No ill-feeling between myself and Wayde van Niekerk‚ says Tannie Ans

Wayde van Niekerk during the launch of the Vitality Running World Cup at 1 Discovery Place on March 05, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Wayde van Niekerk during the launch of the Vitality Running World Cup at 1 Discovery Place on March 05, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Celebrated athletics coach Tannie Ans Botha has opened up about her high-profile parting of ways with long-time protégée Wayde van Niekerk a few days ago and insisted that there is no bad blood between them.

Botha turned Van Niekerk from a 100m and 200m sprinter to the 400m‚ where he won the Olympic title at Rio 2016 in a 43.03 sec world record‚ as well as the 2015 and 2017 world titles.

Van Niekerk’s record in Rio de Janeiro bettered legendary US sprinter Michael Johnson's mark of 43.18‚ which had been standing for 17 years. The athlete announced that he would link up with a powerful training group in the US featuring 200m world champion Noah Lyles.

“I can only say that there is no ill-feeling between me and Wayde‚” Botha told TimesLive.

“I wish him all the best and happiness in the future. There are no problems between me and him or anything like that because he has joined another coach. I knew about this move for quite a while before it was announced and everything is good between us.

“I am happy that I have contributed something to his professional and personal life. A press release was released last week about this and I don’t have anything more to say.”

Van Niekerk will be working with sprints coach Lance Brauman in Claremont‚ Florida‚ where he will train alongside Lyles and women’s Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

He has missed major championships in the last few years after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a charity rugby match. He would have likely missed out on the Tokyo Olympics had the event taken place last year as originally planned.

Among his impressive achievements‚ Van Niekerk is the first athlete ever to run the 100m under 10 seconds‚ the 200m under 20 seconds and the 400m under 44 seconds.

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