Wayde Van Niekerk breaks Michael Johnson’s world record in 400m

South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record in the 400 meters on Sunday in Rio with a time of 43.03. 

Van Niekerk, who is coached by a 74-year-old great-grandmother, was on pace to break the record through 300 meters at the world championship’s last summer. Though he failed to break the record, he did win the gold medal. He was taken to the hospital after the race. 

American LaShawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic champion, won the bronze medal and 2012 champ Kirani James won silver. 

Johnson was doing commentary on the race for the BBC. 

“Oh my god!” Johnson said. “That was a massacre from Wayde van Niekerk. He just put those guys away.”



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