By Staff Reporter
Double Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya is a strong favourite to retain her sportswomen of the Year award at this weekend‘s Regional Annual Sport Awards (RASA 2019) While 400 metre sprinter Isaac Makwala is listed to win the Sportsman of the Year award.
Despite facing scrutiny about her gender, Double Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya with no doubt had a steller line up for the region’s cream of sporting talent who will be honoured on Saturday night at the RASA awards, to be hosted in Windhoek.
This will also mark the first time the awards are being held outside South Africa since the inauguration in 2016.
South African track and field athlete and 800m sprinter Caster Semenya were the winners at last year’s RASA, which this year will recognise 2018 Sport achievers within the 9 member states of the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) region 5.
Representative at this year’s awards include Botswana, South Africa, Eswatini, Zambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and debutant Angola, will gather for the event at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek. South Africa’s Women World Cup team, Banyana Banyana, Athletic National Team of Zambia and five times World Netball Championship representative Queens from Malawai are the nominees for the prestigious Sports Team of the Year award.
Flying the Namibian Flag is 100m and 200m sprinter Ananias Shikongo, Ndondanzi Jonathan Ntutu of South Africa and Angolan Footballer Celestino Elias Antonio will be in the category of Sportsman of the Year with Disability.
Another Namibian who got the nod is Namibian Sun journalist Limba Mupeteni who’s nominated alongside The Mirror’s Tinashe Tirivavi and South Africa’s Motsidis Mohono are in the journalist of the year category.
During the unveiling of the nominees, RASA CEO Stanley Mutoya, said he was pleased with the way the competition had grown since its launch back in 2016.
“Today we have nine member countries taking part in the fourth edition.
We welcome Angola into the RASA in this edition as they have had their own domestic awards, making Angola eligible for the 2019 edition of RASA.
“We celebrate this exponential growth given that at inauguration in 2016 we only had five member countries taking part.
This is an indication that we have a good product to commercialise,” he said.
“We therefore present this product to the corporates in our region who are interested in associating with excellence and innovation in line with our theme – Celebrating Excellence, Inspiring Innovation,” Mutoya said.
Last week RASA Nominees for 10 0f the 12 categories were announced, while the other two categories will be announced at the event during the awards.
Coach of the year – Gilbert Nyamutsamba (Zimbabwe, rugby sevens), Samuel Sepeng (South Africa, athletics), Christina Mkwanda-Msinji (Malawi, netball).
Journalist of the year – Tinashe Tirivavi (Zimbawe, The Mirror), Motshidisi Mohono (South Africa), Limba Mupetami (Namibia, Namibian Sun).
Junior female sportsperson of the year – Moneyi Chingaipe (Malawi, athletics), Lorryn Ashley Bass (Zimbabwe, rowing), Manqabang Tsibela (Lesotho, athletics).
Junior male sportsman of the year – Kernnedy Luchembe (Zambia, athletics), Blessings Kamanga (Malawi, chess), Ryan Gwidzima (Zimbabwe, squash).
Sports team of the year – Athletics 4×4 national team (Botswana, athletics), Banyana Banyana (South Africa, football), National netball team (Malawi, football).
Sportsman of the year – Isaac Makwala (Botswana, athletics), Wilfred Mashaya (Zimbabwe, martial arts), Chad le Clos (South Africa, swimming).
Sportsman of the year with disability – Ndodanzi Jonathan Ntutu (South Africa, athletics), Celestino Elias Antonio (Angola, football), Ananias Shikongo (Namibia, athletics).
Sportswoman of the year – Anisha Basheel (Malawi, boxing), Caster Semenya (South Africa, athletics), Lerato Sechele (Lesotho, athletics).
Sportswoman of the year with disability – Margaret Bangajena (Zimbabwe, athletics), Monica Munga (Zambia, athletics), Anrune Liebenberg (South Africa, athletics).
Sportsperson of the year – Wilfred Mashaya (Zimbabwe, martial arts), Anisha Basheel (Malawi, boxing), Caster Semenya (South Africa, athletics).