South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk didn't just win a gold medal in the men's 400m Sunday night in Rio, the 24-year-old beat two former Olympic champions and smashed Michael Johnson's world record, which had stood for 17 years. Despite starting in a dreaded outside lane, van Niekerk finished in 43.03, well ahead of Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt, and more than a tenth of a second under Johnson's pace.
What was van Niekerk doing in the hours leading up to his big race? Watching Liverpool beat Arsenal in a 4-3 thriller.
Via the Independent:
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"I watched the Liverpool match before, I was losing my mind because it was a tight match. We got the win. My brother is an Arsenal fan. Now I've got the world record and Liverpool beat Arsenal. I've got a lot to brag about."
Thank you to everyone... 🙏🙏🙏— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) August 15, 2016
GOD IS POWER https://t.co/5bFdR7f3U1
Johnson was serving as a commentator during the race for BBC, and the American was blown away.
"Oh my God! From lane eight, a world record. He took it out so quick."