Wayde van Niekerk ready for challenge of being the next Bolt

Manchester United Usain Bolt Jose Mourinho

Now he is adding the 200m in London as he aims to emulate Johnson's double from the 1995 worlds and 1996 Olympics.

Van Niekerk is also being tipped to threaten the 400m world record of 43.03 seconds that he took from Johnson at the Olympic Games past year and warned at a news conference in London on Wednesday that he was "in the best shape I could be" to deliver again.

"I'm comfortable calling myself a legend because I've proven myself", said Bolt, who is set to compete in the 4x100 relay along with the 100.

"To replace the greatest in Usain Bolt, I knew what I was getting into", De Grasse told Monday's edition of the Daily Mail.

"I'm not intimidated (by the responsibility), you can't be. I've had to adapt my program because I'm there to share his dreams".

Van Niekerk joked that he was expecting an invoice from Bolt for all the advice and encouragement the peerless sprinter had given him. "It gives me a lot of excitement but at the same time a lot of responsibility", Van Niekerk told reporters on a rainy afternoon.

"No athlete wishes their records will be broken! For me, he's proving that he can step up to the plate".

"I also want to congratulate you on being the second best athlete of Jamaica's track and field history", said Powell, with a laugh. We're going to go in the right direction and I'm happy about that situation.

"With football though, in some form you will see him". If I show up at championships I am confident in my abilities.

As always, journalists and TV crews, around 400 of them, from every corner of the world packed every available space and strained their arms in desperation to get their question answered by the great man, who playfully castigated one half of the auditorium for not giving him an enthusiastic enough welcome.

Asked whether he had spoken to Bolt about the pressure of being the face of the sport, Van Niekerk said he had an acute awareness of the task ahead. "If I show up at a championships, you know I'm fully confident and I'm ready to go".

Talk has been rife, however, that he could be about to return - and Bolt would love for a deal to go through. I've been doing it since I was 10 years old.

"His impact on the sport has been massive, and now I'm having the opportunity to build a small relationship with him, and I continue my journey", Van Niekerk said.

On Tuesday evening, Bolt once again singled out Van Niekerk as one of the athletes to become the new poster child of the sport.

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