Wayde van Niekerk is 23 years old. His 400/200 times progression are as follows:
2013 – 45.09/20.84
2014 – 44.38/20.19
2015 – 43.48/19.96 (and the season isn’t over with Zurich coming up!)
What can he do in Rio?
Wayde went from 45 to 43 in 2 years. That’s incredible.
In the 400 meters, can you drop your personal best from 45 seconds down to 43 seconds in one year?
The answer is yes.
In 1967, Lee Evans ran a 44.9 hand time (equivalent to a 45.04 FAT) behind Tommie Smith’s 400 meter World Record of 44.5, then ran 43.86 in Mexico City in 1968.
In 1987, Steve Lewis ran 45.76 at the USA National Junior Championships, followed by his 43.87 Gold medal victory over Butch Reynolds at the Seoul Olympics.
One thing is clear. As Wayde gets faster in the 200m, and stronger in the 400m, he can seriously challenge the 43.18 world record, which is only 0.30 away.