Wayde van Niekerk stormed to the first part of his potential golden double as he retained his world 400m title with a dominant display.

With one of his main rivals, Isaac Makwala, absent after being excluded controversially on medical grounds, Olympic champion and world record holder Van Niekerk left the rest of the field in his wake, underlining his status as the sport’s new superstar in the post-Usain Bolt world.

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The South African’s time of 43.98 seconds was almost a second down on the astonishing record he set a year ago in Rio, but he was still 0.43secs clear of Steven Gardiner in second and the fast-finishing Abdalelah Haroun in third.

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