Cornel Fredericks, the 2014 Commonwealth Games 400mh champion and Backtrack’s very first Male Athlete of the Year in the same year, boasts with great performances, yet he has his feet panted on the ground. He is the epitome of humbleness and it seems the bigger the performances, the more humble gets. Let’s get to know a glimpse of this world-class athlete:

What is your nickname? “My full names are Cornel Edwin Fredericks, but amongst my friends at home and Pretoria I am known as Conna, so I accepted it”

What school did you attend? “I’m from Caledon in Boland and attended Overberg High School” (You must know someone is n ‘trots Bolander’ when he says where he hails from without being asked hehe)

If you could be a superhero, who would you be? “Superman- ‘super human strength’ “

Where are you based and who is your coach? “I am currently in the UK and I train with Malcolm Arnold”

How is it going with Olympic preparations? “Training is going well and in order to get faster, I just give my best everyday”

One thing that no-one knows about you? “As jy wil toor met my, koop my net Ice-cream hahaha”

Who is your role-model and why? “My Mom Maureen Coleman. She is a hard-working woman, she is respected, humble and she makes a difference in the lives of others” (Big-ups to you mom)

Why the move overseas? “Everyone is different and everyone does what is best for him/her. I was never scared to make a move, and I believe one day I will be able to give back to other athletes in my community through my opportunities”

Describe yourself in three words? “Hard-working, respectful and patient” (Three traits that every athlete should have)

Biggest moment in your athletics career? “The best feeling ever in my athletics career was at the 2014 Commonwealth Games when I saw how 70000 people stood attentively listening to our national anthem”

Cornel Fredericks, ladies and gentleman, will head into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as one of the favourites in the men’s 400m hurdles race, so let’s get behind this role-model! We support you all the way champ.

#bringingtrackback #road2rio

Photo by Jean-Pierre Durand