South Africa: Van Niekerk and Semenya the Big SA Sports Winners
Rio Olympics 400-metre gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk ran off with the South African Sport Star of the Year award on Sunday night.
The young track star, who also won the award last year, had set a new world record in the one-lap sprint with a time of 43.03sec.
It was a grand occasion for the 24-year-old, with the awards being held in his home town of Bloemfontein.
For his award as SA Sports Star of the Year, Van Niekerk won a new car and a whopping R1-million, of which half will go to charity.
Making it a doubly delightful evening for Van Niekerk was the fact that he also won the SA Sportsman of the Year award.
Van Niekerk’s fellow Team South Africa member in Rio, Caster Semenya won the SA Sportswoman of the Year award. Like Van Niekerk she also won gold at the Rio Games, but over the two-lap distance where she ran a time of 1:55:28.
And the cherry on the top for Van Niekerk was that his coach, Ans Botha, won Coach of the Year.
There was more recognition for Van Niekerk as he was also given the People’s Choice Award, was one of five International Achievers recognised and was one of two winners in the Shield of Love category.
Sportsman of the Year with a disability was double Paralympic gold medallist Charl du Toit while Ilse Hayes, winner of two silver medals in Rio, was named Sportswoman of the year with Disability.
Team of the year went to Mamelodi Sundowns after they had claimed the PSL and CAF Champions League titles.
The full list of winners from the gala evening is:
Sport Star of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk
Sportswoman of the Year: Caster Semenya
Sportsman of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk
People’s Choice Award: Wayde van Niekerk
Team of the Year: Ans Botha
Newcomer of the Year Award: Ntando Mahlangu
Sportswoman of the year with a Disability: Ilse Hayes
Sportsman of the year with a Disability: Charl du Toit
Volunteer of the Year: Kim Pople
Photographer of the Year: Sydney Mahlangu
Sports Journalist of the Year: Thabiso Sithole
School Team of the Year: St Benedict’s (rowing)
Recreation Body of the Year: Egoli Squash
Administrator of the Year: Karen Losch
National Federation of the Year: Roller Sport South Africa
Developing School of the Year: Benny’s Sport Academy
Indigenous Games Team of the Year: North West Khokho
International Achievers: Brad Binder, Caster Semenya, Wayde van Niekerk, Seabelo Senatla, Kagiso Rabada
Shield of Love: Dyan Buis, Wayde van Niekerk
Steve Tshwete lifetime award: Thomas Kwenaite, Mzimasi Mnguni, Francois Pienaar
Source: South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.