World and Commonwealth long jump champion Luvo Manyonga has been shortlisted for the sportsperson of the year award in the Regional Annual Sports Awards (Rasa) of SADC countries.
Manyonga hails from Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape.
The Olympic silver medalist faces competition from highly rated Botswana sprinter Karabo Sibanda‚ who finished fifth in the 400m at the Rio Olympics‚ and Zimbabwean karateka Samsom Muripo at a function to be held at Birchwood Hotel in Kempton Park on Saturday.
Manyonga has also been nominated in the category of sportsman of the year where he is up against Malawian footballer Peter Banda and Namibian boxer Julius Indongo.
South African golden girl and two-time 800m world champion Caster Semenya is the favourite to walk away with the sportswoman of the year award where she has been nominated with chess player Onkemetse Francis from Botswana and emerging football star Tabitha Chawinga from Malawi.
The Springboks Sevens have been rewarded for their consistent performances with a nomination in the sports team of the year category where they are up against the Zambian U20 football side and the Botswana 4 x 400 meters relay team.
In confirming the final list of the top three nominees per category‚ the chief executive of African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Stanley Mutoya said: “The voting process of the third edition of RASA 2018 has now been completed and the top three deserving athletes per category are now in the public domain.”
“We are very proud and excited for each and every one of them to have made it this far in the voting process.
“In some of the categories we had more than six nominees at the initial entry stage.
“To me all of them are already winners given how stringent the selection criteria is.
“Of course on the night of the event we will all wait to see who will be crowed the best of the best in each category‚ which I have to affirm is a very prestigious accolade any athlete can receive in the Region”
All the nominees:
Sportsperson of the year: Luvo Manyonga (Athletics‚ South Africa)‚ Karabo Sibanda (Athletics‚ Botswana)‚ Samson Muripo (Karate‚ Zimbabwe).
Sportsman of the Year: Luvo Manyonga (Athletics‚ South Africa)‚ Peter Banda (Football‚ Malawi)‚ Julius Indongo (Boxing‚ Namibia).
Sportswoman of the Year: Caster Semenya (Athletics‚ South Africa)‚ Onkemetse Francis (Chess‚ Botswana)‚ Tabitha Chawinga (Football‚ Malawi).
Sportsman of the Year with a disability: Dyan Buis (Athletics‚ South Africa)‚ Elford Moyo (wheelchair racing‚ Zimbabwe)‚ Johannes Nambala (Athletics‚ Namibia).
Sportswoman of the year with a disability: Margaret Bangajena (wheelchair racing‚ Zimbabwe)‚ Illse Hayes (Athletics‚ South Africa)‚ Ahja Ishitile (Athletics‚ Namibia).
Sports Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens (Rugby‚ South Africa)‚ Zambia Football U20 Team (Football‚ Zambia)‚ Botswana 4 x 400 meters Men Relay(Athletics‚ Botswana).
Coach of the Year: Beston Chambeshi (Football‚ Zambia)‚ Jean Verster (Athletics‚ South Africa)‚ Mogomotsi Otsetswe (Athletics‚ Botswana).
Junior Sportsman of the Year: Kennedy Luchembe (Athletics ‚ Zambia)‚ Karabo Sibanda (Athletics‚ Botswana)‚ Thandolwethu Motsa (Taekwondo‚ Kingdom eSwatini).
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Tshegofatso Tsiang (Tennis‚ Botswana)‚ Charlize Van Zyl (Gymnastics Namibia)‚ Tanyaradzwa Muzinda (Motorcross‚ Zimbabwe).
Mahlatse Mphahlele – TimesLIVE