Cape Town - The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has congratulated its 2017 men’s champion, Bongmusa Mthembu, who scooped two top awards at the 2017 KZN Sport Awards in Durban on Friday.
The KZN Sport Awards honours the achievements of athletes, administrators, coaches, the media, sporting bodies and individuals who have performed gallantly, in their different fields, during the period August 1, 2016 to July, 31 2017.
Mthembu, who hails from Bulwer in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, was voted Sports Personality of the Year and later crowned Sportsman of the Year at the glittering function, hosted by the Department of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation.
Mthembu showed his running prowess after winning both the 2014 Comrades Down Run and this year’s Comrades Up Run, being the first South African athlete to win both an Up and a Down Run since 1988.
The Sports Personality Award was voted for by the public through an SMS-vote line, while the remaining category awards were selected by a panel of independent judges. The shortlisting process for nominees and results of the SMS line were audited by an independent audit firm.
MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi said the Awards were aimed at encouraging sporting excellence in the province, saying, “These awards are about the celebration of talent, excellence, resilience, hard work and dedication. They are about showcasing the best of what KwaZulu-Natal has to offer, in terms of talent on and off the field of play.”
Mthembu was full of praise for the Provincial Government for giving recognition to athletes, saying, "I'd like to thank God for this opportunity, I wasn't expecting this. But with all the hard work that I put in, it shows that it pays off at the end. I'd also like to thank all the people who believed in me, my sponsors and my coach. I really wasn't expecting to win two awards. Especially the Sports Personality of the Year award. I thank all those who voted for me. It shows that the people really love Bongmusa Mthembu!"
CMA Chairperson, Sifiso Nzuza thanked KZNDSR for honouring our sporting greats, saying, “We congratulate our reigning Comrades Champ, Bongmusa Mthembu, on being bestowed with these remarkable accolades at the KZN Sport Awards this past weekend. Bongmusa has made all of us very proud. The CMA is grateful to KZNDSR for showcasing our sports heroes and heroines in such a wonderful way.”