Semenya shines but Ellis, Montjane miss out on Sport Awards nominations

Caster Semenya, two-time 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya received three nominations – for sports star‚ people’s choice and sportswoman of the year. Picture: Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images
Caster Semenya, two-time 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya received three nominations – for sports star‚ people’s choice and sportswoman of the year. Picture: Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images

Desiree Ellis and Kgothatso “KG” Montjane were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s South African Sport Awards.

Minister of Sport and Recreation, Tokozile Xasa, announced the 19 categories’ nominees on Friday – and there were a few notable omissions.

Despite Banyana Banyana being nominated as one of the best performing team of the year, head coach Ellis’ contribution wasn’t enough to impress the panel of judges that put together the nominations for this year.

Ellis and her troops defended their 2018 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s Championship, beating west African giants Cameroon 2-1 at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth last month. In the process they didn’t lose a single match.

They had initially won it last year after beating Zimbabwe on their own turf.

The awards look at the outstanding contributions made by all people involved in sport from September 1 2017 to August 31 2018.

SA’s women’s football head coach Desiree Ellis didn’t make the list for best coach, despite her team’s sterling performance. Picture: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

Ellis also guided her team to qualify for the CAF Women Nations Cup, scheduled for Ghana in November. This came after the senior women’s national team thrashed Lesotho 7-0 on aggregate, over two legs in June.

Qualifying for Ghana means they stand a chance of reaching the 2019 World Cup in France, a feat they have never managed to achieve.

Another athlete who did not get the nod was wheelchair tennis star Montjane.

Montjane, currently ranked fifth in the world, became the first black African wheelchair tennis player to reach the semifinals of two grand slams: the Wimbledon Championship in June and the US Open.

Two-time 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya, however, received three nominations. The world champion has been nominated in the categories of sports star‚ people’s choice and sportswoman of the year.

Semenya won gold at the 800m and 1500m at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The 27-year-old also defended her International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League crown. She won $50 000 (more than R700 000) for claiming the 800m Diamond League title.

Percy Tau is the only footballer who got a nomination. He currently plays for Union SG, on loan from English Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion. The Bafana Bafana player went to Europe in June, in a record-breaking deal worth about R50 million after he helped Mamelodi Sundowns to become league champions.

The 24-year-old was also a joint top goalscorer with Polokwane City striker Rodney Ramagalela on 11 goals.

The full list of nominees for the 2018 Sports Awards:

Sports administrator of the year: Virginia Mabaso, Wendy May Gila, Mashilo Matsetela;

Sportsman of the year: Chad le Clos, Hekkie Budler, Luvo Manyonga;

Sportsman of the year with a disability: Charl du Toit, Pieter du Preez, Jonathan Ntutu;

Sportswoman of the year: Bianca Zoonekynd, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Caster Semenya;

Sportswoman of the year with disability: Anrune Liebenberg, Melisa Ann O’Niel, Louzzane Coetzee;

Team of the year: Banyana Banyana, Lions Rugby, Sevens Rugby;

Newcomer of the year: Tatjana Schoenmaker, Minke Janse van Rensburg, Luxolo Adam;

Coach of the year: Dr Suzanne Ferreira, Samuel Sepeng, Nico Coetzee;

Volunteer of the year: Linda Hlophe, Mpho Makhoba, Nkosilathi Moyo;

Indigenous games team of the year: Ncuva team, Limpopo, Cape Winelands Drie Stokkies, Western Cape, Morabaraba Team, KwaZulu-Natal;

National federation of the year: Softball, Roller Sport, Gymnastics;

Recreation body of the year: The Surfer Kids, Mbekweni Community Sport, Mavu Sport Development;

Photographer of the year: Nick Lourens, Reinhardt Hamman, Steve Haag;

Sports journalist of the year: Charles Baloyi, Mohono Motshidisi, Robert Mathye;

School team of the year: St Benedict’s College, Clapham High School, St Andrews High School;

Developing school team of the year: Machakela-Mamodibo Secondary School, Troyville Primary School, Ndabenhle Primary School;

The people’s choice of the year: Caster Semenya, Chad le Clos, Luvo Manyonga, Zolani Tete, Percy Tau; and

Sports star of the year: Caster Semenya, Kagiso Rabada, Hekkie Budler.

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