Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
Door opened for Van Niekerk 200/400 double
Wayde van Niekerk will have an opportunity to attempt a rare double at this year’s World Championships, with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) clearing the way for him to run the 200m and 400m events at the biennial spectacle, to be held in London between 4-13 August.
This follows a special request made by Athletics South Africa (ASA), on behalf of the athlete, after Van Niekerk showed interest in attempting the rare double.
“Following requests from the athletics federations of the Bahamas and South Africa to amend the timetable to better allow for a 200m/400m doubling opportunity, (the IAAF) Council has approved changes to the timetable,” the international body said in a statement.
There were three changes made to the programme for the biennial championships:
• Men’s 200m round 1 moved from day 5 (8 Aug) to day 4 (7 Aug)
• Women’s 200m round 1 moved from day 6 (9 Aug) to day 5 (8 Aug)
• Women’s 3000m steeplechase round 1 moved from day 5 (8 Aug) to day 6 (9 Aug)
“We are excited at ASA that the IAAF Council has acceded to our request to have the long standing schedule be changed to accommodate our athlete who wants to make history by doubling the 200m and 400m,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.
“It is now up to Wayde and his coach to work towards achieving their goal of winning both these events at the IAAF World Championships.”
Van Niekerk will aim to become the first man in 22 years to achieve the sprint double.
Former 200m and 400m world record holder Michael Johnson of the United States is the only man to have achieved the feat, after winning both gold medals in Gothenburg in 1995.