South African gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk has been crowned the Best Male athlete of the Olympic Games by the Association of National Olympic Committee (ANOC).
ANOC Awards was designed to celebrate the best athletes and relive the most captivating performances from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The ceremony held at the world-class Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), provided the ultimate setting to honour National Olympic Committee (NOCs) and their athletes.
Van Niekerk wowed the world when he bagged a gold medal for Team South Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He shattered Michael Johnson’s world record which reigned for seventeen years with his astonishing 43.03sec 400 meters record.
For that, he was honoured with the global award as the Best Male athlete of the Olympic Games.
On the other hand, women’s tennis champion Monica Puig bagged the same award as the Best Female of Rio 2016.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the award winners were selected by the ANOC Jury which comprises representatives from each of the Continental Associations, the ANOC Athletes’ Commission Chair, ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) President, ANOC Secretary General and media representatives.
The jury collated a shortlist of candidates during the Games and then met after the conclusion of Rio 2016 to determine the winners.
Speaking, ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said:
“We always look forward to the ANOC Awards because it provides us with an opportunity to give NOCs and their athletes the recognition they deserve. They dedicate themselves to the Olympic Movement 365 days a year and the ANOC Awards is a chance to honour them and provide them with an evening to enjoy.”
Al-Fahad Al-Sabah added that there were so many spectacular athletic performances at Rio 2016 and that the ANOC Jury had a very difficult job in selecting the winners.
“Rio 2016 truly was a Games which showcased the exceptional talents of the world’s athletes and provided so many special moments which inspired us all. The ANOC Awards 2016 (is) a fantastic opportunity to celebrate these moments and honour the NOCs without whom it would not have been possible,” added Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
While team Fiji Rugby Sevens were also honoured as Best Male Team, Britain’s field hockey team took the female prize.