Swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry, tipped to win this year’s Sportsperson of the Year at the Annual National Sports Awards to be held in the capital this evening, was expected in the country last night to complete the list of nominees expected to grace this year’s event.
There were major doubts Coventry would make it to the awards ceremony as she was taking part in the 2012 London Olympic Games qualifiers in Monaco.
“I can confirm that Kirsty is arriving at 9 o’clock tonight (yesterday) from Johannesburg. She will be the last person on the nominees list to arrive from outside the country.
All local nominees have confirmed their attendance and we expect them all to be in Harare by 12pm tomorrow (today).
All the other nominees based outside the country like Takanyi Garanganga, Stephen Muzhingi and Nyasha Mharakurwa are already in the country.
This year we want all nominees to attend the function.
This is one area we have extensively worked on,” said Sports and Recreation Council public relations officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa.
Last year’s Sportsperson of the Year winner, Cara Black, failed to attend due to commitments at her base in Australia.
Coventry is the odds-on-favourite to scoop this year’s top award after her exploits in the just-ended sporting season
The swimming icon’s major achievement this year was at the All-Africa Games in Mozambique where she bagged four gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
She will, however, get some competition for the same accolade from tennis star Garanganga and chess grandmaster Robert Gwaze, who also won gold at the games while Stephen Muzhingi, who retained the Comrades Marathon, will also have a big shout.