Hero’s welcome for Wayde on Friday


The 400m Olympic champion, Wayde van Niekerk, will be back in South Africa and Bloemfontein this week.

The world record holder hasn’t returned home from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after winning the Olympic gold last month.

Straight after the games, Van Niekerk and his coach, Ans Botha, jetted off to Italy and also spent some time in Germany. This was largely due to sponsorship commitments.

The sprinter and the 73-year-old great-grandmother, Botha, will be landing in Johannesburg on Wednesday, with Botha expected back in the City of Roses at 14:55 in the afternoon.
Botha will, however, be the only one boarding the flight from Johannesburg. Van Niekerk was recently named as an ambassador for the German luxury car manufacturer, Audi, and has to attend to endorsement commitments first.

The plan is that Van Niekerk will be driving his brand-new Audi RS 3 Sportback back to Bloemfontein after attending to his commitments. Last year van Niekerk won two Mercedes-Benzes during the South African Sports Awards held in Bloemfontein, however, he has given the two cars to his parents.

He won’t just be rolling into town with an expensive car, but the world’s fastest man will also be sporting what will arguably be one of the thee most expensive, if not the most expensive watch in South Africa. Van Niekerk has been wearing a Richard Mille RM27-02 Tourbillon of late. It’s the same watch which is worn by the 14-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal, and they retail at approximately $800 000 (R11 000 000).

A hero’s welcome is planned for Van Niekerk on Friday, and Voice has been informed that the sprinter will be driven around town in an open bus and will stop at his alma mater, Grey College, as well as at the University of the Free State. – MORGAN PIEK