Wayde receives hero’s welcome

Wayde van Niekerk PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Thousands of fans lined the streets of Bloemfontein today welcome the world and Olympic 400m champion, Wayde van Niekerk, back home.

The sprinter received a hero’s welcome in the City of Roses following his world record effort in Rio de Janeiro, which saw him win the 400m Olympic gold.

Van Niekerk arrived back in Bloemfontein yesterday afternoon and was parade in an open bus today.

The procession started at the Free State Sports Science Institute and stopped at various destinations, including his alma mater, Grey College.

At Grey Van Niekerk was greeted by the entire school and was even made an honouree player of the PSL side, Bloemfontein Celtic.

Van Niekerk saw today’s event as nation building and says it inspires him to keep on doing what he does.

 “I would like to thank each and every one for going out of your way and making it such a special day for me.

“I think what it represents is the unity and togetherness of a nation.

“It really inspires me to keep on doing what I’m doing. This is just the beginning of me and what I can do.

“Hopefully I can get more of you to chase me and give me headaches, but thank you so much, I really appreciate it.”

Van Niekerk has indicted that he will be focusing more on the 200m sprint in the future and possibly even the 100m.– MORGAN PIEK