Athletics

SA's Van Niekerk makes sprint history

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Prayer comes first for Wayde van Niekerk on the track
PHOTO: Patrick Smith / Getty Images
Prayer comes first for Wayde van Niekerk on the track PHOTO: Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Paris - South African Wayde van Niekerk has become the first runner to break 10 seconds for 100-metres, 20 seconds for 200m and 44 seconds for 400m, the world governing body IAAF said on Saturday.

The world 400m champion had previously broken the marks on the two longer distances before running 9.98sec over 100m in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Van Niekerk was helped by a legal 1.5m/s tailwind and the 1300m altitude at the track.

Before that, the 23-year-old's 100m personal best was 10.45s, although that was back in 2011.

His 200m PB is 19.94s while he ran 43.48s in winning the world title in Beijing last year.

He will, however, be running only the 400m at the Rio Olympics later this year.

"Wow!!! Truly grateful and humbled by the opportunity and talents the Lord has blessed me with. Finally reaching my childhood dream of sub 10," wrote Van Niekerk alongside a video on his Instagram account.

"Truly so blessed thank you to everyone supporting me with in my career. And all that's contributed to where I am today!!!"

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