The Free State MEC for sport, Mathabo Leeto, has congratulated Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk on achieving yet another milestone at the just-ended London 2017 IAAF World Championship. The all-conquering runner won silver in the 200 m – his first at this global meeting – as well as gold in the 400 m for the second time, following his maiden victory in 2015 in Beijing. Winning gold in the 400 m at the London championship, the versatile runner continued his streak begun at the IAAF World Championship in 2015 Wayde’s achievement also continued his reign from the Rio Olympics, where he set a new Olympic record time of 43:03, breaking Michael Johnson’s long-standing world record of 43:18 set in 1999.“I would like to congratulate Wayde van Niekerk for winning a gold medal for the men’s 400 m race at the 2017 IAAF World Championship held in London from 4 to 13 August,” said Leeto. “Wayde is one of many athletes who have trained at the Free State Sport Science Institute (FSSSI) and he is a proud product of this institution. Moreover, he continues to enjoy support from the department and we are very proud of him as a province. “We will continue to support and develop Free State athletes to be formidable contenders on international platforms, hence there is a lot of talent in the province that we continue to unearth. In this regard, talent identification through various programmes is imperative for the department, especially in rural areas of our province. Wayde was also identified at an early stage,” said Leeto.Wayde’s good form has seen him win the 300 m race at the 2017 Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic, when he stopped the clock at 30.81 seconds. The all-conquering runner was just two hundredths of a second short of pulling off what was last achieved 22 years ago – a remarkable 400-200 m world championship double.