Wayde van Niekerk receiving his award from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. Photo: Khothatso Mokone

Buckle up, Wayde van Niekerk is looking to introduce some turbo boosters next year after a extraordinary 2016 in which he became Olympic champion and world record holder.

His exploits on the track have won acclaim at home and abroad as the accolades deservingly keep on piling up.

Van Niekerk was the big winner at the SA Sport Awards in Bloemfontein on Sunday night winning the Sports Star of the Year for the second consecutive year while adding the People’s Choice, Sportsman of the Year, International Achievement and Shield of Jove Awards.

“I would like to dominate as much as I can while I can and while it is my time,” Van Niekerk said after the evening.

“To be honest, it is only the beginning of so much more, 100m, 200m, 400m and building myself as a brand.

“I am quite excited to see what is ahead of me but I leave it all in God’s hands and I take every day as it comes.”

Van Niekerk recently made his return to the training track and was feeling in good shape as he pursues even greater results in 2017.

“Funny enough I am not as unfit as I thought I would be (on his return to training) and I am taking it step-by-step.

“I ended off the season with an injury and was struggling with it throughout the year,” Van Niekerk said.

“I am trying to nurture that now while I am trying to keep my fitness levels at a good tempo, I want to go massive next year.”

Van Niekerk’s equally popular coach Tannie Ans Botha was also recognised on Sunday night for her role in the star athlete’s success scooping the SA Coach of the Year award.

The sprinter heaped praise on his age-defying coach for not only for her contribution to his career but for her own persistence in pursuing her own dreams.

“Like I’ve said over and over again, Tannie represents way beyond what we see with the eye, I mean at the age of 74, reaching the heights she has,” Van Niekerk said about his mentor.

“To have an athlete that breaks the world record that should inspire anyone out there to go out and not give up on their dreams no matter what age you are.”

Speaking at the awards, Botha said she had been blessed with good health and physical strength to be able to not only coach top athletic talent but travel all over the world with Van Niekerk.

The Star