Wayde recognised by African Union

2016-06-22 06:00
THE 400 m world champion, Wayde van Niekerk. Photo: Supplied

THE 400 m world champion, Wayde van Niekerk. Photo: Supplied

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SOUTH AFRICA’S golden boy and 400 m world champion, Wayde van Niekerk, has been nominated for the prestigious accolade for the inaugural African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Awards Ceremony, to be held in Johannesburg on Saturday (25/06).

The event is for ten African states, which includes South Africa.

The awards, supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation, have been divided into 11 categories.

The accolades will be bestowed upon athletes, coaches, member countries, journalists and teams that have produced outstanding performances in sport at regional and international level.

Wayde has been nominated as Sportsman of the Year, alongside Zimbabwean boxing star Charles Manyuchi (WBC welterweight), swimmer Kristy Coventry, Namibian boxer Paulus Ambunda and Botswana’s middle-distance runner

Nijel Amos, as well as Mozambican basketballer Pio Matos. The 2016 theme for the coveted ceremony is Celebrating Excellence! Inspiring Innovation.

George Jana, AU acting secretary general, said the theme resonated with the region’s strategic thrust that continuously promoted excellence in sport and recreation at all levels.

The nomination of the world champion Wayde followed his all-conquering performance, notable with an unbeaten record, this season.

He made sprint history by becoming the first athlete to dip under benchmark times in the 100, 200 and 400 m in March on home soil in Bloemfontein.

He continued his excellent form at the inaugural Adidas Boost Games in Boston and also at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome earlier this month.

Wayde is gearing up to represent the nation as part of a large 96-member team at the CAA 20th African Senior Championships in Durban on 22 to 26 June.

At Saturday’s Region Five Awards Ceremony, special awards will also be bestowed on a country that has taken a leadership role in the implementation of the AUSC Region Five programmes.

Such a country must have successfully executed sport and recreation development programmes.

The country must also have athletes and teams that are excelling and bringing home medals from international championships and events.

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