It seems like every time Wayde van Niekerk steps on to a track, he makes history, and it was the case once more at the Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica on Saturday night.
All the hype in the build-up was about how Van Niekerk, as well as sprinter Akani Simbine and another South African in Justine Palframan, trained with Usain Bolt and his Racers club in Kingston this past week.
And the 23-year-old 400m world champion powered to the third-best ever 300m time of 31.03 – smashing his previous best of 31.63.
Van Niekerk’s mark is not far behind the best 300m time (it’s not a world record as it’s not a regular event) of 30.85 set by American great Michael Johnson in Pretoria in 2000, with Bolt in second at 30.97.
The likes of Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and American LaShawn Merritt had good starts, but once the field reached the final bend, Van Niekerk exploded away and held off Merritt (31.23), while Makwala faded to fifth in 31.91.
Wayde took to instagram to post: “Another opportunity to better myself and ran the 3rd fastest 300m time behind two legends of the sport.”
“And competing against a current 400m legend [Merritt]. Pushing ourselves for more and more. Truly grateful and humbled to be able to be part of this amazing journey.”
South African 100m record holder Simbine was also in fine form as he went head-to-head with Bolt, as well as a number of other top Jamaican athletes.
Although he ended fifth, he produced an excellent time of 10.01.