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Rio 2016: Van Niekerk Smashes 400m World Record

South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk produced one of the great races in Olympic history to smash the world record in the men’s 400m gold medal.

The 24-year-old crossed the line in an astonishing 43.03 seconds, 0.15 quicker than Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record in a sensational performance.

Grenada’s Kirani James, the London 2012 champion, finished 0.73 behind to take the silver medal, with American LaShawn Merritt in bronze.


James set off fast at the start of the race, but Van Niekerk, in lane eight, powered around the final bend to beat his previous personal best by 0.45 and win his first Olympic medal.

He is the first man to win an Olympic 400m title from lane eight.



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