South African sprinting ace Wayde van Niekerk blitzed to a new national record in the men’s 400m at the New York Diamond League meeting on Saturday.
Van Niekerk returned to the venue where he first smashed the national mark in a time of 44.38 seconds to shave 0.14 off his previous best, clocking 44.24.
The Free State athlete’s time is the third this season, with only Granada’s Kirani James’ times of 43.95 and 44.22 faster than Van Niekerk.
Van Niekerk won the gold medal with Christopher Brown of the Bahamas taking silver in 44.74 and Tony McQuay bagging bronze with 45.26.
It is the second time in a week that Van Niekerk managed to improve on a national mark after he smashed the 300m record at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.
Van Niekerk launched himself into 10th place on the world all-time list in the 300m with a time of 31.63 to shave 0.52 off Morne Nagel’s record from 2006.
In the process he also broke the African record of 31.74 held by Ivorian Gabriel Tiacoh since 1986.
* Ockert de Villiers – Sport24