HARARE – The Zimbabwe national football team yesterday found themselves in the running for the Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) Team of the Year award despite registering one of their worst World Cup qualification campaigns in years.
The Warriors, who later made amends by qualifying for the African Nations Championship (Chan) finals, will be contesting against the Zimbabwe cricket team and national Under-19 beach volleyball side for the team award at a banquet set for Harare on December 11.
The Sportsman of the Year award will be contested by karateka Samson Muripo, who won a bronze medal at the World Kyokushin Union Championships in Bulgaria and was the only African male karateka to get past the third round stage.
Muripo followed that up with a stunning success story in Shanghai, China, when he was crowned champion in the World So-Kyokushin Cup International heavyweight category last month.
He will face competition from rising tennis ace Takanyi Garanganga and boxer Charles Manyuchi.
Garanganga continues to improve his ratings on the ITF Futures Tournaments while Manyuchi shone on the international boxing scene after winning the African Boxing Union (ABU) welterweight title before it in September.
Golfer Brendan De Jonge, who was crowned Sportsperson of the Year last year, has been overlooked this time around in a year the country’s leading golfer played in the President’s Cup and will be representing Zimbabwe in the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf which tees off at the same course this week.
The Sportswoman of the Year Award will be contested between top female tennis doubles player Cara Black, Olympic rower Micheen Thornycroft and athlete Rachel Goromonzi.
Black has a good chance of landing the award after winning the doubles title at the China Open with partner Sania Mirza and also reaching the doubles’ final at the Madrid Open.
Nominees from both the Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year categories will go in the hat for the coveted Sportsperson of the Year accolade, the biggest prize of the night.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe football coach Ian Gorowa will battle it out for the Coach of the Year award with Rachel Davies of rowing and triathlon’s Wayne Davidson.
Gorowa has had a fairly impressively record since taking over the reins from German Klaus-Dieter Pagels. His biggest achievement was guiding the Warriors to the Chan finals after a stunning 1-0 away win over Zambia in the second leg of the final qualifier.
Junior Sports Woman of the Year: Laurelle Brown (triathlon), Nicole Dzenga (tennis), Ruvarashe Mzinde.
Junior Sportsman of the Year: Faber Murray Lauchlan (rowing), Michael Songore (athletics), Peter Purcell Gilpin (rowing).
Junior Sports Woman of the Year with a Disability: Brian Mafuvise (wheelchair tennis), Emmanuel Musara (T13 Athletics), Shepherd Banda (wheelchair tennis).
Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability: Daniel Nyuke (wheelchair basketball), Edmund Makutya (wheelchair racing), Elford Moyo (wheelchair racing).
Technical Official of the Year: Ginny Ross (hockey), Joyce Muchenu (basketball), Rick Fulton (triathlon).
Sports Administrator of the Year: Triathlon Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Karate Union, Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union.
Sports Development of the Year: National BMX Association of Zimbabwe, National Darts Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Netball Association.
Women in Sport Award: Eugenia Chidhakwa, Olivia Mguni.