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Latest update : 2009-08-22

Reigning Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States is the new men's 400 metres world title holder, after his victory on Friday at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. France's Leslie Djhone finished eighth.

AFP - Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt dethroned two-time defending world champion Jeremy Wariner when he strode to an impresive victory in the 400m at the World Athletics Championships Friday.

The American, who finished second at the Osaka 2007 worlds, clocked a world lead of 44.06 seconds, far off his Beijing Games time of 43.75sec, the fifth fastest time ever.

Compatriot Wariner timed a season's best of 44.60sec for silver with Trinidad's Renny Quow taking bronze in 45.02sec.

Merritt, Wariner and the Bahamas' Chris Brown, who won an Olympic 4x400m silver medal at the Beijing Games, all set off at a cracking pace, with the latter tracking down Wariner before fading at the final bend.

The American arch-rivals came off that turn and into the home stretch within a pace of each other and remained that way for 20 metres before the Olympic champion put his foot on the gas and pulled away to win by a clear three metres.

There was some consolation for Wariner, who also won world gold at Helsinki in 2005, in that he did not suffer a similarly large margin of defeat to Merritt as he had done in Beijing.

Tabarie Henry of the US Virgin Islands finished in fourth (45.42sec), with Brown in fifth at 0.05 and Ireland's David Gillick a further 0.06 adrift.

Briton's Michael Bingham came in seventh with France's Leslie Djhone in eighth position.


Date created : 2009-08-21