Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic proved that age is no barrier to track success when he stormed to a second men's Olympic 400m hurdles gold medal, eight years after winning in Athens.

The 34-year-old, twice a world champion who was unbeaten in 43 successive races between 2001 and 2004, clocked 47.63 seconds to take victory.

Sanchez, running in reflective sunglasses from lane seven, made a strong start, ran a steady bend and had enough left in the tank in the home straight to hold off fast-closing American Michael Tinsley who secured silver in 47.91.

Puerto Rico's Javier Culson (48.10), the fastest man this year, took bronze.

American Angelo Taylor, bidding for a third 400 hurdles gold after triumphs in Sydney and Beijing, was fifth, just behind world champion Dai Greene of Britain.

Sanchez recorded exactly the same time in winning the Olympic title in Athens in 2004.

Sanchez, who will turn 35 on 30 August, has had a succession of injuries throughout his career but signalled he was back in world class form when he ran his fastest time in eight years in the semi-finals.

"A lot of people said I should retire but I stuck with it," he said.

"They (the Dominican people) expected the worlds (in 2001 and 2003), no one expected this. They'll all be celebrating now."

Taylor said poor hurdling had let him down.

"I just didn't have a good race today. I floated on hurdle number eight and they got away from me. I went in sprint mode but I didn't have clean hurdling clearance at the end," he told reporters.

Praising Sanchez, Taylor added: "I know how hard it is to repeat. He had some struggles this year but he put it together on the day that counted."