"It's always amazing, I mean, I feed off the support when I get back home, from the support and family as well, so I'm really grateful to be back at home and to be able to interact with friends and family."
9. 01:05 Mid shot of van Niekerk and his coach Ans Botha (on his left, right of picture).
10. 01:11 SOUNDBITE: (English) Ans Botha, Wade Van Niekerk's coach:
"Well, as you said, overwhelmed. Because I thought there would be a few people but never thought that many people here, but we really, really appreciate each and every one who are here and welcoming us and make us welcome at home and appreciate what we did for the season."
11. 01:38 Wade van Niekerk poses with fans in front of his new car.
12. 01:41 SOUNDBITE: (English) Odessa Swarts, Wade Van Niekerk's mother:
"Well, with all the messages we got just after his race we knew it was going to be a big welcome and everyone was going to want to have a bit of him, so this is what we expected, but I mean at the end of the day he did it for South Africa and not just for himself."
13. 01:56 Wide of Wade Van Niekerk surrounded by fans and media.
14. 02:01 Wide of schoolchildren and fans with welcome home signs.
15. 02:06 Van Niekerk walking, gives the "peace sign" and is escorted out of the airport.
Hundreds of fans gathered at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport to welcome home the Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk on Wednesday morning (7th September).
It was a hero's return for South Africa's Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk on Wednesday.
The 24 year-old, who broke the world record set by Michael Johnson back in 1999, arrived at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport and was greeted by hundreds of fans.
Van Niekerk took the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro ahead of defending champion Kirani James with a time of 43.03 seconds, shaving 15
hundredths-of-a-econd off Johnson's time.
His dominant run was all the more impressive considering he ran in lane eight, with James and American LaShawn Merritt, who took the bronze medal, out of his line of sight for the entire race.
The South African now has the unique distinction of being the first man to run under 10 seconds over 100 metres, under 20 seconds over 200 metres and under 44 seconds over 400 metres.
"It's always amazing," van Niekerk said as he was surrounded by supporters and media. "I feed off the support when I get back at home, from the support and family as well, so I'm really just grateful to be back at home and to be able to interact with friends and family."
As a reward for his efforts, Van Niekerk was also given a state-of-the-art sports car to drive back to his home in Bloemfontein.