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Rio Olympics: South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk Breaks World Record to Win 400m Olympic Gold

South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old 400m world record to sensationally win Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

The 24-year-old finished in 43.03 seconds, 0.15 quicker than the time Johnson clocked in Seville in 1999.

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

“It was a massacre,” said Johnson, who won two Olympic 400m titles.

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“Van Niekerk is so young, what else can he do? Can he go under 43 seconds? It is something I thought I could do, but never did.

“Usain Bolt will be retiring soon, this could be the next star.”

Van Niekerk, who won South Africa’s first gold medal of the Games, said: “I have dreamed of this since I was a kid.

“I believed it was possible. I am just glad things went my way. I thank Michael Johnson for setting such a great example for us. I just did my best.”

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Written by PH

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