Wayde van Niekerk slips on the lush Newlands turf as Benni McCarthy comes in to claim a tag. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Wayde van Niekerk slips on the lush Newlands turf as Benni McCarthy comes in to claim a tag. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Wayde van Niekerk nurses his injured right knee. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Wayde van Niekerk nurses his injured right knee. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Dr Darren Green and Benni McCarthy attend to Wayde van Niekerk. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Dr Darren Green and Benni McCarthy attend to Wayde van Niekerk. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Wayde van Niekerk and wife Chesney wave to the Newlands crowd as they leave the field on a medical cart. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA
Wayde van Niekerk and wife Chesney wave to the Newlands crowd as they leave the field on a medical cart. Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA

CAPE TOWN - It was a memorable day out at Newlands rugby stadium on October 7, but not so for champion sprinter Wayde van Niekerk.

With the Springboks and All Blacks facing each other in a huge Rugby Championship showdown at the grand old stadium, a number of pre-match festivities were lined up.

One of those events involved several South African celebrities in a Tag rugby match, where the players are adorned with plastic tags that their opponents need to pull off to make a "tackle".

And Van Niekerk was one of the participants. but it all went horribly wrong.

He slipped on the lush Newlands turf, and as our sequence of pictures shown - taken by Roger Sedres of Image SA - Van Niekerk initially stays down.

He is seen to by Dr Darren Green and Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy.

But after getting treatment on the field, Van Niekerk is eventually taken off on a medical cart, accompanied by his now-wife Chesney Campbell.

Playing in the celebrity game has cost Van Niekerk dearly. On Tuesday evening, the world and Olympic champion and world record holder announced that he has required knee surgery in Colorado, USA, and has been ruled out for six months.

That will see him missing the South African championships in March and the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, as well as a number of other lucrative international events.


IOL Sport