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Sunday 17 December, 2017
News
Wayde Van Niekerk Suffers Serious Knee Injury In Celebrity Touch Rugby Game
Oct.31.2017

Wayde Van Niekerk Suffers Serious Knee Injury In Celebrity Touch Rugby Game

The 400m world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk, has been forced to pull out of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia after seriously injuring his knee during a celebrity touch rugby match.

The 25-year-old South African, who is the reigning Olympic and world 400m champion, had been a strong favourite to win the 100m and 200m double in Gold Coast in April. However, he will now face six months of rehabilitation in the US, Qatar and South Africa after sustaining medial and lateral tears of the meniscus and tearing his anterior cruciate ligament playing rugby in Cape Town.

In a statement Van Niekerk, who was due to undergo surgery at the Steadman Clinic in Colorado on Tuesday, said he hoped to be back in the summer of 2018. “I was looking forward to competing in the 100m and 200m events in Gold Coast, and participating at the national championships in March, so this is unfortunate timing,” he said. “But this is sport and these things happen. I trust that the team I have around me, including the medical professionals, will make this process as smooth as possible.

“I have faith that, God willing, I’ll be able to race again later next year. Full recovery is going to be crucial, so I’ll be patient, but I will work as hard as I can to get back on the track as soon as possible.”

Van Niekerk was one of the stars of the London 2017 world championships – winning the 400m in 43.98sec, nearly half a second clear of the silver medallist, Steve Gardiner, despite wet weather and plummeting temperatures.

Two days later he then came within 0.02sec of becoming the first man since Michael Johnson in 1995 to win the 200m and 400m title at the same world championship only to be denied by the surprise gold medallist Ramil Guliyev from Turkey.

On the eve of this summer’s world championships, Usain Bolt had identified Van Niekerk as the man to replace him, predicting: “He will take over, without a doubt.”

After making his statement on Twitter Van Niekerk added: “Thanks to all for the kind wishes! Sadly I announce now that I’ll be off the track for a while. Will be back stronger!”
In his absence, South Africa’s sprint contingent is likely to be led by the national 100m record holder, Akani Simbine.

Source: www.theguardian.com


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