks, when he looks back on this, this was his last opportunity to beat Bolt, I think that's probably going to be the thing that haunts him the most", McMillan said.

Drug cheats have been so rampant at the Olympics and especially in the 100 metres, that Bolt and Donovan Bailey in 1996 aside, one would have to go all the way back to Allen Wells in 1980 to find a champion who has never been convicted of anything stimulant-related. "We're going to go in the right direction and I'm happy about that situation".

As an eight-time gold medal winning Olympian, with three world records to his name, Bolt leaves behind an undeniable legacy. You guys know if I show up for a race that means I'm 100 per cent confident. Over time the sport will get better.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, he said: "Hopefully athletes will see what's going on and understand that if they don't stop what they're doing the sport will die". Cinder tracks have long since been replaced by all-weather synthetic surfaces and the athletes place their state-of-the-art, featherweight spiked shoes into metal starting blocks which are electronically connected to a timing system that detects those pre-race twitches that trigger a false start. "Can I get a picture?'" he said.

"And my coach gave me my space, he gave me time to get over it".

'I feel quite honoured to be compared to someone as great as Usain Bolt. "I love competition, I thrive on competition, and I want people to run fast to push me".

Each time the shotgun went off, you would feel a sense of "what-next" with Bolt at the start line.



Like this

Latest




Recommended