Wayde van Niekerk is a 'Grey gentleman' - former school principal

2016-08-15 20:49
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PICS: Wayde Van Niekerk's primary school celebrates his victory

Staff and students at Belville Primary School in Cape Town have celebrated the Olympic victory of Wayde Van Niekerk, a former pupil, at a special assembly.

Bloemfontein - South Africa’s Olympic gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk has become a true inspiration for all, the principal of Grey College Secondary School in Bloemfontein said on Monday.  

"We, as Grey College, are extremely proud of Wayde van Niekerk’s achievement. He is humble about his achievements and a true inspiration for all," said principal Deon Scheepers.

Scheepers also hailed Van Niekerk as a true "Grey gentleman".

Van Niekerk, who matriculated from the school in 2011, won Team South Africa’s first gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics after finishing the men's 400m final in 43.03 seconds on Monday morning.

He broke the previous world record of 43.18 seconds set by Michael Johnson in 1999.

On Monday morning, the school held a special screening for its pupils, showing Van Niekerk's historic moment of greatness.

The school also created two banners which they displayed during their assembly. One banner read, "400m world record, 43,03s #Heshallnotberemoved".  

Scheepers said the school had sent the 24-year-old an SMS about the boys doing the school’s war cry for him on social media.

Meanwhile, head of sport and athletics at Grey College and one of Wayde’s former teachers, Piet Viljoen said Van Niekerk had achieved his gold medal in a humble way.

"He was a very humble, well-mannered disciplined learner with a lot of faith when it came to achievements and injuries.

"He has become an example and a motivation for our pupils that it is possible to be great and to excel," said Viljoen.

He said he remembered Van Niekerk as an excellent athlete in the high jump and long jump.  

"We are extremely proud of him and we all hoped he could get to that level. His achievement is excellent for the school and for the whole of South Africa," he added.

WATCH: Students celebrate Wayde van Niekerk

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  wayde van niekerk  |  athletics

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