World record-holder Wayde van Niekerk has revealed he was in tears before the Olympic 400m final in Rio de Janeiro.
However, after the dust settled, van Niekerk took gold in a new world record 43.03secs
Speaking on the next edition of the Wanda Diamond League Call Room, 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 the semi-final,” he said.
“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,” explained the South African.
Van Niekerk also said he is “100 per cent ready” to return after three low-key 100/200m races in South Africa in February.
“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.”
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