Wayde van Niekerk stormed to the first part of his golden double as he retained his world 400m title with a dominant display.
Wayde van Niekerk underlined his status as one of the most extraordinary athletes currently operating in track and field as he successfully defended his world 400m title here without any of his talented rivals ever looking remotely likely to challenge him.
In claiming gold in 43.98, the 25-year-old South African completed the first part of his projected double at these championships. Tomorrow he will take part in the men’s 200m semifinals which take place ahead of Thursday night’s final.
Silver in 44.41 went to 21-year-old Steven Gardiner, the 6ft 5in talent from The Bahamas who had lowered his national record to 43.89 in reaching this final, with the fast-finishing Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar claiming bronze in a season’s best of 44.48.
“It is amazing to win the world title again,” said Van Niekerk. “It is a blessing. I hope the fans enjoyed that. I’m used to the lactic (acid in legs) but I need a few minutes to recover from that effort and I’ll be fine.
With one of his main rivals Isaac Makwala absent after being excluded controversially on medical grounds, Olympic champion and world record holder Van Niekerk left the rest of the field in his wake, underlining his status as the sport’s new superstar in the post-Bolt world.
The defending champion wins it serenely, in 43.98sec! Steven Gardiner wins silver with 44.41, Qatar’s Abdalelah Haroun nabs bronze with 44.48
Feeling so much pride to have won the 400m. Thank you South Africa. Thank you London. #London2017 pic.twitter.com/jda07kfbJ2
— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) August 9, 2017
The South African’s time of 43.98 seconds was almost a second down on the astonishing record he set a year ago in Rio, but he was still 0.43secs clear of Steven Gardiner in second and the fast-finishing Abdalelah Haroun in third.
Culled from BBC Sport
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