I Bet You Didn’t Know Wayde van Niekerk’s Coach Is A Great Grandma


Undoubtedly, Wayde van Niekerk like the Democratic Alliance party stated, “gave the whole nation a reason to wake up proudly South African this morning.”

The DA congratulated Wayde van Niekerk on his world record-breaking performance in the 400 metre final at the Rio Olympics in a statement which reads:

“Van Niekerk not only left the rest of the field trailing in his wake, but also obliterated Michael Johnson’s world record, which stood for seventeen years, with his winning time of 43.03. This magical moment also earned Team South Africa its first gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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While those who have followed Van Niekerk’s performance in the last 12 months would have anticipated a gold medal, to win it in such spectacular fashion, smashing the world record, was incredible.

His performance en route to winning the gold medal will be cherished as one of South Africa’s greatest moments in the history of athletics.

We hope that his achievements will inspire millions of youngsters throughout the country that it is possible to attain the biggest accomplishment in sports through the pursuit of excellence.”

Records have it that Van Niekerk is the first athlete to have run 100m in under 10 seconds and the 200m in under 20 seconds.

With the gold medal he bagged, Van Niekerk’s astonishing 43.03sec 400 metre record left four time Olympic gold medalist Johnson wondering what record Van Niekerk will shatter next.

“(He) is so young what else can he do? Can he go under 43 seconds? It is something I thought I could do, but never did. Usain Bolt will be retiring soon, this could be the next star of the sport,” Johnson commented.

More astonishing nonetheless, is the fact that Van Niekerk’s coach is a great grandma.

Wayde van Niekerk's Coach

BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Van Niekerk’s coach, Ans Botha is a 74-year-old great grandma.

DB Prinsloo who worked with great grandma Botha for 25 years at the University of the Free State told MailOnline that Mrs Botha gave Van Niekerk a positive and protective environment to train.

“They are exceptionally close, very connected, very trusting and respect each other enormously.

Tannie Ans has a strict regime and every one has to respect that. She doesn’t put up with any nonsense from any of them (her athletes).

She has rules, standards and is very much into the discipline of training and competing. Wayde knows where he stands with her, he acknowledges her experience and skills and takes advantage of all the wisdom she has to offer,” MailOnline quoted Prinsloo.

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Speaking, great grandma Botha divulged that her coaching trick is learning.

“If I see something that will work on my athletes, I will try it and implement it. That’s how I always try to bring something new in our training. They say you’re never too old to learn, especially in athletics,” she said.

“I’m very blessed,” she went on. “I don’t have any health problems, and it is because I’m busy with young people. You have to be high up there with them.

I have such a big responsibility to get this athlete to develop to his full potential. I need to try to do my very best not to do something wrong that might break him,” Mrs Botha added.