De Jonge reigns supreme

HARARE - Zimbabwe's leading golfer, Brendon De Jonge, was crowned Sportsperson of the Year at a glittering Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) ceremony in the capital last night.

The bulky 32-year-old from Harare, who had an outstanding year on the USPGA Tour, also walked away with the Sportsman of the Year accolade. Both awards were presented in absentia.

De Jonge took the gold for the man’s top accolade ahead of athlete Cuthbert Nyasango, who was first runner-up, and chess sensation Rodwell Makoto, who came third.

The United States-based golfer’s top performances this year included a tally of five top 10 finishes in 2012 season.

De Jonge came second in the Shrinners Children’s Open in September before finishing tied for fourth place with former world number Tiger Woods in the CIMB Classic in October.

He is currently positioned 81 in world rankings.

Meanwhile, two times Olympic champion and former recording holding swimmer Kirsty Coventry retained the Sportswoman of the Year award.

Coventry won the gold medal ahead of rower Micheen Thorneycroft, who reached the quarterfinals of the singles sculls at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Another London Olympian, long distance runner Sharon Tavengwa, came third.

However, Coventry will be the first to admit that despite the recognition of excellence, it has been a year she never hit top gear due to injury.

Her season began brightly, claiming two gold medals in the AGS Speedo Sectionals USA in March, before winning a gold and two silvers in the Brazil Swimming Championships in June.

However, in the build-up to the London Games in July, Coventry dislocated knee-cap and also suffered from a bout of pneumonia that affected her performance, coming sixth in the final of her trademark event, backstroke. She did not won a single medal at the Games.

Triathlon’s Laurelle Brown walked away with the Junior Sports Woman of the Year award.

The Junior Sportsman of the Year as well as the Junior Sportsperson of The Year awards went to rower James Fraser-Mackenzie, another London Olympian.

WINNERS

Sportsman of the Year: Brendon De Jonge (Golf).
Sportswoman of the Year: Kirsty Coventry (Swimming).
Junior Sportsman of the Year: James Fraser-Mackenzie (Rowing).
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Laurelle Brown (Triathlon).
Junior Sports Woman of the Year with a Disability: Gary Vundla (Wheelchair Tennis).
Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability:  Shepherd Banga (Wheelchair Tennis).
Sportswoman of the year with a Disability: Margret Bangajena (Wheelchair racing).
Sportsman of the Year with a Disability: Nyasha Mharakurwa (Wheelchair Tennis).
Team of the Year: Zimbabwe Sevens rugby team.
Coach of the Year: Gilbert Nyamutsamba (Zimbabwe Sevens).
Technical Official of the Year: Rick Fulton (Triathlon).
Sports Administration of the Year: Zimbabwe Rugby Union.
Sport Development of the Year: Zimbabwe Handball Federation.
Women in Sport Award: Ginny Ross (Hockey).
Special Acknowledgement Award: Matan Holdings (Manicaland Province).

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