Fanie du Plessis

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Stephanus Johannes "Fanie" du Plessis
Born (1930-02-23) 23 February 1930 (age 92)
Lichtenburg, South Africa[1]
Died (2001-07-30) 30 July 2001 (age 21)
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Occupation Athlete
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 240 lb (110 kg)
Fanie du Plessis
Medal record
Men's Athletics - Discus
Representing  South Africa
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1954 Vancouver Discus Throw
Gold medal – first place 1958 Cardiff Discus Throw
Men's Athletics - Shot Put
Representing  South Africa
Commonwealth Games
Bronze medal – third place 1954 Vancouver Shot Put

Stephanus ("Fanie") Johannes du Plessis (born 23 February 1930 in Lichtenburg, North West – died 13 August 2001 in Pretoria, Gauteng) was a discus thrower and shot putter, who represented South Africa at two Summer Olympics in 1956 and 1960.[1] He was twice gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games (in 1954 and 1958, then known as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games) in the men's discus throw event.


Stephanus ("Fanie") Johannes du Plessis was born on 23 February 1930 in Lichtenburg, South Africa. As an athlete he specialised in the throwing events and had international success in two disciplines, the discus and the shot put. Before South Africa was banned from the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, Plessis represented his country in both arena. He did not achieve podium finishes in the Olympics and it is said that when once asked by his manager why he hadn't done as well as his best he replied "I was bewitched".[2]

In the final two Commonwealth Games that South Africa competed in before their ban, Fanie du Plessis dominated the men's discus-throw. In 1954 so dominant was he that he surpassed the Games' record with every one of his throws until he finally won with a distance of 51,70m[3] At the 1954 Games he also won bronze in the Shot Put.[1] In 1958 he again won gold in the discus. His best throw was 56.32m in 1959.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Biography sports-reference
  2. Rudolf W. J. Opperman, Lappe Laubscher, Africa's first Olympians: the story of the Olympic movement in South Africa, 1907-1987, SANOC (Group), 1987
  3. Floris J. G. Van der Merwe A history of sport and physical education in the Republic of South Africa, page 24, Issue 82; (SAASSPER publications), 1986, ISBN 0-620-09576-8, ISBN 978-0-620-09576-1

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