Coventry set to retain top prize

KIRSTY Coventry is hot favourite to retain her Sportsperson of the Year crown after the Olympic champion had another outstanding year in international competitions.

Zimbabwe’s best-performing athletes for the year 2005 will be honoured at the Annual National Sports A

wards (ANSA) function in Harare tonight.

Swimming icon Coventry won two gold and two silver medals at the World Championships in Canada last year and was named the top female swimmer at the tournament.

Zimbabwe has staged a number of awards in recent years, and the controversy that has dogged most of them has not escaped this year’s ANSA edition.

This year’s ANSA has been rocked by revelations that some finalists were chosen on false information submitted by their national associations. Steve Vickers, head of the judges panel, however said this week that disabled female athlete Moline Muza has been cleared after her achievements were verified.

Golfer Marc Cayeux, who made headlines for his noteworthy performances on the international circuit last year, will however not be recognised at home for his efforts because the golf association did not put his name forward for nomination.

He played against world number one Tiger Woods in the NEC Invitational in the United States in August. He won the Vodacom Tour Championship in South Africa and earned over US$30 000 in the year.
 
Instead, sprinter Talkmore Nyongani, one of the athletes said to have been entered on false information, will fight it out for the Sportsman of the Year award with another dark horse, karateka Mugove Muhambi.

ANSA nominees

* Sportsman of the Year: Talkmore Nyongani (athletes), Mugove Muhambi (karate)

* Sportswoman of the Year: Kirsty Coventry (swimming), Cara Black (tennis)

* Junior Sportsman of the Year: Tim Ferris (swimming), Travis Brown (triathlon), David Tinago (athletics)

* Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Fadzai Mawisire (tennis), Moira Fraser (swimming), Nobuhle Ncube (athletics)

* Junior Sportsman with a Disability: Gerald Nyanhongo (athletics), Craig Peebles (rowing)
 
*  Junior Sportswoman with a Disability: Doreen Kamhunga (athletics), Memory Munaku (Volleyball)

* Team of the Year: Warriors (football), Kevin Ulyett and Wayne Black (tennis), Standard Chartered Greatest Race on Earth team (athletics)

* Administrator of the Year: Bruce Hobson (sevens rugby), Lucky Munkondya (karate), Robert Mutsauki (ZOC chief executive)

* Umpire/ Technical Person of the Year: Walter Njowa (rugby)

* Coach of the Year: no award

* Junior Sportsperson of the Year: to be chosen from the male and female finalists

* Sportsperson of the Year: to be chosen from the male and female finalists. — Staff Writer.

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