An eagerly-awaited win by local star Ajla del Ponte and Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk’s first international appearance since 2017 were the key highlights at the 10th edition of the Galà dei Castelli in Bellinzona, Switzerland, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, on Tuesday (16).
While Africa is often associated with distance running, athletes from the continent have also left an indelible mark on the sprints at major championships.
The Wanda Diamond League Call Room lockdown series continues today (13) with its Paris edition, with Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk, 2012 Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie and Commonwealth pole vault champion Alysha Newman taking the stage on the Diamond League's Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Wayde van Niekerk was nervous. For an athlete of his calibre, an unofficial 100m race on grass in mid-February should have been a formality. A routine rust-buster. A glorified training session.
Sitting with the vast bowl shape of the London Stadium directly behind him, Wayde van Niekerk dealt with question after question about being ‘the next Usain Bolt’ as he faced the world’s media at a press conference ahead of the IAAF World Championships London 2017.
It was as the men’s 400m field exited the final bend in last Friday night’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco that a tantalising glimpse of the Post-Bolt athletics world was revealed.
World and Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk was pushed to the line by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala before earning victory in a meeting record of 43.73 in Monaco on Friday (21) at the final IAAF Diamond League meeting before next month’s IAAF World Championships London 2017.
There was a huge weight of expectation on the slender shoulders of Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk in his first international 400m race since his world record run in Rio but he shrugged it off with aplomb as he flew around one lap of the Pontaise stadium in 43.62 at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond league meeting in Lausanne on Thursday (6).
The world will eagerly be awaiting to see what Wayde van Niekerk can do in his first international 400m since he set the world record over the distance when winning the Olympic title last summer, when he goes to his blocks at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday (6).
When he crossed the line 30.81 seconds after the gun sounded the start of last night’s 300m contest in Ostrava's Golden Spike, Wayde van Neikerk once again stepped knee deep into uncharted waters.