Van Niekerk beats le Clos and Minaar to the finishing line

Top sprinter Wayde van Niekerk reigned supreme at the South African Sports Awards after he was named as Sportsman of the Year on Sunday evening.

Van Niekerk walked away with a Mercedes Benz C-Class as well as a R500000 cheque after he fought off stiff competition from cyclist Greg Minnaar and swimming sensation Chad le Clos.

Van Niekerk had a sensational year.

Not only was he the reigning world champion, but also the only South African who is ranked No 1 in the world.

He beat the reigning Olympic and world champions at the World Championships in Beijing in August when he became the fourth fastest 400m athlete of all time.

Cyclist Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was the deserving winner of the Sportswoman of the Year award after beating cricketer Shabnim Ismail and canoeist Bridgitte Hartley.

In the other categories, Lucas Sithole won Sportsman of the Year with a Disability while Illsle Hayes won Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability.

The Springbok Sevens were named Team of the Year, Kagiso Rabada Newcomer of the Year, Graham Hill Coach of the Year while basketball was declared the National Federation of the Year.

Rowing South Africa's Virginia Mabaso was named Sports Administrator of the Year, KZN Dibeke Team won Indigenous Games Team of the Year and Indigo Skate Camp won Recreation Body of the Year.

Times Media scored a double after Sowetan's Veli Nhlapo was named Photographer of the Year and Sunday Times' Bareng-Batho Kortjaas Sports Journalist of the Year.

With the exception of the Sportsman and the People's Choice awards, all the other winners were presented with a cheque of R130000.

The People's Choice winner was selected by the public and gets R500000 and another R500000 to donate to charity.

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