Khune vs Le Clos

2013-11-17 14:00

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On merit, swimmer Chad le Clos should be crowned the Sports Star of the Year at the SA Sports Awards in Sun City tonight.

The 21-year-old boasts strong credentials by virtue of being a national and world champion, and his ongoing success story on the international stage is the tale of a legend in the making.

Chad le Clos. Picture: Christiaan Kotze

But since the public carries the ultimate vote – by means of SMS – to decide the winner, strong indications are that Le Clos could be pipped by Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune on popularity stakes.

Itumeleng Khune. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Foto24

Bafana Bafana’s number one goalkeeper and captain has established himself as a poster boy on the domestic front after he almost single-handedly helped Chiefs to a league and Cup double last season.

He racked up eight major individual awards during the 2012/13 season, which fell under the judging period of October 2012 and August this year.

The 26-year-old is also a nominee in the Sportsman of the Year category in which cricketer Hashim Amla is odds-on favourite against swimmer Cameron van der Burgh.

Amla is also a dark horse for the Sports Star award. He will square up against Le Clos, Khune, SA middle-distance star Mapaseka Makhanya and wheelchair tennis ace Lucas Sithole.

Amla, the 2011 Sports Star, anchored the Proteas’ successful march to the number one test spot and his contribution is backed up by four Cricket SA awards he won in September.

Meanwhile, Swimming SA (SSA) deserves the Federation of the Year award ahead of the SA Hockey Association and Cycling SA. The national aquatics team hauled five medals – three gold, a silver and a bronze – at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona this year, where Le Clos bagged gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly events.

SSA will contest four other awards tonight: Sports Star (Le Clos), Sportsman of the Year (Van der Burgh), Newcomer of the Year (Giulio Zorzi) and Coach of the Year (Graham Hill).

Hill is a favourite for best coach. He has the medals to show for it unlike his more fancied competitor, Springbok mentor Heyneke Meyer.

The Proteas are also worthy candidates for the Team of the Year award as they top test rankings and beat Australia away in December.

Sithole and Kgothatso Montjane, who have enjoyed a stranglehold in wheelchair tennis, are frontrunners for the Sportsman and Sportswoman with Disability awards.

The School Team of the Year award should go to Rosina Sedibane.

Their soccer team represented South Africa at the International Schools Sports Federation Football World Championship in France this year, as well as in the Manchester United Premier

Cup Finals in England in June.

The rewards ...

R1m

The amount the Sports Star of the Year will pocket, of which half will go to a charity of their choice. The winner will also get a brand new BMW 1 Series

R130 000

R15 000

Incentive for category winners

The runner-up prize money

R10 0000

Lifetime Achiever

R20 000

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