Top USA sprinter starts working with Tannie Ans

Curtis Mitchell during the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. PHOTO: GIANCARLO COLOMBO / WWW.PHOTORUN.NET

The American sprinter, Curtis Mitchell, is in Bloemfontein and working with the coach of Wayde van Niekerk, Tannie Ans Botha.

Mitchell won the bronze medal in the 200m sprint at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

The 28-year-old has been in the City of Roses for the past week honing his skills with Botha.

On Wednesday Courant broke the news that Botha has been named as the IAAF Coach of the Year for 2017.

Botha told Courant that with Van Niekerk injured, it’s gives her an opportunity to work with other athletes.

“Neither Wayde or I wanted it to happen, but it did happen. At the end of the day it was so more serious than we could imagine.

“On the other hand we are so blessed and thankful that there was somebody that could help him and do the operation.

“There is such wonderful progress and he is doing well.

“This makes us go back to scratch and start the very beginning to rebuild the foundation, but we’ve got to work from day-to-day and be patient. That is the crucial part.

“Now we have to listen to his body so much more to get him healed and strong again.

“We must try and put this unfortunate negative thing behind us and turn it into a big, big positive and come through it so much stronger and better, not only as athlete and coach, but also a mentally stronger human being.

“This makes me concentrate more on my other athlete. The American athlete started working with me last week.

“That also is such a huge privilege to work with the likes of Curtis Mitchell.

“My South African athletes, my Kovsie athletes, each and every one of them is a special person to me and I try and help them to achieve their dreams and the very best they can do for themselves.

Van Niekerk has been nominated for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award. – MORGAN PIEK