Wayde gets a hero’s welcome… and a car



September 8, 2016
Wayde gets a hero’s welcome… and a car

FREE RIDE: Wayde poses with his new Audi R8V10 Plus

Olympic champ receives a brand new Audi R8V10 Plus.

Wayde van Niekerk nearly caused a stampede when he returned home yesterday.

The first thing that greeted the Olympic gold medallist when he arrived at OR Tambo International Airport were the cheers of school children.

The second thing was a brand new-car, and not just any car, only the fastest one ever made by Audi.

As mense screamed his name and welcomed him back, Wayde cracked a shy smile as they handed him flowers and balloons.

Several bodyguards accompanied the Kraaifontein athlete, but he stopped to greet the excited kids and take selfies with fans.

This included a toddler who continued to scream his name until she got his attention.

Wayde arrives at OR Tambo Airport

The 24-year-old’s mother Odessa Swarts was also at the airport, but stood on the sidelines to allow adoring fans to greet Wayde.

Wayde, his coach Ans Botha, affectionately known as Tannie Ans, and men’s100m finalist Akani Simbine arrived back in the country for the first time since the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Wayde won gold in the men’s 400m and set a new world record.

Simbine became the first South African man since Danie Joubert at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics to make the 100m final. He finished fifth, crossing the line in 9.94sec, the second-best time of his career.

There was another big surprise waiting for Wayde at the airport.

The sprinter who was recently named an ambassador for Audi, grinned broadly as officials pulled off the covers of the red Audi R8V10 Plus sports car and even jumped in to start the kwaai kar.

This elicited more cheers from fans, who occupied all the free space around the international arrivals terminals in a bid to catch a glimpse of him inside the car.

The new R8 V10 Plus is the fastest Audi road-car ever made, and sells for just over R3 million.

The car will be loaned to Wayde for a year, and during that time he will also have access to other models, such as the RS6 and RS7.

According to Audi, it can go from zero to 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds.

Looks like Wayde has some catching up to do!

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