Wayde van Niekerk explains absence from Hungary race

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South Africa’s 400 metre world record holder Wayde van Niekerk was missing from the starting line of a scheduled race in Hungary on Tuesday.

Van Niekerk took to social media to explain his absence. He says he had discomfort in his lower back during warm-up, and his coach decided to pull him out of the race “as it is not worth risking anything so close to the Tokyo Olympics.”

At the same meeting, Akane Simbine shattered his own personal best, setting a new African record of 9.84 in the 100 metres.

That’s the second fastest time in the world this year, and sets him up as a real medal contender in the Olympics’ blue riband event.