Athletics

Wayde to break another Johnson record?

Cape Town - Olympic gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk will compete in the rarely-run 300m distance at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The Ostrava meet in scheduled for Wednesday, June 28.

Van Niekerk, 24, joins fellow Olympic champions Mo Farah, who'll compete in the 10 000m, and Christian Taylor who'll contest the triple jump.

The men's 300m will honour Istvan Gyulai, the late general secretary of the IAAF.

"I've always enjoyed racing in Ostrava and I look forward to competing again," Van Niekerk told the IAAF website.

Van Niekerk posted the third-fastest 300m time ever, 31.03, at last year's meeting in Ostrava.

Only Michael Johnson's 30.85 world best set in Pretoria in 2000 and Usain Bolt's 30.97 run in 2010 in Ostrava are quicker than Van Niekerk's PB.

Van Niekerk is not unfamiliar when it comes to breaking world records, having smashed American legend Johnson's 400m world record by 0.15 seconds when he stopped the clock at the Rio Olympics last year in a time of 43.03.

"The 300m event is a great way to gauge my fitness in the early stages of a long season, as it will give me a good indication of my potential in the 200m and 400m sprints this year," said Van Niekerk.

"I hope for a good run and, as always, a great time as well."

Van Niekerk's preparations for the season have started well after he finished second in the ASA Speed Series Meeting in Bloemfontein last month.

He finished second in the 100m with a time of 10.10 behind 18-year-old Gift Leotlela (10.00), despite the race subjected to a technical glitch with the electronic timing system.

Van Niekerk's next task will be in Potchefstroom for the SA national championships, which will be contested between April 21-22.

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