What does it take to be an athletic champ? Apparently, a mix of DNA and training

There's nothing like when South Africa's very own walk away with sporting gold at international championships.

Our latest hero is Cape Town pride and joy Wayde van Niekerk, who won a gold medal in the 400m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing on Wednesday.

But the success of van Niekerk, has begged the question: What does it take; are elite athletes born or made?

Although van Niekerk and many other sporting heros have had athletic parents to inherit good genes from, DNA alone is not enough to ensure athletic excellence.

According to Professor Malcolm Collins, Head of the Department of Human Biology at UCT, desire and will are essential ingredients for sporting success.

Genetics can offer athletes an advantage, but they need to train and have the desire to win. It's a combination of both nature and nurture.

Professor Malcolm Collins, Human Biology expert

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:


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