Wayde Van Niekerk got through to the 400m final. Photo: AP

It was always going to be about just getting through to the 400m final for Wayde van Niekerk, and he did just that by winning his semi-final at the IAAF World Championships in London on Sunday night.

Van Niekerk, drawn in lane 5 in the second semi-final, ran a measured race as he eased out of the blocks and for the first 200m.

As he went through the final bend, he was passed by young African champion Baboloki Thebe, who put in some real speed on the back straight.

But world record holder Van Niekerk, after initially letting Thebe go, quickly hauled him in, and then the duo cruised for the final 40 metres.

The 25-year-old Van Niekerk took the honours in 44.22, with Thebe second in 44.33.

Now it's down to the final on Tuesday night at 10.52pm South African time, where Van Niekerk will face stiff competition from the likes of another Botswana sensation in Isaac Makwala and Bahamas star Steven Gardiner.

IOL Sport