By Mark Etheridge
He went on record as saying he was going for something ‘ridiculous’ over the little-run 300-metre event on Wednesday night and Wayde van Niekerk, South Africa’s golden boy of world athletics, made a world record victory look ridiculously easy.
Competing at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in Czech Republic, the Rio Olympics 400m gold medallist won in 30.81 seconds for another world, African and South African record.
It also wiped out the seven-year-old meeting record of 30.97 by Olympic legend Usain Bolt, the man he is set to take the baton from as world athletics’ superstar for years to come.
The previous world record of 30.85sec was set at high altitude in Pretoria in 2000 by American Michael Johnson, making Van Niekerk’s mark even more impressive.
Starting in lane five, Van Niekerk hit the front almost immediately and even appeared to be cruising over the final 20 metres with victory never in doubt.
The race numbers for the meeting featured three exclamation marks after the word Ostrava and Van Niekerk led a one-two-three African exclamation as Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and South African Clarence Munyai wrapped up the podium places with times of 31.44 and 31.61 respectively.