(Reuters) – Olympic Champion Wayde Van Niekerk is aiming to become the first man to run under 43 seconds in the 400 metres as he works his way back from almost three years on the sidelines with injury.
Van Niekerk romped to Olympic gold four years ago in a new world record time of 43.03 seconds, smashing the previous fastest time of 43.18 that had been set by American Michael Johnson in 1999.
But a serious knee injury sustained playing a charity touch rugby game in October 2017 left the South African’s career in doubt, though he is now ready to return.
The 28-year-old, who is the cousin of Springbok Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe, admits he should never have accepted the invitation to play the charity event.
He admits that the injury he suffered while at the peak of his powers left him demoralised.