wayde van niekerk

400m world-record holder Wayde van Niekerk: I hate the 400m

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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.

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Joseph Schooling eyes Michael Phelps’ world record at world champs

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Shortly after Joseph Schooling upset Michael Phelps in the Rio Olympic 100m butterfly, the Singapore swimmer made his next goal quite clear.

Take Phelps’ 100m butterfly world record.

Schooling repeated that claim after returning to the University of Texas for his junior season in November and again following March’s NCAA Championships, where he was beaten by Caeleb Dressel in the 100-yard butterfly.

The goal is apparently an imminent one.

Schooling said he believes he can break Phelps’ record at the world championships in Budapest in July, according to Channel News Asia. It would require lowering his personal best by more than a half-second.

“I’m looking forward to that race, and deep down I think if I do what I know I can do, if I execute everything well perfectly, I’d have a really good shot,” Schooling said Thursday, according to the report.

Schooling, 21, hasn’t raced a 100m butterfly since the Olympics, where he clocked 50.39 seconds. That broke Phelps’ Olympic record of 50.58 set at the 2008 Olympics. It’s the fifth-fastest time ever.

All of the top four times, including Phelps’ world record of 49.82, were set in 2009 at the peak of the high-tech swimsuit era.

“My dad told me 50.39 is a world record in a textile suit, but I want the world record on paper,” Schooling reportedly said less than a week after his Olympic title in August. “My next goal is breaking 49.8.”

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Aly Raisman calls out airport worker for ‘muscles’ comment

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Three-time Olympic champion Aly Raisman called out a male airport security worker who she says questioned whether she had enough muscles to be a gymnast.

Raisman posted on Twitter on Wednesday that after a female Transportation Security Administration worker said she recognized Raisman by her biceps, a male employee said, “I don’t see any muscles.” Raisman called the encounter “rude & uncomfortable.”

Raisman, who turned 23 Thursday, says she works “very hard to be healthy & fit.” She says that if a man can’t compliment a girl’s muscles, he’s sexist.

Raisman didn’t say where or when the airport exchange took place.

Raisman previously authored a powerful social media post about body image, shouting out “to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being ‘too strong’” in November.

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