Pretoria News Weekend - - SPORT - OCKERT VIL­LIERS

Prov­ing to be the epit­ome of per­se­ver­ance ‘Tan­nie’ Ans Botha, pic­tured, will be hon­oured at the IAAF’s an­nual awards evening in Monaco on Novem­ber 24, less than a month be­fore her 76th birth­day.

Botha has been el­e­vated to in­ter­na­tional star­dom over the last few years thanks to her work as a coach to world 400m record-holder and Olympic cham­pion Wayde van Niek­erk.

“It is, of course, an in­cred­i­ble honour and I am so grate­ful to re­ceive this kind of ac­co­lade at this stage of my life,” Botha said, con­firm­ing that she will be re­ceiv­ing an award.

“I am hum­bled to be able to re­ceive some­thing like this; there is a lot of emo­tion in­volved with this kind of an­nounce­ment.”

Botha has been work­ing with the South African wun­derkind since 2012, with Van Niek­erk reach­ing un­prece­dented heights in global ath­let­ics.

She has been the ar­chi­tect be­hind his suc­cess which in­cludes dou­ble world 400m ti­tles, an Olympic gold medal, and the world record in the one-lap sprint.

The 75-year-old said she would not have been able to reach the pin­na­cle of the sport with­out a sense of per­se­ver­ance and pa­tience.

“With ath­let­ics, you al­ways have to keep your fo­cus on the long-term as there are many low points along the way,” Botha said.

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