Wayde Van Niekerk
If you’ve been living in a monastery in Putsonderwater for the past six months, chances are you’ve probably never heard of (or celebrated in!) the success of South African Olympic 400 m gold medalist, Wayde van Niekerk.
Aside from fictional characters like Flash Gordon or Superman, there are very few who can outrun or even match the speed of South Africa’s biggest athletic sensation of the decade, Wayde van Niekerk.
From a humble life in Bellville, Cape Town Wayde shot to instant stardom (literally overnight) when on that fateful evening on 14 August 2016, he became the fastest man in the world across 400 me-tres.
It was a memorable night that no South African will ever forget. Van Niekerk cut American speed-ster, Michael Johnson’s record to ribbons from 43.18 down to 43.03 during the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
Not only did the 25-year old Van Niekerk win his first Olympic gold medal, but he also became the first man to win an Olympic 400 m title from lane eight, essentially ‘running blind’. A few months later, he was named Best Male Athlete of the Rio 2016 Olympics during an award ceremony in Doha.