Is Wayde better than Bolt?

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has dominated the athletics world for the better part of the last decade. The announcement of his retirement at the end of this season has left the world searching for a possible successor.

And Bolt has put forward South African phenom Wayde van Niekerk as his likely successor.

“Yeah for sure,” was Bolt’s response to AFP‘s question of who could take over from him in dominating the athletics world.

“I think he really wants to be a sprinter because he’s set a personal best in the 100m this year,” Bolt said.

Van Niekerk, after a quiet start to his athletics career has set the athletics world alight with his achievements over the last two years.

In 2015, he announced his presence as a contender at the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Championships with a 400m win in a time of 43.48 seconds, which also made him the fourth fastest runner of all time.

This performance was followed by a gold-medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, winning the 400m in a time of 43.03 seconds. Van Niekerk broke American sprinter Michael Johnson’s record that has stood since 1999. In addition, van Niekerk also became the only man to ever win the Olympic or World 400 metre sprint from lane 8, which usually puts runners at a disadvantage as a result of the staggered start.

On Wednesday evening, van Niekerk further enhanced his claim to Bolt’s crown, winning the rarely run 300m at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in a time of 30.81 seconds. Incidentally, he smashed another of Johnson’s records with this win.

To date, the South African sprinter has become the first man in history to run under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m, 31 seconds for 300m and 44 seconds for the 400m.