As Bolt nears end, Van Niekerk is track's great hope

MONACO (AP) As Usain Bolt races toward the end of a great career, Wayde van Niekerk is considered to be track and field's next big star.

Van Niekerk, who set a 400-meter world record in 43.03 seconds while winning the Olympic title last year, says ''that's a massive, massive responsibility.''

The 25-year-old South African says: ''I find it extremely difficult to even come close to what Usain has represented in his charismatic way.''

Van Niekerk spoke in Monaco ahead of Friday's Diamond League meeting. Bolt will run the 100.

The softly spoken Van Niekerk has talked with Bolt ''quite a few times'' about revealing more of his character.

Van Niekerk says ''Usain has set the bar quite high both with his personality and his performances.''

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