Van Niekerk
Van Niekerk

photomark 1 1024x531 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1South African Wayde van Niekerk blazed to a new world record of 43.03 to win the men’s 400m gold here at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Running blind from lane eight, van Niekerk ran a powerful first 300m mindful of his main rivals, defending champion Kirani James of Grenada and 2008 winner LaShawn Merritt of the USA, were on his inside.

The 24-year-old finished strongly and dipped at the line to erase the previous world record of 43.18 by American Michael Johnson when he won gold at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain.

van Niekerk’s previous best was 43.48 done to win last year’s World title.

James had to settle for second in 43.76, missing his national record by 0.02 seconds and Merritt fourth in 43.85.

Machel Cedenio finished in fourth in a T&T national record of 44.01, eclipsing the 24-year-old mark of 44.21 held by Ian Morris.

Teenager Karoba Sibanda of Botswna was fifth with a pb of 44.25 while Ali Khamis Khamis set a Bahraini record of 44.36 to take sixth.

Bralon Taplin, also of Grenada, was seventh in 44.45, 0.07 second off his pb. Matthew Hudson-Smith of Great Britain was eighth in an impressive time of 44.61

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Clayton Clarke is a freelance track and field journalist since 2005. He is a former athlete and an IAAF Level III coach (Sprints & Hurdles). He has been a writer with Track Alerts since its inception in 2009. He worked with several media houses (radio, tv, newspaper, website) in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Kitts Nevis and the Bahamas. The Tobago native has covered the Carifta Games since 2005, the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2011 World Athletic Championships and numerous local and regional track and field events.. Though track and field is his passion and main interest, he has served as media liaison with numerous sporting bodies in T&T and in particular in Tobago, namely cycling, chess, football, beach soccer, taekwondo, rugby, swimming, tennis and beach volleyball.


  1. Best performance in the games by far. Wouldn’t have expected to see any WR go now we have two already wow. But this one was the best sprinting race ever! Forget about the 100m as it was utterly lame. The slowest times in a 100m final for a loooooooooooong time. 400 is the new 100 🙂


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