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South African, World and reigning Olympic World record holder in the men’s 400m, Wayde Van Niekerk says he is ‘100 percent ready’ to return to action after his three-year battle with injury.

The Olympic Champion, speaking in the Paris edition of the Wanda Diamond League Call Room, (webinar), which set on air, Facebook and YouTube from 18.00 GMT, this Saturday, has revealed that there were days when he couldn’t walk,

“There were days when I couldn’t walk. I had to learn to listen to my body more, and I thank my coaches for listening to me when I am in that situation. You get a lot of coaches who would have pushed athletes through that pain, but my team was very patient. My body is feeling good. I have had time to allow my knee to get used to that on your marks feeling.” He said

The 2015 and 2017 World Champion, ran successfully over all three sprinting distances in Bloemfontein last February, before the global lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, says he is now “100 percent ready” to return to action,

“That gave me a massive confidence boost to know that I still have my speed. I knew I needed to challenge my body to break through the barriers. Now I just need to puzzle everything back together again to run the 400m successfully.”

Meanwhile, the South African sprint star also admitted that fear of injury reduced him to tears before his world-record-breaking Olympic final race in Rio in 2016. He said “I was in total tears before the race.” My back and my hamstring weren’t feeling good. I had felt my hamstring twitch exactly on the 200m mark in both heats and in the semi-final. So I was scared when I got to the final.
“But when I got into the blocks, I had to switch my mind back into the race. I thought: ‘I can’t be sulking on my hamstring’. In the first 200m I was a bit fearful but I decided to give it my all.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Van Niekerk stormed to victory in 43.03, obliterating Michael Johnson’s world record and crowning himself Olympic Champion.

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