7msports > Athletics Video > Van Niekerk - I have to pinch myself after Olympic gold medal

Van Niekerk - I have to pinch myself after Olympic gold medal

Wednesday, August 17 2016 by SNTV
  • South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk says he still has to "pinch" himself after he broke the first track record of the 2016 summer Olympics games.

    The 24-year-old smashed Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record in the 400 metres, running an astonishing 43.03 seconds,

    SOUNDBITE: (English), Wayde Van Niekerk, 400m Olympic gold medallist (commenting on his performance):

    "To be honest with you, the race itself, is very, very, very, very blur to me. I really just went out there and gave it my all. And even after the race, when I got over the finish line, I still felt a bit amazed. It really just, everything just felt unreal and even this morning waking up, I still have to pinch myself now and then to see was that really me? Is this really still mine or is this my medal or is this my time. So it's really unreal but I'm so grateful that things went my way."

    SOUNDBITE: (English): Wayde Van Niekerk (on whether he thought he could've broken the world record):

    "The only thing I was focused on was looking to the left to see if anyone else is gonna catch me. But yah, I never really had my mind set on the world record."

    SOUNDBITE: (English), Wayde Van Niekerk (on what he would say to Michael Johnson if he meets him):

    "Just obviously get to know him (Michael Johnson) better and just thank him for the example that he set out for us obviously. And it really gave us all, as 400-metre athletes, motivation to obviously try and achieve what he has done and now, today, with the time that I have achieved (43.03 seconds), it gives me now, motivation, to continue improving myself."

    SOUNDBITE: (English), Wayde Van Niekerk (on whether he can go under 43 seconds in the 400m) :

    "Definitely. I think erm, especially being at the age that I am today, there's always room for improvement. There's always areas that you can improve and better. I think, I think I still have so much more that I can prove."

    SOUNDBITE: (English), Wayde Van Niekerk (on how this victory changes his life and for South Africa):

    "I really hope that it opens up so much more doors and investments for South Africans. I mean, we've got so much talent, and so much potential back home, that's just waiting for that support, and that push, and that extra, and that extra bit of motivation to get them to where I am today and I think there's so much more that South Africa can do to produce more great sports people in the world."

    SOUNDBITE: (English) Wayde Van Niekerk (on whether he'll race in the 100m and 200m as well in the future):

    "Well, I've always been the fan of the 100 (metres) and the 200 (metres), so I'll definitely be out there, doing the 100m and the 200m."

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