Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
26 Aug 2015
4:10 pm

Van Niekerk wins gold in Beijing

Wesley Botton

Wayde van Niekerk charged to victory in the men's 400m final in Beijing on Wednesday, securing the nation's first medal on day five of the World Athletics Championships.

Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa in the mens 400m heats during day 2 of the 2015 IAAF World Championships at National Stadium on August 23, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

The 23-year-old sprinter clocked 43.48 seconds to smash his own SA record by 0.48, snatching the gold medal from some of the fastest and most accomplished one-lap sprinters in history.

Defending champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States finished second in a personal best of 43.65 and Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada took the bronze medal in 43.78.

Van Niekerk’s time is a new African record, and the sixth fastest performance of all-time in his specialist event.