Van Niekerk has showed his worth on the track, shattering Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
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Wayde van Niekerk has been hailed as the next poster boy for global track and field, and the softly spoken South African admits he's taking on board as much as he can from the outgoing Usain Bolt. Although lacking the showman's pizzaz of Bolt, who has accrued eight Olympic and 11 world gold medals, Van Niekerk has showed his worth on the track, shattering Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record from lane eight when adding the Olympic 400-meter title to his world crown last year.Bolt has consistently named the South African as his natural successor on the track, and Van Niekerk said: "All of us have a lot of respect for Usain Bolt and all of us have gained a lot of inspiration and motivation from what he's done for track and field.
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