Cape Town - Athletics South Africa (ASA) has expressed its sadness at
the passing of top road runner, Riana van Niekerk, a former ASA marathon champion in 2009.
The former four-time winner of the Comrades
Marathon and three-time Two Oceans Marathon gold medallist, died at the age of
Van Niekerk died over the weekend after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
ASA president, Aleck Skhosana described
her passing as a sad moment.
“She was a fine and passionate athlete
who enjoyed what she was doing. Her departure from this world leaves a void in
road running where she’s also won City2City, Loskop and Om Die Dam among others.
“We mourn with her husband, family,
club and friends. It seems we tend to understand death only after it has placed
its hands on someone we love or has impacted our lives.
“I think one of the most difficult things
in life is to find words to describe the passing of somebody dear to us. But we
wish her husband, family, fellow athletes and friends, a speedily recovery from
the emotions of this loss,” said Skhosana.