Wayde wins again

2016-06-29 06:00
WAYDE VAN NIEKERK  Photo: Supplied


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VERSATILE South African 400 m and world champion Wayde van Niekerk reigned supreme after receiving two prestigious awards at the inaugural African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Saturday (25/06).

The track-star athlete was chosen as the deserving recipient of the coveted accolades of Sportsman of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year, rewarding his outstanding performance.

In the Sportsman of the Year category, he had been nominated alongside Zimbabwean boxing star Charles Manyuchi, Namibian boxer Paulus Ambunda, Zimbabwean swimmer Kristy Coventry and Botswana’s middle-distance runner Nijel Amos, as well as Mozambican basketballer Pio Matos.

In the category Sportsperson of the Year, he was nominated with swimmer Coventry and fellow countryman Ashleigh Pasio Moolman, a top cyclist.

Wayde was the biggest winner with two awards at the glittering ceremony, which had 11 categories.

The prestigious accolades were bestowed upon athletes, coaches, member countries, journalists and teams that have produced outstanding performances in sport at regional and international levels.

Wayde was not there in person to receive the two awards, as he had been in action at the CAA 20th African Senior Championship held in Durban from 22 to 26 June.

He was part of the large 96-member team that represented South Africa at the African championship.

Wayde’s all-conquering performance at the continental event saw him win gold in the 400 m, continuing to reign supreme ahead of the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Wining the two awards at the AUSC followed his devastating form that saw him maintain his unbeaten record. He made sprint history by becoming the first athlete to dip under benchmark times in the 100 m, 200 m 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.

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