Athletics

Cape Town to rename stadium after Wayde?

Wayde van Niekerk (Getty Images)
Wayde van Niekerk (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille wants to honour and pay tribute to Rio Olympic gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk by naming a stadium after him.

In a statement issued by the City of Cape Town, De Lille says she has set up a proposal to rename Green Point Athletic Stadium after the 2016 Olympic 400m world record holder.

Van Niekerk won the men’s 400m final at the Rio Olympics, breaking American Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old record of 43.18 seconds in the process.

“We feel that it would be a fitting tribute to rename the Green Point Athletics Track - the Wayde van Niekerk Athletics Track," De Lille said on the City of Cape Town's website.

“In terms of due process, we have received the required proposal from (Western Cape) Premier Helen Zille."

On Monday, the City of Cape Town staged a parade in the honour of the Western Cape-based Rio Olympic and Paralympic medallists, with Van Niekerk one of the athletes in attendance.

READ: Caster, Wayde up for top IAAF awards

De Lille believed that by February 2017 the stadium could be renamed, but it needs public participation to ensure that the proposal is accepted.

“Thereafter the naming committee, which is a multi-party committee, will discuss the results and make a recommendation to me, based on the outcome of the public participation process,” continued De Lille.

“If the majority of councillors are in agreement, they will vote to pass the renaming.

“Therefore by February, this could very well be the Wayde van Niekerk Athletics Track," ended De Lille.

In 2015, the R85m Green Point Athletics Stadium opened and is used by the Lions’ Club, Cape Peninsula University of Technology Athletics Club and the Western Province Athletics Federation.

Van Niekerk was born in Kraaifontein in Cape Town's northern suburbs and attended Bellville Primary School before relocating to Bloemfontein, where he subsequently met 'Tannie Ans' Botha and started his professional athletic career.

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