Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
24 Jul 2022
7:39 am

Wayde van Niekerk: A champion athlete who always gets back up

Wesley Botton

Van Niekerk displayed his best form in five years at this week's World Athletics Championships.

Wayde van Niekerk ahead of his 400m heat at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene. Picture: Getty Images

It's a cliche, but we can describe Wayde van Niekerk's career in just one phrase: You can't keep a good man down. After finishing fourth in the 200m final at the World Junior Championships in 2010, at the age of 18, Van Niekerk's early struggle with injuries resulted in long-time coach Ans Botha urging him to move up to the less explosive 400m distance. And the one-lap event fitted him like a glove. ALSO READ: No shame in bowing out: What now for Caster Semenya? Having shifted to the senior division, he lowered his 400m personal best every year between...