Supercoaches: Ans Botha

All IFACs are special in bringing top Coaching and Performance experts to share their expertise with EACA members.

IFAC 2016 in Formia, Italy was no exception.

From 2014 to 2016 I had the privilege of being consultant Performance Director in South Africa, in preparing for the Rio Olympics.

In that time I had opportunity to work with Ans Botha, coach to Wayde Van Nierkerk, as she prepared him to challenge for Olympic 400m Gold and for a World Record in the process.

We met after the Beijing World Championships in 2015 and discussed what it would take to run 43:00 secs.  Analysis suggested 20.5 for first 200; 22.5 for second.

That would seem impossible to many but not to Ans and Wayde.

First, on 12 March 2016 he ran 9.98 for 100m in Bloemfontein to become the first man in history to run sub 10 secs in 100m, sub 20secs in 200m; and sub 44 sec in 400m.

He then repeatedly won 200 races in around 20.5 secs.

All this was the genius of Ans Botha in preparing Wayde to be physically, mentally and emotionally ready for a brilliant run from lane 8 in the Rio Olympic 400m final.

On the night his 100m splits were 10.7; 9.8 (20.5 200m); 10.8; 11.3 when the times were corrected to 0.00 that gave 43.03 – a new world record and gold medal.

EACA is proud to have been the first sports body, National or International, to invite Ans, one of history’s greatest athletics coaches, to share her experience and expertise with the coaching community.  Not only did Ans give a presentation/interview but conducted a seminar for 400m coaches and another for female coaches.

She truly is a wonderful person.

If you want to know more about her story, all EACA’s website members can watch my interview with her.

EACA’s website Premium and Pro members can also watch her speaking at IFAC 2016 in Formia (Italy) and IFAC 2020 online.

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