South African 400 metres world champion Wayde van Niekerk will train with sprint king Usain Bolt in Jamaica next month in a bid to shave vital fractions of a second off his time in a chase for Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.
Van Niekerk, the only man in history to run under 10 seconds in the 100 metres, sub-20 in the 200 metres and below 44 in the 400 metres, is the second fastest sprinter over his specialist distance this year behind Kirani James from Grenada.
Van Niekerk hopes training with Bolt, world champion in the 100 and 200 metres, and another Jamaican sprint champion, Yohan Blake, will boost his gold medal prospects in Rio.
"I'm excited to go out there and train with them, it's the world best Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir," Van Niekerk told Reuters. "I feel I can learn a lot from them and can improve myself as an athlete.
Van Niekerk received the invitation from sprint coach Glen Mills, who played a leading role in the development of Bolt into the fastest man alive.
“I have got quite close with coach Mills in the last few months after we spent a lot of time together at lunch and supper tables [at events] and he eventually threw the idea out there and said, 'wouldn't you like to come out and train in Jamaica'. Obviously I jumped at the chance."