Beijing: Wayde van Niekerk stormed to 400 metres glory at the World Championships, putting in so much effort that the South African had to be taken away on a stretcher.
Wayde Van Niekerk is carried off the track after winning the men's 400m final in Beijing. Pic/AFP
A clutch of personal bests along with several national records led Great Britain captain Martyn Rooney to predict that Michael Johnson's long-standing world record of 43.18 seconds could be under threat in Beijing.
It did not quite get that low but Van Niekerk did produce a world-leading 43.48 secs, with his personal best enough to dethrone second-place LaShawn Merritt in a race which saw Olympic champion Kirani James win bronze.
They may have ran a personal best and season best, respectively, but it was not enough to catch the South African, who was left needing medical treatment after his lap of the Bird's Nest.
Van Niekerk was taken away from trackside on a stretcher, denying the 23-year-old a deserved victory lap at the end of an exhausting run which saw him become the fourth fastest man ever over 400m.
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