Wayde van Niekerk (Getty Images)
Rio de Janeiro - South African Wayde Van Niekerk smashed Michael Johnson's long-standing 400m record when he stormed to Olympic gold on Sunday.
Van Niekerk, running in the unfavoured lane eight, blasted off the
final corner to time 43.03, 0.15 quicker than Johnson's previous
world best set in Seville in 1999, a record that had taken on
"I believed I could get the world record," the 24-year-old South African said.
"I've dreamed of this medal since forever. I am blessed."
"I have never seen anything like that," Johnson told BBC, for whom he works as an analyst.
"It is amazing. That was a massacre by Van Niekerk. This young man
has done something truly special. He could go under 43 seconds - I
tried and failed.
"Being out in lane eight helped him, he was away from James and Merritt. He was running a time-trial.
"That was some style he broke it in," Johnson said of Van Niekerk,
who made sprint history by becoming the first athlete to dip under
benchmark times in the 100, 200 and 400m.