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Tannie Ans: Wayde needs to stay grounded

2016-08-16 08:51
Tannie Ans and Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)

Rio de Janeiro - Despite having entered this year's Rio Olympics as the world champion in the 400m, Wayde van Niekerk's life is about to get even crazier. 

There was a touching moment at the athlete's village on Monday when 2004 Olympic gold medallist Ryk Neethling congratulated Van Niekerk on what he had achieved less than 24 hours earlier. 

"You life is about to change," Neethling said while embracing the 24-year-old Van Niekerk. 

It certainly is. 

Not only did Van Niekerk win gold, but he smashed Michael Johnson's world record in the process. 

He already had a reputation as one of the brightest prospects in athletics, but now Van Niekerk has arrived and he is about to enter a world of superstardom. 

Coach Ans Botha had some advice for him. 

"My biggest dream and prayer for Wayde would be to stay humble and with his feet on the ground," said the 74-year-old Botha.

"I would want him to be thankful for the blessings and the talent which he has received ... to be aware that anything can happen and it can be taken away from you."

Van Niekerk confirmed that he would be staying on with Botha after the 2016 Olympics.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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