South African Wayde Van Niekerk has hailed world’s fastest man Usain Bolt as a major source of inspiration ahead of his record-breaking 400m run.
Van Niekerk and his coach Ans Botha were guests of Bolt’s Racers Track Club in June of this year where they took part in a one-week training stint.
During that time the South African star was able to make quite an impression on the double world record holder, who was surprised by the quarter miler’s speed. Van Niekerk claims the sprinter encouraged him to challenge Michael Johnson’s 400m mark.
”There was a moment when we were together in Jamaica when he said to me he believed I could break the world record in the 400m‚” Van Niekerk told Times Live.
”It was after we’d had a few sessions together. That’s why after the race in Rio he came to me and said ‘I told you I told you’.”
”It was a very special moment‚” Van Niekerk added.
”That is a man I look up to in terms of inspiration and motivation. I want to be where he is today. I want to achieve the records that he has achieved as well. Just having him come to me. . .”
Van Niekerk’s new world record time of 43.03 shattered Johnson’s previous mark of 43.18.