South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk wants to run in the 100m and 200m at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images

Wayde van Niekerk has given organisers of next year's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast a boost by confirming he definitely plans to compete.

The South African wants to concentrate on the 100 and 200 metres in 2018, meaning he will not compete in the 400m, the distance at which he is Olympic and world champion and holds the world record.

He is still, though,  the world 200m silver medallist and has broken 10 seconds for the 100m.

He is the only man in history to have gone sub-10 for 100m, sub-20 for 200m and sub-44 for 400m.

At Glasgow 2014, van Niekerk finished second in the 400m behind Grenada's Kirani James, at the time the Olympic champion.

At the Olympic Games last year in Rio de Janeiro the positions were reversed when James finished second as van Niekerk ran 43.03sec to beat Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record.

The 25-year-old from Cape Town is widely considered the natural heir to Usain Bolt's crown as athletics' next big superstar.

"I’ll definitely be doing the 100m and 200m," van Niekerk told The South African newspaper. 

"I think I’ve put out some great performances, and we’ll have to look at the selection criteria and what they need from me, but we’ll try and do the job.

"If I’m selected, I’ll compete in those events."

Gold Coast 2018 have sold a total of 200,000 tickets so far for the athletics at Carrara Stadium ©Gold Coast 2018
Gold Coast 2018 have sold a total of 200,000 tickets so far for the athletics at Carrara Stadium ©Gold Coast 2018

South Africa is expected to confirm selection of its team for Gold Coast in the first week of January. 

The announcement by van Niekerk that the Commonwealth Games is an important part of van Niekerk's schedule next year will be a valuable marketing tool for Gold Coast 2018 as they begin the final stage of their ticket sales.

Mark Peters, the chief executive of Gold Coast 2018, revealed to insidethegames here today that so far they have sold 200,000 of the 250,000 tickets currently available for athletics due to take place at the Carrara Stadium.

It is expected that once the track has been fully laid in the Stadium, normally the home of Australian Football League side Gold Coast Suns, and the reconfiguration of the arena is complete, up to a total of 300,000 tickets will have been available to the public.

So far, Gold Coast 2018 have received a total of 1.2 million ticket requests for the 275 events in 18 sports.

Just over 200,000 seats currently remain available in 10 sports, mostly preliminary sessions.

"We are tremendously encouraged by the support and interest from the public," Peters told insidethegames after he and Gold Coast 2018 chairman Peter Beattie had made a presentation to the Executive Board of the Commonwealth Games Federation here today. 

"Gold Coast 2018 is confident of putting on a fantastic Games."