Premier Proposes Renaming Athletics Stadium in Honour of Wayde van Niekerk
Premier Helen Zille has written to Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille proposing the renaming of the current Green Point Athletics Stadium, in honour of Wayde Van Niekerk.
Van Niekerk represented South Africa at the recent Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – where he won in the men’s 400 m final.
His performance – running the 400 m in a time of 43.03 seconds – not only secured him the gold medal, but broke the seventeen year old record of 43.18 seconds set by Michael Johnson during the 1999 World Championships.
“Mr Van Niekerk flew South Africa’s flag high and did the nation proud,” Premier Zille said.
His latest achievement adds to his already impressive accomplishments.
In 2015 he also won the gold in the 400 m final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Van Niekerk is also the first person in history to run faster than 10 seconds for 100 metres, 20 seconds for 200 metres and 44 seconds for 400 metres.
“These are extraordinary feats, especially for a 24 year old university student. I believe it would be appropriate to honour Mr Van Niekerk, by renaming the current Green Point Athletics Stadium, after him. He has not only done the country proud, but his home City and Province,” said Premier Zille.
“The renaming of the stadium would not only serve as a reminder of his incredible story, but as an inspiration to many other young people – demonstrating that anything is possible, with the right combination of discipline, hard work and dedication”.
Premier Zille added that the renaming of such an important facility in any City, should serve to incorporate the interests of those that reside in it.
“As such, it is not something we take lightly. In this instance, I believe Mr Van Niekerk is deserving of this honour.”