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Van Niekerk pays tribute to triumphant Bolt

As Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was named IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year on Friday night, South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk said he was still delighted with his 2016 season, after being shortlisted among the finalists.

The awards were made at a gala function in Monaco by world body IAAF.

Consolation for Van Niekerk was that last month he was named Best Male Athlete of the Rio Olympics by the Association of National Olympic Committees in Doha, Qatar.

Bolt earned treble gold at the Rio Olympics, achieving the feat for the third straight edition of the Games.

‘It’s definitely been a blessed season for me, and an amazing year of growth,’ said Van Niekerk, who set a 400m world record of 43.03 seconds to win Olympic gold in August. ‘It’s been a confidence booster, if I can put it that way, because I feel like I’ve grown year after year.’

Van Niekerk paid credit to Bolt, who had previously said he would call time on his career after next year’s IAAF World Championships in London.

‘It’s bittersweet knowing that a legend like Usain Bolt is on the verge of retiring,’ said Van Niekerk. ‘We’ve all taken so much motivation and inspiration from him.’

Bolt received the accolade for the sixth time, getting the nod ahead of Van Niekerk and British distance runner Mo Farah.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) congratulated the Bloemfontein speedster for his efforts this season.

‘To be nominated for such a prestigious award is a tremendous honour, and we are proud of Wayde for achieving all he has in 2016,’ said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.

‘We thank him for helping put South African athletics on the map, and we wish him well for next year and all other seasons following.’


18 comments
Sharon Shaz Titus
Sharon Shaz Titus

wayde is celebrated worldwide and that is his award. stay you Wayde. your humility and humbleness will be the rewards.

Fiona Gomes
Fiona Gomes

Incredibly proud of Wayde. A real champion!

Rushel Gouvias
Rushel Gouvias

Well done Wayde! Very proud of you!\U0001f1ff\U0001f1e6\U0001f1ff\U0001f1e6\U0001f1ff\U0001f1e6\U0001f1ff\U0001f1e6\U0001f1ff\U0001f1e6

Ian Boer
Ian Boer

Brent Weber... go learn to read

Adelia Eloff Cooke
Adelia Eloff Cooke

Wade should have won that award. Bolt is good that's what we expect, but Wade broke a very old world record this year. Go Wade!!

Shuabe Slamdien
Shuabe Slamdien

Agreed...that was definitely the race of the Olympics...and from lane 8 nogal

Carl Meyer
Carl Meyer

Brent Mark Webber you just declared yourself an ignorant sot!

Anne Farmer
Anne Farmer

Hoe meer dom kan n mens wees. Brent Webber: dom, dommer, domste is jy. " SHUT UP and get a life".

Mervin Daniels
Mervin Daniels

Hey Brent Webber. What's wrong with you? I think it's Bolt who wants to compare him with Wayde. Bolt ran 100m+200m+100m relay which is equal to 400m. Wayde ran 400m continuously and broke the WR. \U0001f61bOnly people who don't have ambition in life always have a lot to say. I think it's time for you to buy enought popcorn over the festive season and wait for next year's unbelievable 42 seconds one lap race.\U0001f60b

Janine Erasmus
Janine Erasmus

Wayde is humble and down to earth...You make us so proud Wayde!!

Wendy Hogewoning
Wendy Hogewoning

Dont think Wayde has ever compared himself to Bolt. Wayde we proud of u and allmu have achieved. We support u 100% from Europe.

Lisle Carolissen
Lisle Carolissen

Congratulations Wayde! So proud of you and proudly South African.

Liz Ferreira
Liz Ferreira

Ag please Brent Webber what a stupid comment!! Go Wayde we are so so proud of you!

Geraldine Pillay-Viret
Geraldine Pillay-Viret

When has Wayde ever compared himself to Bolt...it is a pity that stupidity is always exposed on a platform like this...Please read the article before making rushed and foolish comments...Sies!!! Shame on you...maybe you have been comparing yourself to Bolt...\U0001f602\U0001f602

Brent Webber
Brent Webber

he compares himself to Bolt...after making 1 record...he needs alot more records to compare himself to Bolt