South African 400m track star, Wayde van Niekerk, made a triumphant return to international athletics with a win at the Gala dei Castelli at the Municipal Stadium in the town of Bellinzona, Switzerland.
It was van Niekerk's first international race since he sustained an ACL and meniscus tear three years ago while playing in a charity touch rugby game with other local sport stars. The game formed part of an opener for a rugby test between South African and New Zealand.
Since then, the 28-year-old has participated in local events, but Tuesday's event in Switzerland was his first international event.
He was meant to participate at an event in Italy last month but tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw during his preparation. He subsequently went for another test which resulted in a negative result, but by then he had withdrawn already.
On Tuesday, the Olympic gold medalist ran a time of 45.58 seconds to win gold ahead of Jochem Dobber of the Netherlands with his time of 45.78 seconds. Karol Zalewski from Poland came in third place.
Van Niekerk wasn't the only South African to make the rainbow nation proud.
Sprinter, Akani Simbine, went for a hattrick when he won gold in the 100 metres. He had won in the two previous European athletics events as well, while Ruswahl Samaai's jump of 8.04 metres won him a silver medal in the men’s long jump. Ahead of him with a distance of 8.08 metres was Kristian Pulli from Finalnd, winning the gold medal.
South Africa's Antonia Alkana received a bronze medal for his third place in the men's 110 metres hurdles event.
Watch the Swiss Athletics video below to see how Wayde van Niekerk sealed his comeback to international athletics with a gold medal.
Image credits: Daily Maverick and The South African