By Colleta Dewa
Johanesburg - Multiple award winning athlete Caster Semenya stole the show during this year’s SA sports awards by scooping 3 essential accolades at a ceremony that was held at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein on Sunday night.
The Olympic gold-medalist champion made a clean sweep by scooping the Sports Star of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year and People’s Choice awards.
Semenya, who is also in the running for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athlete of the Year award, was rewarded owing mainly to her dominance in the 800m that saw her bringing home medals in the Commonwealth Games in April, the African Championships in August, as well as the Diamond League final and Continental Cup in September.
Semenya’s coach, Samuel Sepeng, who received the awards on her behalf, said the recognition was a result of hard work.
Sepeng was also honoured with the Coach of The Year award.
Speaking after winning the award, Sepeng said he was grateful for the honour and was looking forward to more positive results in future.
“I want to thank Caster for believing in me. I started as her assistant coach until later in 2017 when I took over as her coach. Since then our relationship has been based on respect and hard work. Thank you South Africa for the honour. I believe we will achieve more in the coming season,” he said.
Her journey in the track has not been smooth this year after she faced serious criticism by the IAAF following a proposal that targeted athletes with hyperandrogenism.
“Fighting the IAAF isn’t about me. I’m a world champ‚ Commonwealth Games champ‚ Africa champ. The fight is about the upcoming young girls who would have the same problem as me‚” she said last week during the Discovery Leadership summit.
Some of the notable achievers during the awards were the national women’s soccer team, Banyana Banyana, who were voted National Team of the Year for their unwavering effort when they successfully defended their Cosafa Women’s Championship title.
Tatjana Schoenmaker scooped the New Comer of the Year award for her efforts in the swimming pool at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year.
Mdodozi Ntutu and Anrune Liebenberg won the Sportsman of the Year with Disability and Sportswoman of the Year with Disability respectively.
The Sportsman of the Year award went to Chad le Clos while St Benedict’s College went home with the School Team of the Year accolade.
Mohono Matshidisi was awarded sports journalist of the year.
The glamourous event was also attended by various captains of industry and government officials led by Minister of Sport and Recreation, Tokozile Xasa.
Full list of the winners
Sports Star of The Year - Caster Semenya
Sportsman of The Year - Chad le Clos
Sportswoman of The Year - Caster Semenya
Sportsman of the Year With Disability - Mdodozi Ntutu
Sportswoman of the Year With Disability - Anrune Liebenberg
Team of The Year - Banyana Banyana
Sports Journalist of The Year - Mohono Matshidisi
Newcomer of The Year - Tatjana Schoenmaker
Coach of The Year - Samuel Sepeng
Volunteer of The Year - Linda Hlophe
Indigenous Games Team of The Year - Morabaraba Team
The Recreation Body of the Year - Mavu Sport Development
National Federation of the Year - Softball
School Team of the Year - St Benedict’s College
Developing School of the Year - Machakela-Mamodibo Secondary School
Sport Administrator of the Year - Virginia Mabaso
People’s Choice Award - Caster Semenya