Gerda Steyn competes with Semenya, Kgatlana for award

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Gerda Steyn, 2019 Comrades Marathon winner. PHOTO: TWITTER
Born in Bothaville, Free State, Gerda Steyn, who is the 2019 Comrades Marathon winner, has been shortlisted for the Athlete of the Year award in the upcoming G-sport Awards, which seeks to celebrate women in sports.

Steyn also won this year’s Two Oceans Marathon women’s race,  taking the honours in a time of 3:31:29. Speaking to OFM News on Thursday morning, Steyn said she felt honoured to be considered for the award. Other sportswomen who have been nominated for the same category in these awards are Caster Semenya, who is a South African Olympic gold medallist, and Thembi Kgatlana, who was named the 2018 Women’s Footballer of the Year earlier this year by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Among the finalists in the various categories: Kgatlana, who scored Banyana Banyana’s opening goal in their first-ever FIFA World Cup appearance, is a double finalist and also features in another strong category where she faces off with Saray Khumalo, the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest, and President of Netball South Africa, Cecilia Molokwane, who led the charge to bring the 2023 Netball World Cup to SA.

Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, the first coach to qualify the national women’s team for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, features alongside CSA National Academy women’s assistant coach, Dinesha Devnarain, and leading athletics coach, Maritza Coetzee, in the Coach of the Year category.

Banyana Banyana leads the finalists in the Team of the Year category along with Springbok Women’s Sevens and Wheelchair Women’s Tennis.

Emerging Athlete of the Year is contested by amazing rising talent in current World Under-20 400m hurdles champion, Zeney van der Walt, African Junior 100m and 400m hurdles champion, Rogail Joseph, and South African Junior number two and third-ranked senior golfer, Kaiyuree Moodley. Moodley is also a finalist in the School Sports Star category along with Gauteng North’s top-rated U16 squash player, Awande Malinga and SA’s leading U8 chess player, Minentle Miya.

These women mentioned makeup just some on the formidable list of 54 finalists for the 14th edition of South Africa’s longest-running women’s sport recognition platform and Africa’s only national women’s Sports Awards, having been endorsed by Sport and Recreation South Africa in 2015.

Voting is open until 6 pm on 9 August to decide the Public Vote, which acts as the sixth judge in the process. The public vote is combined with the votes of the five-member G-sport judging panel, to decide the overall winners. Votes can be cast at gsport.co.za/voting. Winners will be announced at the 2019 G-sport Awards on 31 August 2019, in Johannesburg. – Pulane Choane/OFM News