Result: Wayde van Niekerk stuns LeShawn Merritt, Kirani James to win 400m gold

Wayde van Niekerk beats Olympic champion Kirani James and defending champion LaShawn Merritt to gold in the men's 400m final at the World Athletics Championships.

South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk has set a new personal best to claim the gold medal in the men's 400m final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.

Van Niekerk crossed the line at 43.48s after bursting clear of the field in the opening 250m, forcing defending champion LaShawn Merritt of the USA to settle for the silver, despite also running a personal best.

South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk wins the final of the men's 400 metres athletics event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships at the 'Bird's Nest' National Stadium in Beijing on August 26, 2015© Getty Images

Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada finished strongly with his best time this season, but was unable to overhaul the two leaders in the final metres, picking up the bronze, with all three medallists running sub-44 seconds for the first time in the history of the event.

Great Britain's Rabah Yousif finished sixth in a time of 44.68s.

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Kirani James of Grenada celebrates winning gold in the Men's 400 metres Final at Hampden Park during day seven of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 30, 2014
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