Cape Town - Wayde van Niekerk has made a winning return to competitive action by triumphing at the Free State Championship over the weekend.
It was Van Niekerk's first race since a freak injury in October 2017 saw him tear both his meniscus and his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing a celebrity touch rugby match at Newlands stadium.
It has been a long road back to the track for South Africa's 2016 Olympic hero and 400m world record holder, but on Saturday he was back to winning ways.
Van Niekerk won the 400m in a time of 47:28, finishing ahead of South African hurdler Cornel Fredericks.
A small but vocal crowd at the Mangaung Athletics track in Bloemfontein cheered on as Van Niekerk showed glimpses of the speed that made him the centre of the sprinting world in 2016.
Hendricks looked set for victory after a slow start from Van Niekerk, but the Olympic gold medallist caught up in the final 100m to cross the line first.
The 400m world record holder, @waydedreamer made his official return to the track on Saturday by winning the Free State Championships in 47.28 sec #Athletics #WaydeVanNiekerk pic.twitter.com/ZLTy7ZwnU3— Morgan Piek (@MorganPiek) February 24, 2019