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I don’t see myself as a star, says Wayde
2016-09-20

Description: Wayde and Rynhardt celebration Tags: Wayde and Rynhardt celebration

The achievements of Wayde van Niekerk and his
fellow Kovsie athlete, Rynardt van Rensburg,
at the Olympic Games, were celebrated during
a celebration ceremony for them on
15 September 2016 in the Callie Human Centre.
Photo: Johan Roux

The environment surrounding him has changed a lot over the past few weeks, but Wayde van Niekerk doesn’t see himself as superstar. The 400 m Olympic champion is embracing being back home and is feeling the love of the Kovsie family that helped him reach great heights.

“I see this (the Bloemfontein Campus) as a place where I can find peace,” the University of the Free State (UFS) athlete said at a celebration ceremony on 15 September 2016 for him and fellow Olympian, Rynardt van Rensburg. The event celebrated their achievements after participation in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their coaches, Tannie Ans Botha and Derek van Rensburg, were also honoured.

Van Niekerk looks ahead
“I am always excited to get back home,” Van Niekerk said. Everybody who means something to him is in Bloemfontein and on this campus. “I thank you for believing in me. I am only 24 years old and still have quite a few years left to keep on doing what I do.” He also conducted the official opening of the new KovsieFit gymnasium in the Callie Human Centre.

According to Prof Nicky Morgan, acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector, the attendees had “Wayde fever”. “We can’t really say thank you enough – at least for the association we have had with you (Van Niekerk) over the years.”

Rynardt didn’t expect best in Rio

 “I see this (the Bloemfontein Campus)
as a place where I can find peace.”

Van Rensburg reached the semi-finals in Rio and ran a personal best of 1:45.33 in the 800 m. “If we don’t have support, we won’t be able to do this,” he said.
Although his form was improving prior to the Olympics, he didn’t expect to run a personal best. “My dad (and coach) kept believing in me and telling me it is possible to do.”

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