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BY GODFREY MOWANENG
Local 4x 400m men’s relay team might wipe off tears after being nominated for the fourth edition of the African Union Sports Council region 5 (AUSC) RASA awards slated for 25th May in Windhoek, Namibia.
Following their abandoned trip to compete at the 2019 IAAF World relay championships that were held in Yokohama, Japan on the 11th- 12th May 2019, the team’s astonishing display last season earned recognition amongst the best in the trade after bringing home silverware in the past two seasons.
Despite being denied a chance to compete at this year’s competition due to administration melees, the 400m sprinters have been nominated for awards in the sports team of the year category. The team has been pitted against South African women’s national team Banyana Banyana and Malawi national netball team.
While the Malawian netball team gained nomination for exceptional performance at the 2018 commonwealth games where they defeated world second ranked New Zealand for the first time in history and Banyana Banyana for their maiden qualifying of the upcoming FIFA women’s world cup, local sprinters emerged favourites of the 2018 season.
Throughout the glossy season performances at the 2017 IAAF World relays and the commonwealth games remain action attraction of the previous athletics season. The team scooped silver at the world relays followed b Gold at the commonwealth games.
With 12 categories of the awards at stake to recognise athletes, coaches, member countries and journalists for outstanding performances at regional and international stages, last season commonwealth games 400m champion Isaac Makwala has been nominated for the sportsman of the year.
Among the nominees for the coveted award are the likes of Zimbabwean martial arts star Wilfred Mashaya and South African swimming sensation Chad Le Clos. Among Mashaya’s accolades was being honoured at the Barcelona martial arts hall of honours after he was voted the best kobudo martial arts for the year 2018 in the world cup weapons forms competition hosted by Unified World Association of Martial Arts (UWAMA).
For South African swimming sensation, Clos boasts of podium positions in the 50m and 100m. The 27-year-old is the reigning Olympic Games, commonwealth and world champion of the short distance swimming trade.
Last season, Botswana made it to the podium on several occasions when they scooped the country of the year award. 400m sprinter Karabo Sibanda also emerged the biggest winner gunning down the junior sportsman of the year award and the most coveted sportsman of the year award. This follows the lanky sprinter's performance in the relay team and his remarkable display in the IAAF Diamond league.