OK, perhaps we are being a little unfair here: Usain is right at the end of his career, whereas Wayde is peaking – and in some style, too.
The Lightning Bolt is set to retire from the sport he has so charismatically dominated over the last decade, winning every Olympic event he has ever competed in. His last outing will be at London’s World Championships next month.
Sadly, it seems the respective ships of the Jamaican superstar and Van Niekerk have passed each other in the night, and there will be no epic 200m clash between the pair.
Usain is famous for his unprecedented speed over short distances, whereas Wayde kills it over longer distances. It has been touted that the 200m race would be the fairest playing field for the clash.
A philosophical Bolt spoke to the media ahead of Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Monaco and had many warm words for our golden boy:
“I think that’s one of the most disappointing things of my career, that he (Van Niekerk) came along at this late stage and I could never compete against him. I think he is one of the best hands down.”
“He is really confident and he really works hard. For me, I’m never afraid, I live for competition. But it’s too late, it’s at the end of my career. So, we’ll never know what can happen!”
Bolt will have some South African competition in the 100m sprint, however, facing off against Akani Simbine. The Pretorian finished 5th in the Olympic final last year and could be considered a dark horse, given he’s recorded the season’s best 100m time of 9.92 secs.
As well as Wayde running the night’s 400m, Caster Semenya will take part in the 800m race in Monaco. It could be a golden night for South African sport.