Johannesburg - Tatjana Schoenmaker should be richly rewarded for her Olympics record performances at the 2021 Gauteng Sports Awards at Gallagher Estate in Midrand tomorrow.
The swimmer who shone brightest for Team South Africa at the Tokyo Games has been nominated for the two big accolades in the 19-category awards.
Schoenmaker, who enjoyed a brilliant Games where she brought home two medals as well as set world and Olympic records, is up for the much-coveted Sports Personality of the Year and the Sports Woman of the Year awards.
Her swimming club, Tuks Aquatics, are in line for the Team of the Year award, while her coach Rocco Meiring could well walk away with the Coach of the Year award for what should be a memorable night for Schoenmaker.
The swimmer’s exploits in Tokyo make her worthy of all the nominations she has received after she helped SA salvage some pride from what was an otherwise disappointing Olympic campaign.
In late July, Schoenmaker was the toast of SA as she made all the right splashes in the Tokyo Olympic pool. She first set a new Olympic record of 1:04.82 during the 100m breaststroke semi-finals. While she could only finish second in the final for a silver medal, Schoenmaker went on to do better in the longer distance as she struck gold while setting a world record time of 2:18.95 in the 200m breaststroke.
Such feats should surely see be clutching on some trophies and big cheques by the end of the evening of this 10th edition of the provincial awards and thus be in good stead for the national event later on.
But Schoenmaker is not just a shoe-in for Gauteng Sports Awards glory, for there were other sportsmen and women from the province who did well this year.
In the Sports Personality Award, voted for by the public, the Pretoriabased swimmer faces competition from wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane, Proteas limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma as well as Paralympic star Ntando Mahlangu – a trio whose performances in the previous 18 months left South Africans in awe.
Gauteng MEC for Sport Mbali Hlophe is delighted that they are able to host the 10th edition of these awards with its 19 categories.
“The Covid pandemic caused us to put a halt to sport for more than a year and we have had to find unique ways in which to bring back sport to our communities,” he said.
“Sport is such a vital part of our lives and more often than not unites us as communities.
“So it was really difficult for us to have to cancel the 2020 edition of the Gauteng Sports Awards, but it gives us immense pleasure to be able to once again honour and reward Gauteng’s best athletes, administrators, coaches and media personalities who have been able to keep us entertained and who have overcome so much in the past 18 months.”
Here are a few of the awards that will be on offer tomorrow:
Sport Personality of the Year:
Tatjana Schoenmaker (swimming), Temba Bavuma (cricket), Kgothatso Montjane (wheelchair tennis), Ntando Mahlangu (athletics)
Sportsman of the Year: Morgan Moss (Karate), Temba Bavuma (cricket), Marinda Malajika (boxing) Sportswoman of the Year: Tatjana Schoenmaker (swimming), Tiane de Bod (karate), Panashe Chirange (netball) Disabled Sportsman of the Year: Ntando Mahlangu (athletics), Pieter du Preez (cycling), Isaac Bidla (blind cricket) Disabled Sportswoman of the Year: Kgothatso Montjane, Simone Kruger (para athletics), Sheryl James (para athletics)
Coach of the Year: Hendrick Ramaala (athletics), Rocco Meiring (swimming), Illse Roets (gymnastics), Hendriks Petrus (athletics)
Most Promising Athlete of the Year: Simone Kruger (para athletics), Kyle Albert Blignaut (athletics), Caitlin Rooskrantz (gymnastics)