Wayde is top star of 2015

2015-11-25 06:23
MAN OF THE MOMENT: Wayde van Niekerk won three awards during the South Africa Sports Awards held at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein on Sunday.  Photo: Mlungisi Louw

MAN OF THE MOMENT: Wayde van Niekerk won three awards during the South Africa Sports Awards held at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein on Sunday. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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WHEN it is your day, it is your day. . . or your night, as was clear on Sunday night (22/11) in Bloemfontein.

And 2015 was clearly marked on the athletics gods’ calendar as a year that Wayde van Niekerk would sweep the floor at the South Africa Sports Awards.

It could not have happened to a nicer guy as Wayde.

He is always a pleasure to speak to and always makes himself available to the media at all times.

The 23-year-old sprinter walked away with three awards at the annual South Africa Sports Awards held at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein on Sunday evening.

For winning the Sports Star of the Year award, Van Niekerk received a whopping R500 000 and a Mercedez Benz C-class, plus an additional R500 000 to donate to the charity of his choice.

As if that was not enough, the Kovsie runner smiled all the way to the bank with a cheque of R130 000 for winning the Sportsman of the Year award.

His fellow nominees at the function could only clap hands for him as he walked to the podium to collect his prestigious awards.

“This is a blessing from God who showered me with the awards tonight.

“Much appreciation to my fans who supported me through thick and thin,” Van Niekerk told reporters after receiving his awards.

“I share my tears of happiness with my fans and to people who voted for me,” he said.

“I love the Free State and its people because this is where I have made a name for myself.

“I came from Cape Town to this province to train.

“I am the best in the country and the world because of their unlimited support.

Van Niekerk said he will now shift his focus to the Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August next year.

“I am going to train hard for the Olympic games.

“I am 100% positive that I will make my country proud again,” he concluded.

In his most recent race, Van Niekerk surprised all and sundry when he won the 400 m in 43:48 at the World Athletics Championships held in Beijing, China, in August this year.

Other winners are:

Sports Star of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk (athletics).

Sportswoman of the Year with a disability: Ilse Hayes (athletics).

Sportsman of the Year with a disability: Lucas Sithole (tennis).

Sportswoman of the Year: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (cycling).

Sporstman of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk (athletics).

Newcomer of the Year: Kagiso Rabada (cricket).

Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens (rugby).

Coach of the Year: Graham Hill (swimming).

Administrator of the Year: Virginia Mabaso (rowing).

Photographer of the Year: Veli Nhlapo (Sowetan).

Journalist of the Year: Bareng-Batho Kortjaas (Sunday Times).

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