South African Athletics

Van Niekerk wins in Paris

2015-07-04 22:31
Wayde van Niekerk (AFP)

Johannesburg - South African sprinting sensation Wayde van Niekerk improved on his own national mark at the Paris Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Van Niekerk continued his rise in international track and field beating Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada.

He won the men's 400m in 43.97 seconds to shave 0.28s off his previous best he set in New York last month.

James had to be content with second place with his time of 44.17s.

Rounding off the podium, David Verburg of the United States clocked 44.81s for third place.

The Free State athlete’s time is the second fastest this season, 0.02s slower than James’ best this year.

South African javelin queen Sunette Viljoen, meanwhile, grabbed bronze with a best heave of 63.15m. Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic claimed first place with a throw of 64.42m while Australia's Kimberley Mickle took silver with 63.80m.

South African women's 400m hurdles ace Wenda Nel finished in fifth place in her specialist event with a time of 54.61s.

Elsewhere, long jumper Zarck Visser leapt to the second best distance by a South African with his 8.41m at the Bad Langensalza long jump meeting in Germany. Visser, the Commonwealth Games silver medallist, is nine centimetres shy of Khotso Mokoena's African record of 8.50m.

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