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Kirsty the best

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Queen of the waters, Kirsty Coventry, was last night crowned the Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) Sportsperson of the Year at a function held at a Harare hotel, the second time the swimming sensation has won the award in four years.

Coventry won the award in 2008 and was back again at the podium yesterday as she led her fellow swimmers who swept all categories they were entered into in this year’s edition.

She was also voted Sportswoman of the Year, beating young swimmer and former NewsDay intern Nicole Horn to the award.

Another young swimmer, Samantha Welch, who was brilliant in the true sense of the word at the All-Africa Games in September, was voted the Junior Sportswoman of the Year while her male counterpart, James Lawson, was named the Junior Sportsman of the Year.

Coventry was voted the country’s finest achiever of the 2011 sporting season after she won four gold medals and a silver medal at the All-Africa Games.

She also took part in the Maria Lenk championships in Brazil and won three gold and a silver medal among the numerous awards she won in international events.

Comrades Marathon triple winner Stephen Muzhingi scooped the Sportsman of the Year award after he successfully defended his title this year.

For this accolade, Muzhingi beat off stiff completion from chess grandmaster Robert Gwaze who got silver and young tennis star Takanyi Garanganga who settled for third position.

Gwaze amassed a total of six gold medals at local and international tournaments this year, which included the prestigious Grandmasters Open in Russia and another one at the All-Africa Games.

He also took part in the Hungary Challenge where he came first. As for Garanganga — the 11th best ranked tennis player in Africa — he won a goal and a silver medal at the All-Africa Games before collecting another silver medal at the Futures Rochester US tournament.

Disabled wheelchair athlete Margaret Bangajena, who scooped four golds — including at the Two Oceans event before sweeping all local events which she competed in this year — was voted the overall winner in the Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability category.

The Winners:

Sportsperson of the Year
Kirsty Coventry (Swimming) — Gold
Sportswoman of the Year:
Kirsty Coventry (Swimming) — Gold
Nicole Horn (Swimming) — Silver
Claire Lyn Minter (Ladies Golf) —Bronze
Sportsman of the Year:
Stephen Muzhingi (Athletics) — Gold
Robert Gwaze (Chess) — Silver
Takanyi Garanganga (Tennis) — Bronze.
Junior Sportsman of the Year:
James Lawson (Swimming) — Gold
Mathew Antony Benslow (BMX) — Silver
James Antony Frazer-McKenzie (Rowing) — Bronze
Junior Sportswoman:
Samantha Welch (Swimming) — Gold
Laurell Brown (Triathlon) — Silver
Thandiwe Nyathi (Athletics) — Bronze
Junior Sportsman with a Disability:
Munyaradzi Mamombe (Wheelchair Tennis) — Gold
Shephered Banda (Wheelchair Tennis) — Silver
Brian Mapsuvise (Wheelchair Tennis) — Bronze
Junior Sportswoman with a Disability:
Nyaradzai Tagarira (Visually Impaired Athlete) — Gold
Laina Sithole (Visually Impaired Athlete) – Silver
Eniah Mandaa (Amputees’ Athletics) — Bronze
Sportswoman with a Disability:
Margaret Bangajena (Wheelchair Tennis) — Gold
Moline Majoni (Wheelchair Racing) — Silver
Dorcas Hwatira (Wheelchair Tennis) — Bronze
Sportsman with a Disability:
Elford Moyo (Wheelchair Racing) — Gold
Edmund Makutya (Wheelchair Tennis) — Silver
Nyasha Mharakurwa (Wheelchair Tennis) — Bronze
Coach of the Year:
Brendan Dawson (Senior Rugby Team) — Gold
Rosemary Mugadza (Mighty Warriors) — Silver
Brighton Chivandire (Under-19 Rugby) — Bronze
Team of the Year:
Senior Rugby National Team (Sables) — Gold
Zimbabwe Women National Soccer Team (Mighty Warriors) — Silver
Zim Under-19 Rugby Team (Cheetahs) — Bronze
Technical Official of the Year:
Rick Fulton (Triathlon) — Gold
Joyce Muchenu (Basketball) — Silver
Kathy Lobb (Swimming) — Bronze
Administration Award of the Year:
Winner — Zimbabwe Cricket
Runner-Up — Zimbabwe Shooting Sport Federation
Second Runner-up — Zimbabwe Motorsport
Sports Development Award of the Year:
Winner – Zimbabwe Cricket
Runner-up — Hockey Association of Zimbabwe
Second Runner-up — Zimbabwe Table Tennis

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