Wayde van Niekerk has made a name for himself by running the 400m.
At the 2016 Olympics, he lowered Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record by .15 seconds to win the gold medal (VIDEO).
But the 24-year-old South African has a love-hate relationship with the distance.
“I hate the 400m,” he said to France’s Le Figaro, who provided an English transcript of the interview to NBC. “I hate it because I know what it does to my body. But I love it for what it does for my life.”
Van Niekerk has expressed an interest in the shorter sprints, the 100m and 200m. He trained with Usain Bolt, the world-record holder in both events, in Jamaica prior to the Rio Games. After Bolt won the Olympic 100m gold medal, he paused his victory celebration to find Van Niekerk and congratulate him on breaking the 400m world record.
“My dream is try to get where Usain Bolt is in 200m,” Van Niekerk said. “He’s a massive inspiration and motivation for me to improve myself because I know it is possible.”
Van Niekerk’s best 200m time in 2016, 20.02 seconds, ranks 15th this year.
Bolt was asked whether Van Niekerk could break his 200m world record of 19.19 seconds.
“If [he] can clean up his technique on the corner, maybe he can do it,” Bolt said to Tim Layden.
Van Niekerk is the only person to have run sub-10 seconds in the 100m, sub-20 in the 200m and sub-44 in the 400m.
After two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto suffered a spinal cord injury while attempting a standing back flip in April 2016, he decided to set a goal for himself. Nietro was determined to walk down the aisle at his own wedding.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Nieto walked to the altar in front of everyone gathered at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in east San Diego – something his doctors said might not be possible.
Nieto, with some assistance, entered the church where he then married his bride, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, exactly how he set out to – on his feet.
Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder during the semifinals of a beach volleyball tournament in Poland and forfeited the bronze medal match.
Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh were tied in the third set of their match against Canada on Saturday when Walsh Jennings dove for the ball with her right arm and twisted her hand in the sand. After a four-minute delay, Canada went on to win the third set 16-14 and advance to the gold medal match.
“I just went for a short dig and the surface in Europe is so shallow and so hard and there’s no give for our bodies,” Walsh Jennings explained after the match in an interview with her shoulder wrapped in ice.
Walsh Jennings had surgery on the same shoulder during the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she and April Ross won the bronze medal. Walsh Jennings won three gold medals with Misty May Treanor.
Walsh Jennings said she is looking forward to returning to the FIVB World Tour in Vienna in one week.