South 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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