Wayde van Niekerk wins the 200m at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Velenje, Slovenia

Van Niekerk clocks 9.94 personal best in Velenje

Olympic champions Wayde van Niekerk and Sandra Perkovic produced the key performances at the 22nd edition of the International Athletics Meeting in Velenje, Slovenia, on Tuesday (20).

Van Niekerk, already the only man to have broken the 10-second, 20-second and 44-second barriers in the 100m, 200m and 400m, underscored his 2017 fitness with a 9.94 (0.9m/s) victory in the 100m, clipping 0.04 from his previous career best.

"I'm very pleased," said van Niekerk, who lowered his personal best in the 200m to 19.84 10 days ago in Kingston. "It's my best time and I'm glad the competition ended the wan I wanted it to. This also bodes well for my two main distances."

Emile Erasmus and Henrich Bruintjies finished second and third in 10.12 and 10.14, respectively, to finish off a podium sweep for South Africa.

The 24-year-old Van Niekerk's dash was also an all-comers record for Slovenia which elevated him to sixth on the 2017 world list, an achievement which was outdone by two-time Olympic discus champion Perkovic, who dominated her specialty with a 69.58m effort, the second best throw of the year. The Croatian also owns the first, a 70.23m toss from last February.

"It was a great atmosphere," Perkovic told TV Slovenia. "After two Diamond League meetings where I was throwing with men, it was nice to be back in a women's-only competition. It was good training for the World Championships."

Her solid series also included throws of 69.53m and 68.74m, efforts no one else has surpassed this year.

While Perkovic won her event by nearly 10 metres, Isaac Makwala of Botswana dominated the 400m 45.12, a full second clear of runner-up Mateo Ruzic of Croatia, who clocked 46.13.

Other notable performances included Amel Tuka's 800m victory in 1:45.34, a season's best for the world bronze medallist.

World leader Eda Tugsuz of Turkey won the javelin with 63.93m, comfortably ahead of Slovenian record-holder Martina Ratej, who reached 61.14m.

Filip Mihaljevic of Croatia took home a double victory in the throws, winning the shot put with 20.14m and the discus with 62.38m.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF