Bloem’s Van Niekerk smashes WR to win Olympic gold

Bloemfontein's Wayde van Niekerk, broke the 400m sprint world record in Rio de Janeiro, to win his first Olympic title also South Africa's first gold in a track event in 20 years. PHOTO: ROGER SEDRES / SASPA
Bloemfontein’s Wayde van Niekerk, has done the unthinkable by breaking the world record which was believed to be unbreakable.

The South African sprinting sensation broke the 400m world record early on Monday morning to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 400m world champion made light work of beating Grenada’s Kirani James and the USA’s LaShawn Merritt by 0.73 seconds.

Michael Johnson set the previous benchmark at 43.18 seconds in Pretoria in 1999 and Van Niekerk shaved 0.15 seconds off the time to set the new record at 43.03 seconds.

The evening was meant to be all about Jamaica’s Usain Bolt with the world record holder going for his record third straight gold in the 100m sprint.

While Bolt achieved the feat in what is said to be his last Olympic Games event, his feat was overshadowed by the South African’s remarkable performance.