Coach Ans Botha honoured at IAAF awards

Ans Botha (Getty Images)
Ans Botha (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Sprint coach Ans Botha received a well-earned accolade on Friday night, stepping on stage at the annual IAAF Awards ceremony in Monaco.

Botha, who coaches 400m world champion and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, was given the prestigious Coaching Achievement Award.

The 76-year-old mentor has capped her lengthy career by making a crucial contribution to Van Niekerk's progress in recent seasons, after guiding a number of other elite South African athletes over the last 50 years.

Van Niekerk, meanwhile, lost out to high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar for the Male Athlete of the Year Award.

After being named alongside fellow South Africans Luvo Manyonga and Caster Semenya, among the 20 nominees for the men's and women's awards, Van Niekerk had been shortlisted with Barshim and British distance runner Mo Farah.

“We congratulate everyone who was nominated for the award,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.

“That alone, is a tremendous world achievement.

“It’s a great honour to be in the top three selections, even if you don’t bring the trophy home. A special tribute to Tannie Botha who flew the national flag high following her crowning as the best coach in the world.

“We now call upon her to pass on her knowledge so that we can have more successful athletes and coaches from South Africa. Thank you for the good work.”

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