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Wayde van Niekerk: How a PR stunt gone wrong paved a nightmarish road to Tokyo

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South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk
South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Rio 2016 heroics and reputation aside, there was little reason to be optimistic about Wayde van Niekerk's chances of defending his 400m Olympic title in Tokyo.

It is, of course, easy to say that in hindsight. Van Niekerk himself believed, so why wouldn't we?

This, after all, is the man who delivered perhaps the most incredible individual performance in the history of South African sport, and that is no exaggeration.

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