Rio 2016: 'Sky is the limit' for Van Niekerk after world-record win


Wayde van Niekerk believes there is no limit to how low he can take the 400 metre world record after sensationally breaking it to win gold at Rio 2016.

Van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson's 17-year world record with a time of 43.03 seconds on Sunday as he snatched the Olympic title from Grenada's Kirani James, who took silver ahead of LaShawn Merritt.

The South African's sensational performance has already led to questions over whether he can break the 43-second barrier.

And Van Niekerk claimed it is possible, telling a media conference: "Achieving what I just did, I think the sky is the limit. There is no way I'm going to limit myself.

"I can't even tell you what happened in the race. I think when I got to the finish line, I was expecting one of them to catch me. I'm still amazed and I still have to pinch myself about what happened."

Van Niekerk's stunning display came on the same night Usain Bolt became the first athlete to win three straight 100m Olympic titles.

The 24-year-old revealed Jamaican Bolt had previously told Van Niekerk he could break the world record.

He added: "These are guys that inspired me - Usain Bolt, Michael Johnson, I learned from them, and even the guys that ran against me today, Lashawn Merritt, Kirani James, these are guys that inspired me.

"I was over there [Jamaica] for about two weeks training. He's [Bolt] been such a huge rock, inspiring me as an athlete. He told me back in Jamaica that 'you will break the world record'. And he came to me after [the race] and said 'I told you you can do it'."