Manyuchi is Zim's finest

HARARE - Charles Manyuchi finally got the recognition he deserved after the boxer was crowned Zimbabwe’s finest sportsperson for 2014 at the Annual National Sports Award (Ansa) in Harare last night.

Manyuchi beat off stiff challenge from tennis star Cara Black, who was crowned Sportswoman of the Year.

Black, who has over 50 WTA title under her belt, recorded 49 wins this year on the circuit with her Indian ex-partner Sania Mirza.

The two-time Sportsperson of the Year was however up against it last night with Masvingo-born pugilist Manyuchi.

Manyuchi, who also won the Sportsman of the Year award, prevailed when it came to the main award.

He has had a tremendous last few months after winning the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title by defeating Patrick Allotey of Ghana in March.

Manyuchi, who fights under the Zambian stable Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP), sealed the year with a fantastic defence of his title against Devis Caceres of Colombia last month in Lusaka.

Despite Manyuchi’s successes in the ring, he has received little credit from his fellow countryman and Government.

Where he lives in Masvingo, there is hardly any proper gym or sparring partners for Manyuchi to keep in peak shape ahead of fights.

The 26-year-old only gets proper training facilities which is organised by his stable OQBP when he travels to Zambia in the run-up to crucial bouts.

Upon returning from Lusaka after his last fight with Caceres, the Zimbabwe National Boxing Board of Control and Manyuchi tried to seek an audience with Sports Minister Andrew Langa, but they were stood up.

Manyuchi has, however, not lost heart and keeps representing his country despite numerous offers from the Zambian government for him to change citizenship.

Last night’s recognition will surely go a long way in rewarding Manyuchi for the wonderful work he has done to raise the country’s flag and to ensure that boxing remains one of Zimbabwe’s prime sporting codes.

Another big winner at last night’s ceremony was seven-year-old BMX rider Rebekah Oberholzer, who walked away with two awards.

Oberholzer first picked up the Junior Sportswoman of the Year award ahead of rowing star Daniella Du Toit and athlete Enrita Ncube.

The young rider from Harare went on to scoop the Junior Sportsperson of the Year award by dislodging rower Kyle Hinde, who had won the Junior Spots Man of the Year gong.

Oberholzer was rewarded for her hard work by becoming the BMX Six and Under Girls World champion earlier this year.

She also won the Africa Continental Championship, South African age-group champion and Zimbabwe National Series champion title in an outstanding year that saw her dominate every race she took part in.

The Coach of the Year award went to Phillip Tshuma, who led the Zimbabwe Junior Golf squad to silver medal at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in Lusaka back in May.

With that result, Zimbabwe qualified for the Toyota World Youth Golf Championship in Japan where they finished last at the 15-nation team event.

The Zimbabwe Davis Cup team won the award for the Team of the Year award after their promotion into the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II in September.

Winners

Sportsperson of the Year

Charles Manyuchi

Junior Sportswoman of the Year

Rebekah Oberholzer                                     

Junior Sportsman of the Year

Kyle Hinde                     

Junior Sports Woman of the Year with a Disability

Patricia Bhebhe                              

Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability

Munyaradzi Musariri    

Sportswoman of the Year

Cara Black

Sportsman of the Year

Charles Manyuchi

Sportswoman of the year with a Disability

Thandiwe Ndlovu          

Sportsman of the year with a Disability

Viren Mehta

Junior Sportsperson of the Year

Rebekah Oberholzer                    

Sportsperson of the Year

Charles Manyuchi                                          

Team of the Year

Zimbabwe Davis Cup Team        

Coach of the Year

Philip Tshuma

Technical Official of the Year

Rick Fulton        

Sports Administration of the Year

Zimbabwe Karate Union

Sport Development of the Year

National Darts Association of Zimbabwe

Women in Sport Award

Joanne Swanepoel                

Special Acknowledgement Award

Provincial:  Ragi Mood, Glo Petroleum

National: Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), NetOne, Dairiboard Zimbabwe, Nestle Zimbabwe.

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