World Championships

Van Niekerk, Makwala Through To 400m Semis

Wayde van Niekerk began the defense of his 400m title with a comfortable shake out on Day 2 of the 2017 IAAF World Championships here in London on Saturday morning.

Wayde van Niekerk Olympic and world champion
Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa the Olympic Games and world champion

LONDON, Sporting Alert — Wayde van Niekerk began the defense of his 400m title with a comfortable shake out on Day 2 of the 2017 IAAF World Championships here in London on Saturday morning.

Van Niekerk, who is seeking to win gold in both the 400 and 200 meters over the next week, cruised through the opening 300m before lifting the hand break slightly in the final 100m to crossed in 45.27 seconds, still in a jog.

American legend Michael Johnson, who owned the world record before last summer at Rio 2016 when Van Niekerk eclipsed his mark, believes the South African made the race a lot tougher than it should have been.

“You don’t wanna do that,” Johnson said about Van Niekerk’s first 300m during his BBC Sports commentary. “It wasn’t good race management for him.”

“That takes a lot of energy (to change gears) but he can afford to get away with that. He’s Van Niekerk.”

The South African easily beat Nery Brenes of Costa Rica who came home in 45.71 with Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago taking third in 45.77.

Another medal contender, Isaac Makwala of Botswana was the quickest of the first round after he ran 44.55 seconds to win the fourth heat over American 2013 world and 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt (45.00).

NCAA and American champion Fred Kerley was the comfortable winner of heat 1 with a time of 44.92.

However, Johnson was not a fan of his showboating antics over the last 60m.

“I didn’t like the antics,” Johnson said.

About The Author

Gary Smith || World-Track Content Manager and Lead Reporter

Gary Smith is one of the leading writers for World-Track.org. He has over 20 years of running experience, as well as 12 years of coaching while covering several events, from the international to college level. Smith, who has covered events for publications such as Caribbean Net News, European Athletics, Cayman Net News, AFP, and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), is also a frequent contributor of SportingAlert.com and TrackAlerts.com. Smith holds a degree in Communication and Journalism. Twitter | LinkedIn | News Break Writer

You Might Also Enjoy...

Lamont Marcell Jacobs after winning the Olympic 100m title in Tokyo

Lamont Jacobs wins 100m: Lucca International Meeting 2024 Results

Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy won the men's 100m at the 3rd Lucca International Meeting 2024 meeting, clocking 10.07 secs on May 19. Full results and recap.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone wins 400m at the USATF Championships in World-Leading Marks

McLaughlin-Levrone Set to Make Statement Over 400m Hurdles at 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials

American sprinter Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone will race in the 400m hurdles at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials, an event she hasn't contested since breaking the world record in 2022.

Great Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the heptathlon at the world athletics championships

Britain’s Johnson-Thompson Wins High Jump, Finishes Sixth in Hurdles in Loughborough

Katarina Johnson-Thompson continued her Paris 2024 preparations with a win and 6th place finishes at the 2024 Loughborough International Athletics Meet.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share to...