Elite speedster Wayde van Niekerk has received a special recognition from the Association of National Olympic Committees (Anoc) for his spectacular performance at the Rio Games in August.
His runaway performance which saw him clocking 43.03 seconds to win gold and set a 400m world record at the quadrennial spectacle, was enough to see 24-year-old Van Niekerk announced as the Best Male Athlete of the Games at the Anoc Awards Ceremony in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday evening.
“This award is a tremendous honour for Wayde, which once again shows that he has established his place among the top athletes in the world,” said Aleck Skhosana, the president of Athletics South Africa.
“We are proud of Wayde for receiving this accolade, and we congratulate him and his coach Anna Botha, for receiving this worthy recognition for all his hard work.
“We hope that this prestigious decoration will lay a foundation for the 2016 IAAF Athlete of the Year Award which will announced on 3 December in Monaco, where he is shortlisted against two other credible nominees.
“I have no doubt that his growing achievements and performance will continue to inspire other athletes in South Africa and awake Africa to take its rightful place as the leading continent in the world of athletes.”
Van Niekerk received lots of congratulations from the South African Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, amongst others on social media.
— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) November 15, 2016
Congratulations also poured in from fans and sports personilities alike.
— Seb Coe (@sebcoe) November 15, 2016
Congrats @WaydeDreamer on your hugely deserved recognition. A performance that made the sporting world take notice. A real game changer!
— Matt Pearce (@MattP555) November 16, 2016