CAPE TOWN – Wayde van Niekerk has made an enormous call to leave the coaching group of his coach Tannie Ans Botha and put together for the Olympics in the United States. Only time will inform if he has made the right resolution.
When he made the announcement, Van Niekerk was stuffed with reward for Botha in his assertion and subsequent tweets, utilizing the phrases “amazing” and “gratitude” for her contribution, including that she would at all times be his mentor.
But he was additionally adamant that he wanted to be “training alongside the world’s best sprinters” so as to break the world report, which is what he will probably be doing by becoming a member of the coaching group of 200m American star Noah Lyles and 400m ladies’s Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.
It’s a picture we are going to always remember – after Van Niekerk shocked the world along with his record-breaking 400m run at the Rio Olympics, the grey-haired determine of Tannie Ans was in the stands.
She had watched her protege conquering the globe along with his exceptional run of 43.03 seconds, which eclipsed Michael Johnson’s long-standing mark of 43.18.
The state of affairs was one among a grandmother and her favorite grandson, which was not far-fetched, seeing that Botha had moulded Van Niekerk into the famous person he turned, regardless of being 74-years-old then.
But since then, it’s been a troublesome time for the cousin of Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe.
Ironically, it was a contact rugby match that set the wheels in movement for a disappointing previous few years which have seen Van Niekerk miss out on world championships, and he could have sat out of the Tokyo Olympics too if it had taken place final year.
All the whereas, Botha has been by his facet, like she was in his early life. Mostly strict, not letting him get carried away with the shorter sprints, and remaining targeted on defending his 400m title … And even considering of the unthinkable – a sub-43 second time.
It is a step into the unknown for Van Niekerk. He isn’t conducting media interviews at this stage following his announcement final Friday, and has been cagey about particulars comparable to when he intends to arrive in Claremont, Florida to be a part of his new coach
Lance Brauman, in addition to when he will probably be again on the monitor once more.
There will probably be a South African season of some type in the subsequent few months, which usually concludes with the nationwide championships in mid-April, however it’s unclear if Van Niekerk will take part in any native competitions – though he has posted movies and photos of him coaching in Bloemfontein over the previous few weeks.
But there’s a larger image for the 28-year-old than simply altering his coach. After the struggles of the previous few years, maybe it’s time for him to get out of his consolation zone of Bloemfontein and Botha.
Almost like Bok rugby captain Siya Kolisi’s transfer to the Sharks, Van Niekerk wants a contemporary problem, and wishes to be examined critically on the monitor as soon as extra, which native races and coaching teams don’t present.
Being in the US may also elevate his personal profile as a present Olympic champion.
But it’s all about being pushed to the restrict in his preparation and competitors, and that’s what he hopes Florida will give.
And guess who’s ready for Van Niekerk in the US?
The man who has run the quickest 400m time since the Rio Olympics, Michael Norman, a 23-year-old American with a time of 43.45.