Michael Johnson’s 400m world record has finally been broken after 17 years.
South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, racing from lane eight, stunned the world by crossing the line in 43.03 seconds - 0.15 quicker than Johnson’s time from 1999.
It was arguably the performance of the night, perhaps even better than Usain Bolt’s display in the 100m final. But the Jamaican was clearly made up for Van Niekerk.
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Bolt praised the 24-year-old in a televised interview and cheekily trolled Johnson at the end of it. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
“For me, it’s brilliant,” Bolt told reporters. “When he came to Jamaica, I said to him ‘listen, I’m talking to me coach, you’re probably the only person who can break the world record because you’ve got the speed and you’ve got the strength.
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“So if you continue on this spike, you’re going to be monstrous.
“He did great, I’m proud of him. There’s no words.”
Bolt then added, while looking at the camera: “I know Michael Johnson’s not happy, though.”
The Jamaican then laughed before walking off.
Johnson sounded genuinely pleased for Van Niekerk
Johnson, working for BBC, was commentating on the event and sounded genuinely pleased for Van Niekerk.
“Oh my god,” he said, reacting moments after the race. “From lane eight, world record.”
“I’ve never seen, from 200 to 400, anything like that.”
Johnson congratulated Van Niekerk on Twitter
Johnson then congratulated the South African for his remarkable achievement.
“Congratulations @WaydeDreamer to you and your coach! Well done and deserved. Olympic Gold and World record. I know the feeling! #Rio2016” he tweeted.
The 48-year-old added: “Thanks for all the kind words. I'll always have the memory of the accomplishment of breaking it. Like the 200 I think it's in good hands”.
Van Niekerk's reaction to his own performance
Reacting to his own performance, Van Niekerk was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "I have dreamed of this since I was a kid.
"I believed it was possible. I am just glad things went my way. I thank Michael Johnson for setting such a great example for us. I just did my best."
Is Wayde van Niekerk’s performance the best of Rio 2016? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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