Top athlete Ngonidzashe Makusha was disqualified from the Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) after failing to meet certain criteria prescribed by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
The list of nominees was released yesterday amid confusion over top athlete’s omission from the country’s finest achievers of the 2011 sporting season.
The SRC referred the media to the judges who in turn refereed the scribes back to the supreme sports body, but an explanation seemed to elude everyone.
However, Makusha seems to paying the price for absenting himself from the 2011 All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, in September after claiming he was fatigued.
Makusha carved his name into the country’s elite athletes when he won a bronze medal in the long jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, becoming the first Zimbabwean to do so.
Top swimmer Kirsty Coventry, who has been the country’s flag bearer in major tournaments continuing with her fine performance again this year, is now favourite to clinch the coveted Sportsperson of the Year Award.
The swimming icon’s major achievement this year was at the All-Africa Games in Mozambique when she bagged three gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
Triple Comrades marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi has won the award before and will be in the running once again after he successfully defended his title this year.
Other notable athletes who could be knocking hard on the doors include young tennis star Takanyi Garanganga and chess grandmaster Robert Gwaze who both won gold medals in Mozambique.
Rosemary Mugadza gave Zimbabwe its first major women’s football title as the Mighty Warriors coach when they beat South Africa 1-0 in the final of the Cosafa Women’s Challenge.
And for that, she stands head and shoulders among her competitors in the coach of the year award.The contenders are Under-19 rugby coach Brighton Chivandire and senior team coach Brendan Dawson.
List of nominees
Sportsman of the Year: Stephen Muzhingi (athletics), Takanyi Garanganga (tennis), Robert Gwaze (chess)
Sportswoman of the Year: Kirsty Coventry, Nicole Horn, (swimming) Claire Lyn Minter (ladies golf)
Junior Sportsman: James Lawson (swimming), Mathew Antony Benslow (BMX), James Antony Frazer-McKenzie (rowing)
Junior Sportswoman: Samantha Welch (swimming) Laurell Brown (triathlon), Thandiwe Nyathi (athletics)
Junior Sportsman with a Disability:Munyaradzi Mamombe, Shephered Banda, Brian Mapsuvise (wheelchair tennis)
Junior Sportswoman with a Disability:Nyaradzai Tagarira, Laina Sithole (ZASOP), Eniah Mandaa (amputees’ athletics)
Technical Official of the Year: Joyce Muchenu (basketball), Kathy Lobb (swimming), Rick Fulton (triathlon)
Coach of the Year: Rosemary Mugadza (Mighty Warriors), Brighton Chivandire (Under-19 rugby), Brendan Dawson (senior rugby team)
Team of the Year: Mighty Warriors, Zim under-19 rugby team, Senior rugby national team
Sportsman with a Disability: Nyasha Mharakurwa (wheelchair tennis), Edmund Makutya and Elford Moyo (wheelchair racing)
Sportswoman with a Disability: Dorcas Hwatira (wheelchair tennis), Margaret Bangajena and Mollin Majoni (wheelchair racing)
Administration Award of the Year: Zimbabwe Cricket, Zimbabwe Shooting Sport Federation, Zimbabwe Motorsport
Sports Development Award of the Year:Zimbabwe Table Tennis, Zimbabwe Cricket, Hockey Association of Zimbabwe