Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
17 Oct 2013
6:00 am

No awards joy for top achievers

Wesley Botton

Athletes and federations were left frustrated yesterday after some of the country's top achievers were omitted from the final list of nominees for next month's SA Sports Awards.

FILE PICTURE: Daryl Impey. Photo by Michael Sheehan / Gallo Images

Johan Cronje was stunned to be left out the running for Sports Star-of-the-Year, while fellow distance runner Mapaseka Makhanya was included. Cronje shone on the international stage this season, twice smashing the national 1 500m record and snatching a bronze at the IAAF World Championships.

Makhanya, while impressive domestically, did not win a global medal or break a national record. “I thought if I ever had a chance it would be this year, so I’m a little disappointed,” Cronje said.

“Obviously I have nothing against Mapaseka, and I’m glad she’s been nominated, but if you’re comparing achievements there’s something missing.”

Athletics SA president James Evans admitted they were not pleased, confirming the national federation had put Cronje’s name forward for selection, and suggested there may be flaws in the judging process or the panel.

“We’re disappointed but we understand the concept of how their thinking is done and it would be bad to complain because our athletes are left out,” Evans said.

“What Johan has achieved is better than fantastic, but from an outsider’s point of view Mapaseka has a great CV on the face of it, and she won a lot of medals locally.”

Meanwhile, Cycling South Africa general manager Mike Bradley was discouraged that Daryl Impey, who became the first South African to don the yellow jersey at the Tour de France and grabbed silver with his Orica-GreenEdge team at the UCI Road World Championships, and downhill mountainbike world champion Greg Minnaar were not included.

“We’ll keep banging away and hopefully we’ll be there next year,” said Bradley.