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I never think of breaking records - van Niekerk

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

LAUSANNE, Switzerland:

One of the highest-profile athletes in Lausanne for today's Diamond League meet is the South African Wayde van Niekerk. It is therefore no surprise that he has been getting the most attention since his arrival on Monday.

At yesterday's press briefing, a full house was present as the man of the moment took the spotlight. When he enters the track today at 2:40 p.m. (Ja time) in the men's 400m, it will be his first one-lap race in Europe this season.

He, however, has been in great form so far in shorter sprints. He has a season's best of 9.94 seconds in the 100m, 19.84 over 200m and a world record of 30.81 in the rarely run 300m. Anticipation is high among the fans that he could go sub 43 seconds and erase the Stadium Record of 43.66 set by the American Michael Johnson in 1996.

"This will be my first 400m race in Europe this season, and I do not have any particular target. I am confident, (so) let's see what I can do," van Niekerk said when asked if he is looking to go sub-44 seconds in his race today.

" I never think of breaking records. I still need to improve my endurance and my resistance to be ready for London. If I don't go sub-44 seconds I won't be disappointed as my goal is to have a great performance ... that is the most important point, not to chase times," he added.