South African sprinter, Wayde van Niekerk won his country’s first gold at the Rio Olympics after winning the 400m finals.
Niekerk broke a 17-year-old world record set by United States’ Michael Johnson by his victory.
The 24-year-old athlete finished the race in 43.03 seconds, beating Johnson’s record time that was set in 1999 in Seville by 0.15 seconds.
I believed it was possible. I am glad things went my way. I thank Michael Johnson for setting such a great example for us, I just did my best.
‘‘I believed it was possible. I am glad things went my way. I thank Michael Johnson for setting such a great example for us, I just did my best,’‘ he told reporters after the race.
The South African government took the lead in congratulating Wayde, then Minister of Sports joined in.
All three major political parties, the Africa National Congress (ANC) the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) all sent congratulations to the athlete.
Grenada’s Kirani James, who won gold in London four years ago finished 0.73 behind Wayde to take the silver medal, with American LaShawn Merritt in bronze.
EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) August 15, 2016
RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) August 15, 2016
🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/yJfxxOhTVX— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) August 15, 2016
Good days. The seven medals that South Africa have amassed at Rio is the most the country has won since returning to the #Olympics in 1992— Clinton van der Berg (@ClintonV) August 15, 2016
Wade Van Niekerk was just flying without wings all the way to crash the 17years standing reckord.— Mukhudi Kennedy (@mukhudit) August 15, 2016