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Van Niekerk breaks world record to win 400m gold

Wayde van Niekirk reacts after winning. Credit: Reuters

South Africa's Wayde van Niekirk has broken Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record to win the men's 400 metres.

Van Niekirk ran in 43.03 seconds to break Johnson's record of 43.18 seconds.

The 24-year-old looked stunned as he realised the speed of his victory.

London 2012 champion Kirani James won the silver medal, while American LaShawn Merritt won bronze.

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Oscar Pistorius to be sentenced on July 6 for murder

Pistorius has been given his new sentencing date. Credit: Reuters

The date for Oscar Pistorius' sentencing for the murder of former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp has been set for July 6.

It comes as the Paralympian appeared in court with his lawyer today to argue that he deserves leniency when he is sentenced.

The double-amputee was initially handed a manslaughter conviction over Reeva's 2013 death but this was overturned last year by an appeals court, which convicted Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder.

Prosecutor: Irrelevant whether Pistorius thought Reeva was intruder

The state prosecutor, talking at Oscar Pistorius' sentencing hearing has said that it does not matter whether he thought that Reeva or an intruder was in the bathroom.

Pistorius went to the bathroom and fired four shots, he said.

Not knowing who was behind the door when firing those shots cannot be a mitigating factor in the case, unless the life of an intruder is less important than Reeva's life, he argued.

State prosecutor argues for full 15 years for Pistorius

Gerrie Nel, state prosecutor, said that in legislation the 15 year sentence for murder is the minimum acceptable sentence for murder and therefore the starting point for any sentencing considerations.

Yet, he added, courts had moved away from this starting point "for the flimsiest of reasons".

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