Wayde van Niekerk wins Olympic Gold in new word record time

Botha first noticed Van Niekerk in 2010 at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Canada, where the young runner finished fourth. I just went for it.

The 24-year-old was thrilled with his accomplishment, as he managed to break the 17-year record held by American Michael Johnson with a time of 43.03 seconds in the one-lap race.

Athletics great Michael Johnson has paid tribute to Wayde van Niekerk after the South African broke his 400m world record in stunning fashion at the Rio Games. "Like the 200 I think it's in good hands". "I still have to pinch myself on what just happened". "His Olympic Gold Medal win has made us all extremely excited and proud of him as a son of South Africa", says Anant Singh, member of the International Olympic Committee.

"I've dreamed of this medal forever", said Van Niekerk.

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"Training has been going well, I haven't really raced much this year so I haven't been able to get the consistency like these guys to run 44s back to back".

The Jamaican's triumph got the Brazilian crowd on their feet, but Van Niekerk left them open-mouthed. Now I've got the world record and Liverpool beat Arsenal. "I'm very happy for him".

Invariably, in the current doping-tainted world track and field finds itself, van Nierkerk was asked directly whether he was doping.

"You can't be everyone's favourite, but what I can do is control the controllables, just be the best athlete I can be and stay as focused as I can be".

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"Wayde is unbelievable. Spending three months every year with him I always knew that he could be this great and I always knew that he could break the record and I know that you've some a friend is such an fantastic feeling".

"I've never seen, from 200 to 400, anything like that". Moments later, he draped the multi-colored South African flag around his shoulders and took off his spikes. What he's achieved as athlete speaks for itself.

It was arguably the performance of the night, perhaps even better than Usain Bolt's display in the 100m final. "I'm very grateful my coach has pushed me to the limit".

He is the first man to win an Olympic 400m title from lane eight. Usually guys slow down a bit in the last hundred but he just kept going.

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