Van Niekerk ran 45.58 seconds ahead of Jochem Dobber of the Netherlands and Poland's Karol Zalewski in a low-key return after recovering from a debilitating knee injury and then COVID-19.

The 28-year-old romped to Olympic gold four years ago in a world record time of 43.03 seconds but then tore knee ligaments at a charity touch rugby game in October 2017 and made a long return.

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He ran a handful of races in South Africa after facing a number of setbacks in his bid to return to the track and a planned comeback outside his home country in Trieste, Italy last month was cancelled when he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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