South African athlete and Cape Town’s local hero, Wayde Van Niekerk will be defending his 400m title at the Tokyo Olympics.
During the World Athletics Continental Tour event held in Madrid on Saturday, June 19, the 400m world record-holder raced to victory, finally producing a qualifying time of 44.56 seconds. A small victory for Van Niekerk and South African athletics enthusiasts who breathed a sigh of relief after a few seasons that were riddled with injuries for the athlete. The champion is now set to defend his title in Japan, as per SABC News.
While it was a night of celebration for Van Niekerk, another Olympic champion was not so lucky. According to IOL, Caster Semenya failed to qualify for the 5000m in Regensburg, Germany, needing a time of 15 minutes and 10 seconds to qualify for Tokyo. Unfortunately, the gold medallist came up short, finishing fourth in a time of 15:57.12.
However, this isn’t the last time we’ll see Semenya attempt to reach victory, as she’s set to run the 5000m in Liege, Belgium on June 30.
Picture: Cape Town ETC Gallery