BigBad | 10 things to know about Wayde van Niekerk
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10 things to know about Wayde van Niekerk

Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa presents his gold medal as he poses on the podium after the men's 400 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, August 27, 2015.            REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

10 things to know about Wayde van Niekerk

South Africa has woken with a smile this morning. The news that our very own Wayde Van Niekerk won gold and broke the world record in the 400m sprint has put a positive spin on this dreary August Monday. In the spirit of the Olympics as well as our weekly Man Crush Monday, we at Big Bad Wolf have decided to fill you in on everything WAYDE. Enjoy…


  • A born and bred Capetonian this star athlete is not just all sports and no brains having studied a marketing degree at the University of The Free State.

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  • Amazingly enough Van Niekerk is not the only olympic medal winner in his family. His cousin, Cheslin Kolbe won bronze with the South African sevens rugby team last week.


  • Having been born prematurely at 29 weeks, Doctors believed that if baby Wayde was able to pull through he may be severely disabled.

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  • The all time great and favourite amongst fans, Usain Bolt, has described fellow runner Wayde as “a cool person”. ( This “cool person” made Usain react like this!)



  • Van Niekerk inherited his running gene from his mother, Odessa Swarts. Having set provincial records within the 100m and 200m sprints, Odessa was a talented runner who was never able to reach her full potential due to the Apartheid regime.


  • Van Niekerk linked up with Usain Bolt’s coach, Glen Mills , in his quest for Olympic glory

Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer  Coach of Usain Bolt Glenn Mills with Coach of  South African Wayde van Niekerk,Anna “Tannie Ans” Botha  at Uwi Bowl on Monday 6.6.2016 *** Local Caption *** Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer  Racers Track Club head coach Glen Mills (left) shares a conversation with Anna 'Tannie Ans' Botha, coach of  South African 400m World Champion Wayde van Niekerk ahead of a training session at Usain Bolt/University of the West Indies track yesterday


  • Van Niekerk’s South African coach is the 74-year-old, white-haired grandmother- Ans Botha.


  • Not only has Van Niekerk won the countries first gold in the Rio Olympics, It is the first gold ever won in this event for South Africa.


  • This is not the first record Van Niekerk has demolished. He was one of the first to break 10-seconds for the 100m and 20-seconds for the 200m and 400m


  • He became the first man to win the Olympic 400 metres from Lane 8 since 1924.


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Congratulations Wayde you have made South Africa proud! 

Take a look at the history-making race


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