The nominees for the 2013 South African Sports Awards were announced at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Wednesday. While there were some predictable choices, there were also some notable omissions.
Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula said: "It is our intention to embrace people of substance, people who do the best for their sport and their country.
"No athletes want to represent mediocrity and we do not roll out the red carpet for mediocrity, but only for champions."
Sports Star of the Year
The nominees for Sports Star of the Year included Itumeleng Khune, Chad le Clos, Lucas Sithole, Hashim Amla and Mapaseka Makhanya.
The winner of the award will receive R1-million and a new car, while a charity of the winner's choice will receive R500 000.
Bafana Bafana captain Khune helped Kaizer Chiefs return to the top of South African club football as the Amakhosi won the Premier Soccer League title for the first time since the 2004/05 season and also captured the Nedbank Cup.
Khune was also named Footballer of the Season, the Absa Premiership Player's Player of the Season, Goalkeeper of the Season and Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament at the South African Football Awards.
Double world champion
Le Clos, who won the award in 2012 after capturing Olympic gold in the 200 metres butterfly and a silver in the 100 metres, was nominated on the back of winning two gold medals at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona.
With Michael Phelps, whom he beat in the 200 metres in London, now retired, Le Clos confirmed himself as the dominant figure in butterfly, capturing the gold medal in both the 100 and 200 metres.
Wheelchair tennis star Lucas Sithole, ranked number two in the quads division in the world, earned his nomination by lifting the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championship in July, followed by the US Open title in September. In both victories, he defeated world number one David Wagner.
World number one
Hashim Amla Amla booked his spot by ascending to the number one ranking for batsmen in both test and one-day international cricket.
In September, he was named the CSA Cricketer of the Year, the Sunfoil Test Cricketer of the Year, SA Fan's Player of the Year and claimed the KFC "So Good" award for his unbeaten 311 against England last year.
Mapaseka Makhanya slashed six minutes off the race record when she won the Gauteng Marathon in September in her first ever attempt at the 42.2 kilometre distance. She also won the Spar Women's Challenge overall title, showing her versatility by also excelling over the 10 kilometre distance.
Sportsman of the Year
Khune and Amla will go up against Cameron van der Burgh, who captured gold in the 50 metres breaststroke in Barcelona, for the Sportsman of the Year title.
Makhanya faces South Africa's leading golfer Lee-Ann Pace, the winner of the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open and the Spanish Women's Open, and Springbok Women's team captain Mandisa Williams, who led her team to qualification for the 2014 IRB Women's Rugby World Cup, for the Sportswoman of the Year award.
The big omissions come from the world of cycling, although Cycling South Africa, which very successfully hosted the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, as well as the UCI MTB Masters World Championship, was nominated with the South African Hockey Association and Swimming South Africa for the Federation of the Year Award.
Daryl Impey failed to win a nomination despite becoming the first South African to wear the Tour de France's famed yellow jersey and winning a silver medal at the Road World Championships in Italy last month in the team time trial.
Greg Minnaar, meanwhile, was crowned UCI mountain bike downhill world champion for a third time when he won the title in Pietermaritzburg on 1 September. He has been at the top of his sport for longer than any other man in its history but that was not enough to earn him a nod.
Johan Cronje, who won South Africa's only medal at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow after finishing third in the 1 500 metres was also not nominated.
Team of the Year
The Team of the Year will be decided between the world's number one ranked test cricket team, the Proteas, the vastly-improved Springboks, whose only two losses in the last year came at the hands of the world champions, New Zealand, and Kaizer Chiefs, who dominated the 2012/13 South African football season.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is up against wheelchair tennis coach Holger Losch and national swimming coach Graham Hill for the Coach of the Year Award.
SA SPORTS AWARDS NOMINEES
Administrator of the Year Fran Hilton-Smith, Jurie Roux, Mimi Mthathwa
Sportsman of the Year Itumeleng Khune, Hashim Amla, Cameron van der Burgh
Sportsman of the Year with Disability Ernst van Dyk, Hilton Langenhoven, Lucas Sithole
Sportswoman of the Year Mapaseka Makhanya, Lee-Ann Pace, Mandisa Williams
Sportswoman of the Year with Disability Ilse Hayes, Kogthatso Montjane, Roxy Burns
Team of the Year SA Rugby, the Proteas, Kaizer Chiefs
Newcomer of the Year Bianca Buitendag, Thato Tsomole, Giulio Zorzi
Coach of the Year Heyneke Meyer, Holger Losch, Graham Hill
Volunteer of the Year Ernesta Strydom, Sondisa Magajana, Zakes Mkhize
Indigenous Games of the Year Simphiwe Maphumulo, Immeraan Malgas, Masego Mogapi
Photographer of the Year Wessel Oosthuizen, Lefty Shivambu, Duif du Toit
Journalist of the Year Jonathan Cook, Ramatsiyi Moholoa, Cheryl Roberts
School Team of the Year Rosina Sedibane School, Sol Plaaitjie High, Waterkloof High
Developing School Team of the Year Daniye Primary School, Stellenzicht Secondary School, Khayelitsha u-18 Boys hockey team
Federation of the Year Cycling South Africa, South Africa Hockey, Swimming South Africa
Recreational Bodies Sibusiso Vilane, 702 Walk the Talk, Transplant
Sports Star of the Year Itumeleng Khune, Chad le Clos, Lucas Sithole, Hashim Amla, Mapaseka Makhanya