Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
12 Jun 2016
10:10 am

Van Niekerk smashes SA 300m best

Wesley Botton

The sprinter's time was the third fastest ever over 300m, eclipsed by only Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt.

FILE PICTURE: Wayde van Niekerk. Picture: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

Sprinter Wayde van Niekerk made another statement in the build-up to the Rio Olympics, defeating a world-class field in Kingston in the early hours of Sunday morning (SA time), as he climbed to third place in the all-time global rankings over the rarely run 300m distance.

The world 400m champion charged around the track in 31.03 at the Racers Grand Prix meeting, holding off fellow Olympic contender LaShawn Merritt of the United States by 0.20 and shattering his own South African 300m best by 0.60.

Only American legend Michael Johnson (30.85) and Jamaican star Usain Bolt (30.97) have run faster.

Meanwhile, national 100m record holder Akani Simbine delivered a fine performance, taking sixth place in 10.01 in his second race since returning from a hamstring injury.

Simbine was just 0.05 outside his own SA mark in the short dash, with Bolt securing victory in 9.88.