Wayde Van Niekerk returns with victory

photomark 1 1024x531 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – “The men’s 400m record is in good hands” said Michael Johnson, who watched as South African, Wayde van Niekerk, broke his old mark on Sunday (Aug 14).

Van Niekerk ran 43.03 seconds to break Johnson’s world record of 43.18 to win the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The South African, running in lane eight, went out hard, knowing that the past two Olympic champions – Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt – were on his inside. Merritt appeared to be closing on Van Niekerk, coming into the home straight, but the world champion was able to respond and maintained his form down to the line, stopping the clock at 43.03.

“I’ll always have the memory of the accomplishment of breaking it. Like the 200, I think it’s in good hands,” tweeted Johnson.

At the 2008 Olympic Games, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt ran 19.30 to erase Johnson’s previous world record of 19.32. Bolt then lowered the mark to 19.19 to win the World Championships title in Berlin in 2009.
Van Niekerk’s time took 0.15 off the record Johnson set at the 1999 IAAF World Championships in Seville.

“Congratulations ‪@WaydeDreamer to you and your coach! Well done and deserved. Olympic Gold and World record. I know the feeling,” tweeted Johnson, who is a commentator at the event.

James edged ahead of Merritt to take silver in 43.76, while Merritt crossed the line in 43.85 to take bronze. 20 year old Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth in a national record of 44.01.


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