South Africa’s Wayde Van Neikerk Named Olympics’ Best Male Athlete
South Africa’s 400m golden boy Van Neikerk has been named the best Male Athlete of the 2016 Rio Olympics at the National Olympic Committees awards in Doha, Qatar.
Van Neikerk made history in Rio shattering Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old 43:18 world record with an unforgettable run in his maiden Olympic games. He set a new record of 43:03 and became the first man to win the race from the outside lane.
The 24-year-old also became the first South African to win the event in 96 years. To add on to that, Van Neikerk went in history books as the only person to ever run under 10 seconds in the 100, under 20 seconds in the 200, and under 44 seconds in the 400.
Van Nierkerk Posing in front of his new World Record in Rio. (Photo From Getty Images)
The 2012 gold medalist Grenada’s Kirani James came in second with a 43.76 run to take home the Silver while America’s LaShawn Merrit took bronze at 43.85. The three also set another record as the first three medal winners to finish the 400m race in under 44 seconds
Women’s tennis winner Monica Puig of Puerto Rico was named best female Athlete after the 23-year-old became Latin America’s first ever champion in the women’s singles ousting the Serena sisters.
Such an honor to win the award for Best Female Athlete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games! Thanks to my friends, family, ANOC, COPUR and my team! pic.twitter.com/Vuwf0QKF7D
— Monica Puig (@MonicaAce93) November 15, 2016
Among other winners, Team Figi’s Rugby Sevens were named the best Male team while Great Britain’s women Hockey won the best female team.
The Olympic Refugee team were also recognized for the message of hope they sent in the games and their never give up attitude.
Brazil’s Rafaela Silva, the country’s jodoka turned Olympic champion won the award for the most inspiring performance after her Judo 65 kg category gold medal for the host country.
Great Britain was honored for becoming the first country to win more medals at an Olympics immediately after hosting the event. They finished second ahead of China winning 27 Gold Medals, 23 Silver medals and 17 bronze.
The ceremony ended after giving Bahrain, Ivory Coast, Fiji, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Tajikistan and Vietnam the ‘Breakthrough’ awards for winning their first Olympic Gold Medals.
Featured Photo: Van Neikerk Posing with the Award. (Photo From Twitter)