Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Fans set for great show in Lausanne

Published:Wednesday | July 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
van Niekerk

LAUSANNE, Switzerland:

On the eve of the Lausanne Diamond League meet, expectations are high here in this busy tourist resort that there will be some very interesting battles in store tomorrow when some of the world's leading athletes take to the track.

Following last Saturday's meet in Paris, tomorrow's eighth meet in the Diamond League series should be full of fireworks' with athlete of the moment on the world stage, Wayde van Niekerk, set to steal the show. The South African means business, as he has been in Lausanne since Monday, and this could be a good sign for the fans. With good weather expected, there should be some fast times.




The man who has been tipped to take over the mantle from Usain Bolt when he retires after the London World Championships will be running his first 400 metres in Europe this season. Van Niekerk's season's best is a modest 46.28 seconds, the slowest in the field. All his rivals have gone under 45 seconds in 2017. However, the South African has been in brilliant form in short sprints this season. In Jamaica at the JN Racers Grand Prix meet, he set a world-leading time of 19.84 seconds to win the 200m. If that was not enough, a week ago he also stole the show in Bolt's presence at the meet in Ostrava .

After breaking Michael Johnson's 400m world record of 43.18 seconds at the Rio Olympic Games last year with a new mark of 43.03, last week he destroyed another world best done by Johnson. He removed the American's previous mark of 30.85 for the rarely run 300m, winning in 30.81 to show once again that he is in top form.

Now Van Niekerk will surely be aiming at the world-leading 400m time of 43.70 set by Fred Kerley of the United States in Austin, Texas on May 26.

- RG