2015 World Champion Wayde Van Niekerk led all the way in very difficult lane 8 to break the 400 meter world record of the Great Michael Johnson (43.18) set in 1999. Van Niekirk became the first man to win from an outside lane in the 400 meters since Eric Liddel of Scotland (made famous in film Chariots of Fire, who won in 1924 from lane 6). Splitting impressive 10.7 and 20.5 in the first 100 and 200 of the 400 this was alot faster than the 21.2 split of Johnson.
Niekerk had moved up from being a 100,200 runner as a junior to the 400. In the olympic final. He pulled away from former Olympic and World champions Kirani James (Grenada) and La Shawn Merritt (USA) 43.76 and 43.85 who strained together next to each other for silver and bronze.
Former sprinter Ato Boldon and now sports analyst predicted the 400 meters would be the high performance event these games and the world record was going to go. Van Niekirk truly is looking at succeeding Bolt as the face of men’s sprints bringing back excitement to the quarter mile.
Even Johnson thought so. In comments for the BBC – he’s a track and field TV analyst for them – Johnson said: “Oh my God! From lane eight, a world record. He took it out so quick. I have never seen anything from 200 to 400 like that.
“That was a massacre from Wayde van Niekerk. He just put those guys away.”
400 Meter Olympic Final
|1||2910||Wayde VAN NIEKERK||RSA||43.03||WR||0.181|
|6||2171||Ali Khamis KHAMIS||BRN||44.36||NR||0.148|
- 100 metres – 9.98 sec (2016)
- 150 metres – 15.89 sec (2011)
- 200 metres – 19.94 sec (2015)
- 300 metres – 31.03 sec (2016)
- 400 metres – 43.03 sec (2016)