Wayde van Niekerk clocks world-class 200m time

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Wayde van Niekerk's time makes his the third-fastest athlete in the world this year over 200m.

CAPE TOWN - Wayde van Niekerk is the latest South African sprinter to make waves in world athletics after he ran the 200m in under 20 seconds at the European Athletics Classic meeting Lucern, Switzerland, on Tuesday night.

The Cape Town-born sprinter clocked 19.94 seconds in the 200 metres B final to become the first South African to run a sub-20 second 200m.

His time makes his the third-fastest athlete in the world this year over 200m. Earlier this year, Americans Justin Gatlin and Isaiah Young clocked 19.57 and 19.93.

Another South African Anaso Jobodwana won the A final at the same meeting in a time of 20.12.

Van Niekerk made headlines just over a week ago when he ran a sub-44 400m.

He now holds both the SA 200 and 400m records (43.96) in world-class times and joins an exclusive club of sub-20/sub-44 200m/400m athletes that includes American legends Michael Johnson and LaShawn Merritt.

The Tuks/HPC athlete now has the world’s third fastest times in both 200m and 400m this year. His 400m time has been bettered only by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (43.72) and American Kirani James (43.95) this season.

Both Van Niekerk and Jobodwana have been included in the provisional SA team for next month’s 15th IAAF World Championships at the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium at Beijing’s Olympic Park, in China.