Caster Semenya did not snub the South African Sports Awards‚ says coach

Multiple Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya
Multiple Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya
Image: Caster Semenya

 Multiple Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya did not snub the South African Sports Awards in Bloemfontein on Sunday night but missed the event to attend to urgent family matters in Limpopo.

Semenya dominated the glittering ceremony after winning the Sports Star of the year‚ Sportswoman of the year and the People’s Choice award decided by public voting but it was her Samuel Sepeng who accepted the gongs on her behalf.

Sepeng said Semenya desperately wanted to attend the event but was eventually forced to pull out.

“She so much wanted to be here but she had to go home and attend to some family matter in Polokwane‚” Sepeng said.

“I saw a missed call from her earlier and I will call her back‚ but she is happy about the awards.

“I am sure they will motivate her to do even better in the coming season because we have a heavy programme.”

The middle-distance star is South Africa’s most prolific medal-winner in athletics‚ having won Olympic 800m gold in 2012 and 2016 and world championship 800m gold in 2009‚ 2011 and 2017.

She also won a world championship bronze in the 1500m in 2017.

Semenya‚ the Diamond League 800m champion in 2018 and 2017‚ also took the Commonwealth Games 800m and 1500m double in Australia this year and the 400m and 800m crowns at the African championships in Nigeria.

She is also the owner of South African records from 400m to 1500m and it came as little surprise when Sepeng was named the coach of the year ahead of Dr Suzanne Ferreira and Nico Coetzee.

The other major winner on the night was swimmer Chad Le Close who was named the Sportsman of the year after fending off strong challenges from WBA and Ring Magazine light-flyweight champion Hekkie Budler and long-jump superstar Manyonga.

Le Close also did not attend the awards ceremony.

Commonwealth Games 100 and 200m breaststroke champion Tatjan Schoenmaker was named the newcomer of the year and she overcame competition from fellow swimmer Minke Janse van Rensburg and sprinter Luxolo Adam.

The sportsman with a disability award went to Mdodozi Ntutu while Anrune Liebenberg walked away with the Sportswoman with a disability.

The team of the year went to Banyana Banayana who have qualified for the African Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Full list of award Winners:

Sports star of the year — Caster Semenya

People’s Choice — Caster Semenya

Sportsman of the year — Chad Le Clos

Sportswoman of the year — Caster Semenya

Sportsman of the year with disability — Mdodozi Ntutu

Sportswoman of the year with disability — Anrune Liebenberg

Team of the year — Banyana Banyana

Newcomer of the year — Tatjan Schoenmaker

Coach of the year — Samuel Sepeng

Volunteer of the year — Linda Hlophe

Indigenous games team of the year — Morabaraba Team

The Recreation body of the year — Mavu Sport Development

National Federation of the year — Softball

School team of the year — St. Benedict’s College

Developing school of the year — Machakela-Mamodibo Secondary School

Sport Administrator of the Year — Virginia Mabaso

- TimesLIVE