KINGSTON, Jamaica (June 3) — World record holder Wayde van Niekerk continued his return to form, delivering another strong performance in the 400 meters at the 2023 Racers Grand – World Athletics Continental Tour Silver series. Van Niekerk set a new meeting record with a blistering time of 44.21 seconds on Saturday night (3).
Van Niekerk, who famously set the world record at the Rio Olympics in 2016, had already showcased his prowess earlier this season with a stellar 44.17 seconds at the South African championships in Potchefstroom, back in April. – Read more: Wayde van Niekerk opens season with fast 44.17secs at national championships
At the recent event in Kingston, the two-time world champion once again threatened his season’s best time, dominating a strong field and surpassing Kirani James’ previous meeting record of 44.35 seconds, established in 2018.
Reflecting on his performance, Van Niekerk shared, “I was just trying to execute the race plan. The plan was to attack the last 120m, so when I got there, I wanted to make sure to put a good effort in, and I think it went well.
“This is a consistent start and a positive to work towards,” added the 30-year-old about his season so far.
The 30-year-old athlete also expressed his satisfaction with his consistent start to the season, stating, “This positive momentum gives me a solid foundation to build upon.”
Securing second place overall behind Van Niekerk was Antonio Watson of Jamaica, who achieved a personal best time of 44.75 seconds in the B race. Zandrion Barnes, also representing Jamaica, impressed with a personal best of 44.90 seconds, claiming the third spot overall after following the South African home in the A race.
In the women’s 400m race, Jamaican sprinter Charokee Young emerged triumphant, crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 51.11 seconds. She outpaced her compatriot Stacey-Ann Williams, who recorded a time of 51.34 seconds, as well as Kendall Ellis from the USA, who finished at 51.37 seconds.
Meanwhile, Tobi Amusan, the world record holder and reigning world champion from Nigeria, displayed her dominance in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Amusan delivered a season-best performance of 12.57 seconds, securing victory ahead of American athlete Tia Jones (12.72 seconds) and Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper (12.80 seconds).