Wayde van Niekerk Withdraws from Olympics’ 400m Event, to Focus on 200m

Wayde van Niekerk, a South African athlete, has withdrawn from the 400m race at the 2024 Paris Olympics to focus on the 200m.

According to sources, Van Niekerk’s absence from the 400m will prevent him from competing in the 4x400m relay.

The 4x400m team finished second at the World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas in May and was expected to win a medal in Paris. They are anticipated to struggle without Van Niekerk, who is 31 years old.

Van Niekerk notably won the 400m gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, breaking Michael Johnson’s 20-year-old world record and winning in 43.03.

However, in the years that followed, Van Niekerk struggled to reach new heights and was never the same again.

A bizarre accident during a celebrity touch rugby tournament at Newlands in 2017 sidelined him for a while, and when he returned, he was a shadow of his former self.

He was eliminated from the 400m semi-finals at the 2020 Tokyo Games, which will be held in 2021 due to the Covid-19 epidemic. He appeared to have recaptured his greatest form during the 2023 Diamond League, but that was followed by another disappointing performance at the world championships in Budapest.

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