- The South African Olympic gold medallist, Wayde van Niekerk, has reacted following his major win on Tuesday
- The 28-year-old athlete, Van Niekerk admitted that he is not at his best as yet despite beating the likes of Simbine and Anaso Jobodwana
- On the other hand, Wayde also spoke about his next move to the US and uniting with a new coach
South African 400m Olympic gold medallist and sprinter Wayde van Niekerk has bagged another gold medal where he won the 200m in Ruimsig on Tuesday afternoon.
Van Niekerk beat Akani Simbine to win the shoot-out of the second Athletix Invitational at the raining event and by clenching his fist, the gesture has signalled the confidence he has regained.
Apart from beating Simbine, the fast-paced athlete also defeated Anaso Jobodwana and Botswana veteran Isaac Makwala respectively.
According to the Dispatch Live website, his effort still injected a healthy dose of self-belief as he held his silky smooth form to shrug off Simbine (20.21) who came second.
The University of the Free State was represented by Tsebo Matsoso who came third and registered 20.48.
While Makwala clocked 20.59 at number five, Jobodwana settled for a sixth spot with the 200m world championship bronze medallist in 2015 registering 20.74.
Speaking after the race, van Niekerk said the victory has given him a massive boost he didn't possess prior to the event. He said as quoted by the Eastern Cape-based publication.
“This definitely gave me confidence I didn’t have before.
“It’s one thing training well‚ but it’s a different thing executing it against such a quality line-up‚ guys I have the world of respect for.
“It would have been nice to have the [SA] record-holder [Clarence Munyai‚ who is injured] here to see where we are...I saw a lot of room for improvement and growth.”
The win is touted as the sprinter's best display dating back to a knee injury he sustained in 2017.
Born in Cape Town, the 28-year-old has been struggling to recapture his best form as he was a shadow of his former self in Switzerland last year when he struggled with nerves during a 400m race.
He also touched on his move to the United States to reunite with his new coach‚ Lance Brauman‚ in Florida. He added:
“I’m growing within these challenges‚ I knew that this was the perfect race for me to climb out of that comfort zone‚ that anxiety that comes with being out of the sport for so long.
“The programme is definitely something new but it’s something I’ve adjusted quite well to.
“I think my next step now is to get myself to the US and get used to the new circumstances‚ new challenges that await me. I’m excited for that.
“I gave the coach a call and told him there are race opportunities and the first thing he said was he doesn’t want me in the 100m and he doesn’t want me in the 400m because he doesn’t believe I’m where I need to be yet.”
Briefly.co.za previously reported that van Niekerk took first place in the international race event that was staged in Switzerland last year.
Van Niekerk was running in lane four and made it to first place at 45.58s in the 400m race to beat his European counterparts.
The South African runner and previous world record breaker got in swiftly ahead of Netherland's Joachem Dobberlands, who came in at 45.78s in second place. Karel Zwelskski from Poland came in at the third spot at 46.03s on the clock.
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