Wayde van Niekerk considers sprint double at 2017 Worlds, 100m

Wayde van Niekerk
Getty Images
1 Comment

South African Wayde van Niekerk, who broke Michael Johnson‘s 400m world record at the Olympics, reportedly said he hopes to be in shape next year to contest the 200m and 400m at the world championships.

‘‘I am actually considering the double next year‚” Van Niekerk said Wednesday, according to South African media. ‘‘I will try and get myself strong enough and fit enough for the double. And I might even try the 100m as well.

‘‘For me I am so motivated and I am so inspired — I feel the sky is the limit. I am just going to improve on everything.”

Van Niekerk, 24, has the versatility. He is the only person ever to complete this triple — sub-10 seconds for the 100m, sub-20 for the 200m and sub-44 for the 400m.

He only ran the 400m in Rio but could set up a first-ever head-to-head with Usain Bolt in a 100m or 200m at a meet next year. Bolt is expected to retire after next season and eye the 100m but not the 200m at worlds.

Van Niekerk would seem unlikely for the 100m at worlds, given it intersects with the 400m, so if he and Bolt go head to head it would have to be at a non-championship meet.

Van Niekerk was reportedly surprised with an Audi R8, with a personalized license plate, after arriving at a Johannesburg airport Wednesday.

The Olympics marked Van Niekerk’s final meet of the season.

MORE: Elaine Thompson beats Allyson Felix in post-Olympic showdown