Former world champion Waide van Niekerk was close to missing a podium spot but would have been pleased with his fifth place in the men’s 400m final at the World Championships in Athletics early Saturday morning (SAT time).
Completion three rounds in a major championship for the first time in five years, after recovering from lengthy fights due to injuries, Van Niekerk fought back but lost at the finish line.
The 30-year-old world record holder crossed the finish line in 44.97 seconds, finishing the race one lap 0.31 seconds short of his podium position.
American sprinter Michael Norman won gold in 44.29.
Earlier, on the eighth day in global exhibit in Eugene, South Africa, managed to continue the fight in the men’s 4x100m relay, and the national team is still in search of its first medal.
The quartet from South Africa – Henrico Bryundjies, Emil Erasmus, Clarence Munyai and Akani Simbine – finished third in their heat in 38:31 and advanced to the final on Sunday at 4:50.
Middle distance runner Prudence Sekgodiso finished fifth in her 800m semi-final in 2:00.01, with the 20-year-old rising star missing out on a place in the final.