Athletes honoured by Parliament

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iol spt apr25 Van Dyk Reuters/Brian Snyders Ernst Van Dyk holds the trophy after winning the men's wheelchair division at the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. Photo by: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Cape Town – The country's foremost marathon and cycling winners were honoured during a special breakfast at Parliament on.

Veteran wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk received a R25,000 cheque and a bunch of proteas for his 10th Boston marathon win.

“Ten years of uninterrupted excellence. What more can you ask for?” Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said.

“He's one of our most decorated athletes. I dare say he's irreplaceable in all his achievements.”

Van Dyk returned from Boston this week, after becoming the first athlete to win 10 titles in the historic 42km Massachusetts race.

“With all the challenges that you have, you have actually brought in some flavour of reminding us we are still together. We are a nation because of people like you,” Mbalula said of the athlete who was born in Ceres in 1973 with a congenital birth defect.

He has no legs from the knees down.

Some of the other athletes honoured were the winners of this year's Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle race Ä Nolan Hoffman and Cherise Stander.

Hoffman secured a maiden victory in the race this month finishing in 2:39:31.

Stander won her third title in seven years.

Hendrik Ramaala – who finished second in the past weekend's 56km Two Oceans Marathon – was also honoured.

The winners of the 21km section of the marathon – Stephen Mokoka, Joel Mmone, Gladwin Mzazi and Benedict Moeng – received cheques of R10,000 each.

Their female counterparts – Lebo Phalula, Rene Kalmer and Mapaseka Makhanya – also received accolades. – Sapa


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