Gaborone — Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) has announced nominees for the 38th Annual National Sports Awards, which will be held at Ba Isago Convention Centre in Gaborone on September 15.
Nominees for various categories were announced during the launch of the awards at the National Stadium on August 22. This year's awards cover athletes' achievements during the 2017 calendar year.
Athletics 400m star Isaac Makwala will contest the sportsman of the year award with serial karate champion Ofentse Bakwadi and boxer Rajab Mohammed.
Makwala's achievements in 2017 included winning the IAAF Diamond League 400m, winning silver medal in the men's 4 X 400m IAAF World Relays in Bahamas, and making history by becoming the first man to run sub 20 seconds and sub 45 seconds in 200m and 400m respectively on the same day.
Bakwadi on the other hand won the senior individual kata category at the Regional Championships in Mozambique and the individual kata at the Africa Senior Karate Championships. He also won the individual kata at the Hayashi-Ha World Championships.
Mohammed won silver medal at the Africa Boxing Championships in Congo and also qualified for the World Boxing Championships in Germany.
Nominees for the sportswoman of the year award have pitted veteran 400m athletics star Amantle Montsho against Lame Hetanang of karate and Aratwa Kasemang of boxing.
Montsho won the National Athletics Championships and qualified for the World Athletics Championships after making a comeback from a long layoff due to a doping ban.
Hetanang won gold medal at the regional Karate Championships in Mozambique and was silver medalist at the Africa Karate Championships.
Kasemang won gold medal at the National Boxing Championships and bronze medal at the Africa Senior Boxing Championships in Congo.
The shortlisted contestants for junior female sportsperson of the year award are teenager Maxine Egner, who won four gold and two silver medals in international swimming competitions and Naledi Marape who won the Re Ba Bona Ha title and also qualified for the Metropolitan Championships finals.
The third contestant is athletics' Oarabile Tshosa who won the BISA 400m championships and 400m title at the COSASSA Athletics Championships in Zimbabwe.
The junior male sportsperson of the year awards will be contested by James Freeman who won three gold medals in major swimming competitions, 400m athlete Bernard Olesitse who won gold medals at BISA and COSASSA Championships and Thabang Setshego of karate who won gold medal at the AUSC Region 5 Games and silver medal in individual Kumite at the Africa Junior Karate Championships.
Other nominees include:
Sports administrator of the year: Tshepo Bathai (Botswana Karate Association president), Busani Segweni (BOPSSA president), Motlhokomedi Thabano (Botswana Chess Federation president).
National team of the year: Under 21 Netball Team (Dinaletsana), Men's 4 x 400 relay team (comprising Baboloki Thebe, Nijel Amos, Isaac Makwala, Leaname Maotoanong, Onkabetse Nkobolo, and Karabo Sibanda) and men's softball national team.
National sports association of the year: Botswana Boxing Association, Botswana Karate Association and Botswana Athletics Association.
Umpire/ Referee of the year: Tshepo Kelaotswe (athletics), Emmanuel Kgaboetsile (badminton), Dorothy Okachi (basketball)
Coach of the year: Lechedzani 'Master' Luza (boxing), Justice Dipeba (athletics), Sensei Otto Tafa (karate)
Speaking at the launch, BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng said tickets for the awards were already on sale and urged stakeholders to buy them in advance to support the event.
"The National Sports Awards is an event through which we celebrate and reward excellence achieved by sport men and women who had done their best in the previous season," he said.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>