While the country’s sprint king walked away with the main prize, South African track queen Caster Semenya was also recognised for her efforts in 2016.
The AU Sport Council Region5 (AUSC Region5) which is the sports arm of the AU aims to achieve peace, integration and unity in Africa. It is the second consecutive year Van Niekerk was named RASA Sportsperson of the Year.
Earlier this year Van Niekerk’s world-record run at lasat year’s Rio Olympic Games earned him a nomination for the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category, which went the way of Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg.
Last year Van Niekerk received recognition from the Association of National Olympic Committees (Anoc) when he was named Best Male Athlete of the Rio Olympic Games. Van Niekerk lost to Jamaican sprinting icon Usain Bolt in the male IAAF World Athlete of the Year at the end of last year.