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Top accolades for sports stars

Written by Albert Pule

Sport

Sprint sensation Wayde van Niekerk closed off a brilliant 2016 by winning three awards at the recent 2016 South African Sports Awards (SASA).

South Africa's sportsmen and women were awarded for their efforts at the South African Sports AwardsThe SASA recognise and honour individuals and teams who have excelled both on and off the field from 1 September 2015 to 30 September 2016.

Van Niekerk’s win at the SASAs comes hot on the heels of him shattering US sprint legend Michael Johnson’s 400 m record at the Rio Olympics in June this year.

At the Sports Awards, he was crowned Sport Star of the Year, Sportsman of the Year and also won the People’s Choice Award.

Speaking to media after the awards, van Niekerk said the journey to the top has been filled with challenges.

“There has been tough times and good times and I’m thankful to the Lord for pushing me through and blessing me with the wisdom to realise that he has blessed me with the talent,” said van Niekerk.

Gold medallist at the Rio Olympics Caster Semenya also emerged as a winner in her category when she won the award for Sportswoman of the Year.

2016 Winners

[top] Minister Fikile Mbalula hands over Wayde van Niekerk one of his many awards. [bottom] Caster Semenya won Sportswoman of the Year.Sportsman of the Year with a Disability - Charl Du Toit

Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability - Ilse Hayes

Team of the Year - Mamelodi Sundowns

Coach of the Year - Anna Botha

Volunteer of the Year - Kim Pople

Newcomer of the Year - Ntando Mahlangu (Athletics)

Photographer of the Year - Sydney Mahlangu

SA Sports Journalist of the Year - Thabiso Sithole

Developing school team of the Year - Benny's Care Academy

Federation of the Year - Roller Sports South Africa

Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achiever Awards - Thomas Kwenaite, Francois Pienaar, Mzimasi Mnguni

Dyan Buis and Wayde Van Niekerk were awarded the Shield of Jove.