400m world champion Wayde van Niekerk out of World Championships

South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk celebrates with the South African flag
South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk celebrates with the South African flag

Wayde van Niekerk will not defend his world 400m title at this month's World Championships.

The 27-year-old South African, who won the gold medal in Beijing in 2015, returned from more than a year-long absence with a knee injury in February but he has suffered a setback in his recovery.

He will miss the competition in Doha, which runs from September 27 to October 6, as a precaution.

"I'm positive and taking things day by day," said Van Niekerk in a statement. "I am respecting all the calls made by the doctor and respecting my body. For me it is about listening to my body and taking it from there.

"For now, I am not rushing myself or putting pressure on myself. I'm extremely happy and at peace with where I am."

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