South Africa’s Van Niekerk tests positive for COVID-19 in Italy


South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk celebrates with the South African flag after winning the final ...
South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk celebrates with the South African flag after winning the final of the men's 400m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

In Summary

  • South Africa’s Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy last week, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper
  • Van Niekerk was set to participate in a meet in Trieste - his first competition outside of South Africa since 2017 following a serious knee injury

South Africa’s Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy last week, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Van Niekerk, who romped to Olympic gold four years ago in a world record time of 43.03 seconds, was set to participate in a meet in Trieste – his first competition outside of South Africa since 2017 following a serious knee injury.

“I don’t know how it’s possible. Wayde has been training for the whole week and never had any symptom, not even after testing positive. He hasn’t had a fever,” the 28-year-old’s manager Peet Van Zyl told the publication.

Van Niekerk, who tore his right anterior cruciate ligament while playing a charity touch rugby game in 2017 to leave his career in doubt, began his comeback in February this year.

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