Luvo Manyonga crowned the SA Sports Star of the Year!

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Luvo Manyonga won two awards on Sunday night. Photo: @City_Ekurhuleni via Twitter
Luvo Manyonga won two awards on Sunday night. Photo: @City_Ekurhuleni via Twitter
Luvo Manyonga celebrates after winning gold at the World Championships in London earlier this year. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Luvo Manyonga celebrates after winning gold at the World Championships in London earlier this year. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

JOHANNESBURG  World long jump champion Luvo Manyonga was the big winner on Sunday night at the SA Sports Awards in Kempton Park, where he was crowned the Sports Star of the Year.

The South African long jump phenom also beat the likes of Wayde van Niekerk and Chad le Clos to claim the Sportsman of the Year accolade.

“I’m a bit emotional, but it is going away now. The award is mine and I am the Sportsman of the Year,” Manyonga said.

“I just want to keep riding the wave until I retire some day, and I am looking forward to next year.”

Three-time 800m world champion Caster Semenya was named Sportswoman of the Year, receiving recognition for her efforts in 2017, as well as the People’s Choice Sports Star of the Year, which is voted for by sports fans in South Africa.

“It is a great feeling winning awards, but it is no longer about that, it is about creating great performances for my people,” Semenya said.

“It is about going out there and carrying the flag, knowing people are behind you and love you for who you are.”

World champion Caster Semenya, seen with her wife Violet Raseboya at the awards function on Sunday night, was chosen as the Sportswoman of the Year. Photo: @SASportAwards via Twitter

The Blitzboks were crowned Sports Team of the Year thanks to their World Rugby Sevens Series victory earlier this year.

“It is a massive privilege to accept this award on behalf of our team, over the last three or four years, we’ve been working really hard,” said Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman.

Track and field dominated the awards evening, with seven of the top eight gongs going the way of athletics coaches and athletes.

Jean Verster was recognised for his influence in coaching Semenya to the 800m gold medal at the London World Championships, where she also won the 1 500m bronze medal.

Rising star Sokwakhana Zazini, who posted a new world youth best in the 400m hurdles earlier this year, was named Newcomer of the Year.

Zazini then annihilated the rest of the field at the IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya to win the global title.

But the night belonged to Manyonga to top a stellar year for the horizontal jumper, in which he had broken the South African record twice before winning his maiden world title.

He set the sandpit alight in 2017, leaping over 8.60m on four occasions, where he first broke Khotso Mokoena’s national mark with a jump of 8.62m in Pretoria in March, before winning the South African title with a jump of 8.65m in April.

He completed a winning streak over a full calendar year over 10 meetings before finishing the year off with the Diamond League Trophy in the long jump.

Meanwhile, Ilse Hayes was again named Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability, with Dyan Buis earning the Sportsman of the Year with a Disability Award.

SA Sports Awards Winners

Sports Star of the Year: Luvo Manyonga

Sportsman of the Year: Luvo Manyonga

Sportsman of the Year with a Disability: Dyan Buis

Sportswoman of the Year: Caster Semenya

Sportswoman with a Disability: Ilse Hayes

People’s Choice Sports Star of the Year: Caster Semenya

Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens

Newcomer of the Year: Sokwakhana Zazini

Coach of the Year: Jean Verster

Volunteer of the Year: Samuel Maduwa

Indigenous Games of the Year: North West Kho-kho team

National Federation of the Year: Lifesaving SA

Recreation Body of the Year: In-touch Community Support Group

Photographer of the Year: Simphiwe Nkwali

Journalist of the Year: OG Molefe

School Team of the Year: St Mary’s School Waverley

Developing School Team of the Year: Hlangabeza Primary School Under-13 Chess 

Sports Administrator of the year: Sanelisiwe Khuzwayo

Sports Minister’s Excellence Awards

Desiree Ellis – Banyana Banyana Soccer Coach

Ruswahl Samaai – Athletics (Long Jump)

Lloyd Harris – SA Tennis Player

Gift Ngoepe – Baseball (US Major League Baseball)

Dané van Niekerk – Proteas Women Cricket

IOL Sport

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Source: IOL Sport – Athletics
Luvo Manyonga crowned the SA Sports Star of the Year!


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