On a night dominated by Paralympic athletes, Ananias Shikongo on Friday shook off a formidable challenge by dethroned world boxing champion Paulus ‘the Rock’ Ambunda to add the prestigious 2016 Sports Achiever of the Year Award to his mantlepiece, along with several other high-profile accolades he won on the night.
His astonishing achievements on the night included winning the Nampower Sportsman with Disability of the Year prize at the 2016 Sports Awards ceremony of the National Sports Commission in Windhoek on Friday evening – in the process picking up a handsome combined prize money totaling N$300 000.
Rudolf de Wet Moolman was the proud recipient of the much-revered MTC Sportsman of the Year award (and N$100 000) ahead of short-listed candidates Ambunda and Mynhardt Kauanivi.
Veteran long distance runner Beata Naigambo reclaimed the much-sought-after MTC Sportswoman of the Year accolade, ahead of Vera Adrian and Gaby Ahrens. Naigambo also walked away with a whopping N$100 000.
Evergreen Naigambo was an obvious choice after the ageing athlete who is maturing like good wine surprised friend and foe alike as she claimed a gold medal at the World Championships in Spain. The victory propelled her towards qualification for the global showpiece, the Rio Olympics in Brazil, earlier this year.
Sprinter Johanna Benson retained the Nampower Sportswoman with Disability Award (plus N$100 000) at the expense of closest competitor Rosa Mandjoro. Emerging athlete Lahja Ishitile (N$50 000) was unanimously voted the Nampower Junior Sportswoman with Disability of the Year.
Pocket-size kickboxer Delamo Muller walked away with the prestigious MTC Junior Sportsman of the Year Award (N$50 000). The immaculately dressed youngster drew a rare standing ovation from the appreciative crowd as he bravely walked to the stage to receive his award.
Karateka Mayonne Swarts was crowned Best Athlete in the category for the MTC Junior Sportswoman of the Year Award (N$50 000).
Unsurprisingly, the Namibian men’s 4×100 metre relay team was bestowed with the NBL Sports Team of the Year Award (N$70 000) – leaving the national senior rugby and hockey teams to pick up the pieces in that order, respectively.
Michael Hamukwaya returned the compliment with double figures. The soft-spoken, ebony-skinned fellow was handsomely rewarded for his astonishing work with athletes with disabilities when he clinched the Coca Cola Best Coach of the Year Award (N$30 000), in addition to the Chairman’s Award (N$10 000), while Abes Hafentyane won the Nampower Junior Sportsman with Disability Award (N$50 000).
Emerging FIFA-accredited football referee Jackson Pavaza won the 2016 Coca Cola Umpire/Referee of the Year Award (N$30 000).
At the same occasion, rookie sports scribe Kaino Nghitongo left her more experienced male counterparts in the lurch as she claimed the hotly-contested Golden Pen Award (print), while newcomer Hesron Kapanga was deservedly Voted Best Online Sport Journalist of the Year under review. Both journos received N$30 000 each for their efforts.