Olympic superstar Usain Bolt is keen to lock horns with the new 400m world record-holder in a sprint to see who's fastest.

Bolt wants to race Wayde van Niekerk over 300m to determine who is fastest, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The distance is a compromise between the athletes' favoured lengths.

South African van Niekerk ran the 400m in a record 43.03 seconds on Sunday. Bolt holds the record for the 100m and 200m.

Jamaican Bolt, who today won his third successive 100m Olympic gold medal, said the competition could happen next season.

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"Hopefully next season, if he is in good shape and my coach puts the meet on again, I get a chance to run. I would really like to compete against him over 300m; that would be good.

"That would be a good one, that would be a good race.

"This year I was hoping I would be in good shape when my coach told me they were going to put on a 300m [at a grand prix meeting]. I wasn't in the best of shape but I really wanted to be in that race."

Bolt has resisted running the 400m race despite his coach arguing it could be his best event as it suits his pace and stamina, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The 100m gold medallist Donovan Bailey and the 200 and 400m winner Michael Johnson raced over 150m in the 1996 Olympics to determine who was fastest. Bailey was winning when Johnson injured his quadriceps mid-race leaving the competition unresolved.