Athletics

Lots of work ahead of London double - Wayde

Wayde van Niekerk (AP)
Wayde van Niekerk (AP)

Cape Town - South African star athlete Wayde van Niekerk says he still has a lot to do in order to obtain the elusive 200-400m double at the London IAAF World Championships in August.

Van Niekerk shattered Michael Johnson's 300m world record this week when he stopped the clock in a time of 30.81 seconds.

He became the first athlete to break 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m, 31 seconds for the 300m and 44 seconds for the 400m.

"(The 300m world best) is another stepping stone in my career," Van Niekerk told the IAAF website.

"Now I can say that I officially have the 300m and 400m record. It's out there, it's mine. It's something I can claim and be proud about. But being 24-years-old means that I have so much more to do in my career. I've got so much more to achieve."

Van Niekerk will be gearing himself up for the 2017 World Championships, which will take place at London's Olympic Stadium from August 4-13.

He will have the opportunity to emulate Johnson's feat of winning the 200m and 400m at the same World Championships.

Van Niekerk is also on course to go up against sprint great Usain Bolt in the 200m in what is set to be the Jamaican's final major competition before retirement.

"We've still got another month to train and put in that hard work," continued Van Niekerk.

"Other than that, I think that the double itself is going to be double the work if not triple. Six days of pure competition."

Van Niekerk admitted that he has been struggling with back and hamstring problems this year, which has hampered his preparations for London.

"I've (still) been running world records and personal bests, so it's really just about working through... the pain will be there, but that there's no risk of an injury," said Van Niekerk.

"It's time for me to just suck up the pain and do my best."

Van Niekerk has two international meetings prior to the London World Championships in August.

He will be participating in the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Lausanne on Thursday, July 6 and Monaco on Friday, July 21.

Read Wayde's full interview with the IAAF website

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