World 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk confirmed that he will train with Usain Bolt in Jamaica ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio, later this summer.
The South African, who earlier this year became the only man to run sub- 10 seconds for the 100m, under-20 secs for the 200m and has a personal best faster than 44 secs over the 400m, will link up with Bolt at his Racers Track Club, Kingston-base training camp next month.
While in Jamaica, Van Niekerk will train with the likes of Bolt, the six-time Olympic champion and world record holder over the 100m and 200m, as well as double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake and Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir.
The 23-year-old, who is the second fastest over the 400m this season behind Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada with a time of 44.11, is hoping to pick up a few things from coach Glen Mills, as he seeks to shave vital seconds off his time for the big showdown in Brazil.
He owns a personal best of 43.48 seconds for the 400m – the fourth fastest all-time, and many believe that he can challenge Michael Johnson’s world record of 43.18.
“I’m excited to go out there and train with them,” Van Niekerk was quoted as telling Reuters. “It’s the world best Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir.
“I feel I can learn a lot from them and can improve myself as an athlete.
“Going out there and competing against these guys, and training with them, will give me a boost as an athlete to get better.”
Van Niekerk revealed that he has a good developing relationship with Bolt’s coach and he was quick to jump on the idea of training in Jamaica.
He said: “I have got quite close with coach Mills in the last few months after we spent a lot of time together at lunch and supper tables (at events) and he eventually threw the idea out there and said, ‘wouldn’t you like to come out and train in Jamaica’. Obviously I jumped at the chance.”
Van Niekerk is the sixth-fastest runner over the 100m this season with a personal best of 9.98secs.