For Wayde van Niekerk, tomorrow is always about being better.


What’s faster than the fastest? Olympic World Record holder Wayde van Niekerk is trying to find out.

My goal was to win Gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, so when I achieved that the year before at the World Championships in Beijing, I needed to set a new goal for personal growth. The blessing of the world record at the Olympics, was exactly what I had needed.

The moment I crossed the line and saw my world record, I think people expected a “Wow” response from me, but I was just doing what I love. It’s what I'd been working towards for years and years. To me, it was another step forward to becoming the best athlete I could be.

One minute my career was picking up speed, and in the next, I thought it was all over because of the injury sustained in 2017. Right after it happened, I was trying to fight the fact that I was injured. I tried not to believe it. Once it became a reality though, I felt completely knocked down.


During the period of injury, I was pulled into a dark space - it felt like a bit of a depression. I wasn’t as motivated as usual, I just wasn’t happy. My spirituality is the thing that got me through this tough time.

Being a sportsperson, I wanted to push the limits with my recovery but there was a fine line to consider. I had to listen to my body on and off the track. What I can say is that when I do get the opportunity to finally give it my all, you can be sure I’ll take it.

My coach, Tannie Ans, and I just click when it comes to communication. Sometimes, I don’t even have to say anything to her, and she’ll decide what I can cope with during practice. It helps me a lot that she knows me so well. When it comes to practicing and being competitive, I can be quite stubborn. I’m glad that I’ve got the guidance of my coach to tone me down or tell me to relax because I’ll always want to be competitive.

The goal for this year was the 42-second barrier. Obviously a lot has changed in recent weeks with the outbreak of Covid-19. I still want to break my world record again, and, in the process, become the first 400m athlete to go ‘sub-43’. That’s my goal, and that's what I'll be working towards once we’re able to compete again.

Breaking the world record has taken me to new heights mentally, spiritually and physically. It’s given me tremendous self-belief and self-confidence. I'm looking forward to having more of those moments and to being faster than before.

For now though, my hope is that people stay safe wherever they are in the world, so that we can flatten the curve together.