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Wayde van Niekerk wins a medal he finally gets to keep


South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk. File photo

Wayde van Niekerk has finally won a gold medal he can get to keep.

His 400m victory at the world championships in London on Tuesday night was his first major triumph since moving out of the parental home in Bloemfontein.

He was still living under their roof when he won his 2015 world title and 2016 Olympic crown.

“Both my medals before this had to go to ma because she said everything that’s achieved in her house stays at home‚” he said to laughter at the press conference for the 400m medallists.

“So this is my first gold medal I can take to my own house. I’m glad that both myself‚ my parents and my coach can celebrate this moment.”

Van Niekerk’s comments came while praising his mentor‚ Tannie Ans Botha‚ after he’d been asked his thoughts on this being the first world championships where the coaches of medallists were receiving medallions of their own.

“Everyone knows the superstar coach I have. It’s actually a massive honour for me …

“She had to wait such a long time to be able to achieve three golds in three years as a coach and on the third gold she gets to take one home as well and brag with it to her family and friends.”

Van Niekerk was also asked about taking over from the retiring Usain Bolt as the headline act of track and field worldwide‚ but he replied he wanted to see other athletes sharing the platform with him.

“I’d like to see more than just myself come through for the sport and fighting for the image of the sport‚” he said.

 

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