Long distance runner Stephen Muzhingi and boxer Tinei Maridzo are odds’ favourites to scoop the Sportsman of the Year award when the winner is announced on December 16.
The two athletes, who were outstanding in the respective disciplines, were among the finalists named by the Sports and Recreation Commission at the National Sports Stadium Friday.
Tennis ace Cara Black, swimmer Kirsty Coventry and athlete Sharon Tawengwa will be vying for the top accolade in the woman’s category while golfer Brendon De Jonge completes the men’s nominees for the big prize.
Other notable names announced yesterday include former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza and Brighton Chivandire who were named in the coach of the year division alongside cricket’s Stephen Mangongo.
Mapeza was nominated for taking Zimbabwe senior soccer team to the CHAN finals scheduled to take place in Sudan next year while Chivandire was in charge of the Under-19 rugby team which took part in the World Cup finals in Russia earlier this year.
Female soccer referee Pamela Chiwaya will be vying for the referee/umpire of the year award together with Joyce Muchenu (basketball) and Russel Tiffin of cricket.Tinashe Mutanga (athletics), Ben-Follet Smith (golf) and Tayne Turnock (BMX) were nominated for the junior sportsperson of the year award while in the women’s division Tyla-Shae Donaldson (BMX), Thabile Tshatedi (tennis) and athlete Sithulisiwe Zhou were nominated.
But the talking point will remain that of the Sportsman of the Year where there is fierce competition between Muzhingi and Maridzo.Muzhingi wrote his own history after he successfully retained the grueling Comrades Marathon in South Africa where he received rave reviews and was honoured back home for the achievements.
Maridzo took the local boxing by storm when he floored South African boxer Mikey Schultz to retain the WBO Africa super middleweight champion belt.
Junior Sportswoman of the Year:
Tyla-Shae Donaldson (BMX), Thabile Tshatedi (tennis), Sithulisiwe Zhou (athletics)
Junior Sportsman of the Year:
Tinashe Mutanga (athletics), Ben-Follet Smith (golf), Tayne Turnock (BMX)
Sportswoman of the Year (Disability): Margaret Bangajena (athletics), Dorcas Hwatira (athletics), Moline Majoni (athletics)
Sportsman of the Year (Disability): Edmund Makutya (athletics), Nyasha Mharakurwa (wheelchair tennis), Elford Moyo (athletics)
Sportswoman of the Year: Cara Black (tennis), Kirsty Coventry (swimming), Sharon Tawengwa (athletics)
Sportsman of the Year: Brendon De Jonge (golf), Tinei Maridzo (boxing), Stephen Muzhingi (marathon)
Umpire/Referee of the Year: Pamela Chiwaya (soccer referee), Joyce Muchenu (basketball) , Russel Tiffin (cricket umpire)
Coach of the Year: Norman Mapeza (soccer), Brighton Chivandire (rugby), Stephen Mangongo (cricket)
Sports Administration of the Year: BMX Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Cricket, Zimbabwe Netball Association
Sports Development of the Year: Zimbabwe Cricket, Sailing Association of Zimbabwe, Wheelchair Tennis Zimbabwe Team of the Year: Netball, Rugby (sevens), Rugby (under-19) Special acknowledgement of the Year: COTTCO, Danhiko, Prince Edward School.