BREAKING NEWS: Van Niekerk completes 400m defence with Makwala denied entry
Wayde van Niekerk mounted a successful defence of his IAAF World Championships 400-metres title with potential challenger Isaac Makwala controversially denied a place on the starting blocks due to illness.
The South African slowed down as he crossed the line to take victory with a time of 43.98 seconds, Steven Gardiner (44.41secs) following him home ahead of Abdalelah Haroun (44.48secs) for the silver medal.
Van Niekerk did not have to get near to his world-record pace to maintain his dominance, though he may have been pushed harder had the IAAF not denied Makwala his place in the race amid an outbreak of norovirus at a team hotel in London.
It provided a successful first leg for Van Niekerk as he looks to become just the second athlete to complete the 400m and 200m double at the World Championships - Michael Johnson the only person to previously achieve the feat at Gothenburg 1995