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02 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Hannes Naudé
Pakiso Mthembu and Prof Prakash Naidoo
Pakiso Mthembu (right) receives the trophy as the University of the Free State Senior Sportsman of the Year from Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector: Operations. Khanyisa Chawane (Senior Sportswoman of the Year) and Sne Mdletshe (Junior Sportswoman of the Year) was unable to attend the awards function.

Pakiso Mthembu was recognised for his performances in cross-country and Khanyisa Chawane for her feats on the netball court at the KovsieSport Awards function on Tuesday night.

The two were honoured as the University of the Free State’s Senior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2019. Achievements between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019 were taken into consideration.

Mthembu was South Africa’s second-best senior male athlete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Denmark earlier this year. He also came second in the senior men’s 10 km category of the South African Cross Country Championships and won a bronze medal at the University Sport South Africa Championships in the 10 000 m. It was the seventh consecutive year and ninth time in the last ten years that the men’s winner came from the athletics code.

Chawane has played in 14 of the last 17 tests for the Proteas. She was a member of the World Cup team in July, where they finished fourth – their best performance in 24 years. She also represented the SA Fast5 team and was named as the player of the tournament in the 2018 Varsity Netball competition.

The Junior Sportswoman of the Year award went to another netballer, Sne Mdletshe. She was the co-captain of the SA U20 team for the Africa Union Sport Council Region 5 games in Botswana, which was won by the team. At the National Championship, she was named the best centre-court player. There was no winner in the Junior Sportsman of Year category this year.

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