National Orders: World Record Holder Wayde Van Niekerk Bags Gold

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President Jacob Zuma on Friday bestowed on SA’s Olympic champion and World Record Holder Wayde van Niekerk the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold.

The award comes for his exceptional contribution to the sporting field of track running. Te president noted that van Niekerk’s performance, against all odds, broke standing records of international legends and brought immense national pride.

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A biographical information about the Olympic sensation, supplied by the presidency reads:

“World Record Holder Wayde Van Niekerk was born on 15 July 1992 in Cape Town. He attended Bellville Primary and Grey College before studying marketing at the University of the Free State.

He is a track and field sprinter who has brought national pride to this country. He competes in the 200 and 400 meters respectively. He is the current world record holder, world and Olympic champion in the 400m. He is also the first and only person in history to run 100m in less than 10 seconds, 200m in 20 seconds, and 400m in 44 seconds.

He made his international debut at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where he attained the fourth position in the 200m, with a personal best time of 21.02 seconds.

Van Niekerk also ran in the 4×100m relay heats with the national team, alongside Gideon Trotter. His breakthrough to senior level came at the age of 18 at the 2011 South African Athletics Championships, where he won the 200m title in a new personal record of 20.57 seconds. He competed at the 2011 African Junior Athletics

He competed at the 2011 African Junior Athletics Championships but did not make the final. He ran sparingly in 2012 but began to show a talent for the 400m, setting a best of 46.43 seconds.

World Record Holder Wayde Van Niekerk was a silver medalist in the 400 m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and took bronze in the 4×400 m relay at the 2013 Summer Universiade. He also represented South Africa at the 2013 and 2015 Athletics World Championships respectively.

At the 2015 World Championships, he won the gold medal in the 400 m. In the 2016 Olympic Games Men’s 400 m, at the age of 24 years, the world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk won the gold medal with a world record time of 43.03 seconds, beating the 43.18 seconds record set by Michael Johnson during the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville, Spain.”

According to a statement issued by the presidency, “the National Orders are the highest awards that South Africa bestows, through the President of the Republic upon citizens and members of the international community who have contributed meaningfully towards making the country a free democratic and successful nation, united in its diversity”.

Apart from world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk, others who were bestowed with awards by the presidency include:



THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN SILVER

  • Mathew Brittain – for his contribution in the field of water sport and for winning gold in the 2012 Olympics.
  • Sizwe Lawrence Ndlovu – for his contribution to the field of water sport and winning gold in the 2012 Olympic games.
  • Khaba Mkhize (posthumous) – for his contribution in the field of journalism and the liberation struggle
  • James Thompson – for his excellent contribution to the field of water sport and winning gold for South Africa in the 2012 Olympic Games. He is undoubtedly the pride of the nation by raising South Africa’s international standing.
  • Prof Jeff Opland – for his excellent contribution to the field of history and his impressive body of work in literature. His work exhumes stories of the dead and brings them to life so that the living can continue to learn.
  • John Smith – for his excellent contribution to the field of water sport and winning gold for South Africa in the 2012 Olympic Games. He does not rest on his laurels as he aims for the 2020 Olympic Games on a bigger challenge.
  • Zinjiva Nkondo (posthumous) – for his contribution to the struggle for the liberation of the people of SA and the creative use of his art as an orator and poet to prick the conscience of the apartheid regime

THE ORDER OF LUTHULI IN SILVER

  • Zweli Lucas Sizani (Posthumous) – for his excellent contribution to the liberation movement and struggle for democracy. He selflessly put his life in danger for the freedom and equality of all South Africans.
  • Neville Rubin – for his contribution to the fight for the rights of workers through involvement in workers’ unions. He gallantly voiced out his opposition in the period when it was risky to one’s life to speak up.
  • Reginald “Reggie” Oliphant (Posthumous) – for his contribution to the fight against social injustices meted out against black people in South Africa. His steadfast belief in the equality of all citizens prompted him to confront the tyranny of apartheid.
  • Samson Ndou and 21 others – for their brave fight against apartheid. They suffered but stood fiercely with the courage of their convictions for their freedom.
  • Collen Monde Mkunqwana (Posthumous) – for his contribution to the struggle for the liberation of the people of South Africa. He bravely sacrificed his own safety, waging resistance against a dangerous system that meted out maximum force to repress dissent.
  • Prof Fatima Meer (Posthumous) – for her excellent contribution to the struggle for liberation. Her gallant and steadfast opposition to social injustices for decades is commendable.
  • David Mbulelo “Spi” Grootboom (Posthumous) – for his excellent contribution to the fight for liberation and dignity for the people of South Africa. He believed in the equality of all citizens and challenged injustices to the hilt.
  • Miltha Mary Calata – for her contribution to the fight against apartheid and to poverty alleviation.

THE ORDER OF LUTHULI IN BRONZE

  • Zodwa Mofokeng (Posthumous): For her relentless fight against government’s oppression in South Africa. She defied oppressive rule and advanced the cause of liberation and justice for all South Africans.

THE ORDER OF THE COMPANIONS OF OR TAMBO IN GOLD

  • Former president and prime minister of East Timor‚ Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao‚ often referred to as the Mandela of Asia – for his contribution to the promotion of peace and resistance to social injustices.

THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN BRONZE

  • Arthur Nuthall Fula (Posthumous) – for his contribution to the field of literature and challenging stereotypes by writing in a third language, Afrikaans. His vivid imagination has inspired many readers and broadened the knowledge of our country.

THE ORDER OF THE BAOBAB IN GOLD

  • Nokutela Dube (Posthumous) – for her exceptional contribution to the upliftment of African communities who were faced with oppression and social injustice.

THE ORDER OF THE BAOBAB IN BRONZE

  • Prof Olive Shisana – for her outstanding contribution to the field of science and community service, particularly her tireless work in researching solutions to the scourges of HIV and AIDS.
  • Pfarelo Rebecca Ramugondo – for her outstanding contribution to community service and upliftment.

THE ORDER OF THE BAOBAB IN SILVER

  • Getrude Ntlabathi (Posthumous): For her contribution to the empowerment of women through education. Among others, she produced students who grew to become renowned leaders, such as the late former President Nelson Mandela.
  • Milner Langa Kabane (Posthumous) – for his excellent contribution to the field of education and the upliftment of the black community during the struggle for liberation. He lived by the courage of his conviction in adverse conditions.

THE ORDER OF MAPUNGUBWE IN SILVER

  • Siyabulela Lethuxolo Xuza – for his excellent contribution to scientific innovation at an early stage, proving to himself and others that through determination and hard work one can achieve new career heights. His brilliance has attracted great international great to his work.
  • Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo – for his excellent contribution to the field of science, particularly electrical engineering. He serves as an enormous inspiration to young people in South Africa.

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THE ORDER OF THE BAOBAB IN SILVER

  • Milner Langa Kabane (Posthumous): For his excellent contribution to the field of education and the upliftment of the black community during the struggle for liberation. He lived by the courage of his conviction in adverse conditions.
  • Gertrude Ntlabathi (Posthumous): For her contribution to the empowerment of women through education. Among others, she produced students who grew to become renowned leaders, such as the late former President Nelson Mandela.

THE ORDER OF THE COMPANIONS OF OR TAMBO IN SILVER

  • Maurice Bogatsu (Posthumous): For his excellent contribution to the fight for liberation, carrying out dangerous missions between South Africa and Botswana with the members of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK)
  • Euzhan Palcy: For her excellent contribution to the liberation struggle by exposing South African social injustices through an international film that strengthened the revolution against apartheid.

From all of us at BuzzSouthAfrica, we say congratulations to the aforementioned citizens and world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk.

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