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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

  1. Brent Webber

    December 3, 2016 at 12:08 pm

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

  2. Geraldine Pillay-Viret

    December 3, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    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…U0001f602U0001f602

  3. Liz Ferreira

    December 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm

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

  4. Lisle Carolissen

    December 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm

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

  5. Wendy Hogewoning

    December 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm

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

  6. Janine Erasmus

    December 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm

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

  7. Mervin Daniels

    December 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    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

  8. Anne Farmer

    December 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

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

  9. Carl Meyer

    December 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Brent Mark Webber you just declared yourself an ignorant sot!

  10. Adelia Eloff Cooke

    December 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    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!!

  11. Shuabe Slamdien

    December 3, 2016 at 4:53 pm

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

  12. Ian Boer

    December 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Brent Weber… go learn to read

  13. Marcelle Lanties Landman

    December 3, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Where did you read it? Please post a link.

  14. Rushel Gouvias

    December 3, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Well done Wayde! Very proud of you!U0001f1ffU0001f1e6U0001f1ffU0001f1e6U0001f1ffU0001f1e6U0001f1ffU0001f1e6U0001f1ffU0001f1e6

  15. Dalene Steenkamp

    December 4, 2016 at 6:32 am

    SUPA PROUD of you Wayde….keep goiing boy.

  16. Fiona Gomes

    December 4, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Incredibly proud of Wayde. A real champion!

  17. Sharon Shaz Titus

    December 4, 2016 at 9:29 am

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

  18. Sharon Shaz Titus

    December 4, 2016 at 9:31 am

    never ever has he compared himself to anyone.shame on you

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