Wayde van Niekerk to miss Commonwealth Games after tag rugby injury
Last Updated: 31/10/17 11:45pm
Wayde van Niekerk is expected to be sidelined for six months with a torn meniscus suffered in a celebrity tag rugby match in South Africa.
The South African Rio Olympic 400m gold medallist will miss the Commonwealth Games next April on the Gold Coast, Australia, after sustaining the injury.
Van Niekerk, who had planned to double in the 100m and 200m, sustained medial and lateral tears of the meniscus, as well as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
"I was looking forward to competing in the 100m and 200m events in Gold Coast‚ and participating at the national championships in March‚ so this is unfortunate timing‚" said Van Niekerk‚ who will have surgery in Colorado later this week.
"But this is sport and these things happen. I trust that the team I have around me‚ including the medical professionals‚ will make this process as smooth as possible.
"I have faith that‚ God willing‚ I'll be able to race again later next year. Full recovery is going to be crucial‚ so I'll be patient‚ but I will work as hard as I can to get back on the track as soon as possible."
The 25-year-old, who broke the 400m world record in his gold medal-winning run in Rio, won the 400m gold and 200m silver at the World Championships in London last year and was aiming to improve upon the 400m silver he won at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.