Luxolo Adams wants to keep his Olympic spot from Wayde van Niekerk

Luxolo Adams in action at the 2023 world championships in Budapest.
Luxolo Adams in action at the 2023 world championships in Budapest.
Image: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Luxolo Adams does not plan on going quietly, it seems, posting on social media that he's not ready to give up his 200m spot at the Paris Olympics to Wayde van Niekerk.

Van Niekerk had been withdrawn from the 400m to rather enter the 200m so he can be fresh enough to compete in both the 4x400m and 4x400m relays, but this switch was predicated on Adams being dropped from the 200m line-up.

But Adams’s name is still on World Athletics’ list of qualified 200m athletes, and the sprinter was singing a defiant tune on Thursday afternoon.

Adams, who was announced in the team in mid-May already, posted on Instagram a photo of himself in training and wrote: “Fit and healthy, can’t wait for #Paris2024.”

He seemed to be hitting back at reports that he was to lose his spot in the Olympic team.

Adams has been struggling to overcome injury this season and in his only race in 2024 so far finished third in a slow 21.50sec in Italy at the weekend.

That’s way off the 19.82 personal best he ran in Paris in 2022.

Sources said the South African Olympic team, with Van Niekerk replacing Adams in the 200m, had already been submitted.

But this is not being reflected on the World Athletics website listing all athletes who have qualified for the Games.

World Athletics have yet to publish the team lists for all nations, but that should happen soon.

But if Adams remains in the team, then it’s anyone's guess as to whether Van Niekerk’s spot in Paris is at risk. 

It would be a disaster if Van Niekerk missed the Games because of an administrative miscalculation.

But he wouldn’t be the first victim of Paris 2024. In fact, he wouldn’t even be the first victim with the surname Van Niekerk.

Lara van Niekerk swam two Olympic qualifying times in South African galas in 2023, but she didn’t make the team because Swimming South Africa failed to have those meets — one was the national championships — registered as an Olympic-qualifying gala with World Aquatics.


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