South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk has done something no other sprinter in history has ever done.
Something that not even the man labeled as the greatest sprinter of all-time, Usain Bolt, has done before.
On Saturday at the Free State Championships in Bloemfontein, Van Niekerk become the first man in history to run faster than 10-seconds for 100m, dip below 20-seconds for 200m and 44 seconds over the 400m after he impressively improved his PB in the shorter distant.
The World 400m champion who owns personal bests of 43.48 secs for the quarter-mile and 19.94 secs for the half-lap events, improved his previous 100m PB of 10.45 to a dazzling 9.98 (+1.5 m/s) running in Bloemfontein’s 1,300m altitude.
Before Saturday, Van Niekerk had not raced competitively over the 100m since 2011 when he set his old personal best as a junior in Bloemfontein as well.
Following race, the 23-year-old took to social media to share his delight.
Wow!!! Truly grateful and humbled by the opportunity and talents the Lord has blessed me with… https://t.co/YSPdPhxgH0
“Wow! Finally reaching my dream of sub 10,” Van Niekerk wrote on Instagram.
“It’s crazy,” he tweeted as well. “I’m truly grateful for this moment and appreciative of everyone’s support.”
He added: “Truly grateful and humbled by the opportunity and talents the Lord has blessed me with. Finally reaching my childhood dream of sub 10.”
His feat was immediately recognized by American former world and Olympic 200m and 400m champion Michael Johnson, who wrote on Twitter: “Sub 10, sub 20, sub 44. That’s crazy. Great things could be ahead for Wayde.”
Bolt owns the world record holder over the 100m and 200m sprints, at 9.58 and 19.19, but has only ran 45.28 for the 400m.
Johnson, is the 400m world record holder with 43.18 and a former 200m record holder with 19.32.
However, the American sprint legend has a 100m PB of 10.09 secs.
Despite his achievements, though, Van Niekerk will only contest the men’s 400m dash at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, later this summer.