Manyuchi, Muripo vie for top award.

Africa Boxing Union welterweight boxing champion Charles Manyuchi and karateka sensei Samson Muripo are the front runners for the 2013 Zimbabwe Sportsperson of the Year Award to be presented on Wednesday.

The two have been nominated for the Sportsman of the Year Award and whoever wins that category is likely to also go away with the overall Sportsperson of the Year Award.

In June, Manyuchi systematically knocked down holder Patrice Toke of Burkina Faso to win the ABU title and in the process became the first Zimbabwean boxer in a over a decade to win the ABU title.

The Zimbabwean now based in Zambia went on to defend his title against Ghana's Isaac Sowe, sending the Ghanaian to the canvas in the third round.

On the other hand, Muripo won a gold medal in the heavyweight category at the So-Kyokushin International Tournament in Shanghai, China, and followed this up with a silver medal in the super heavyweight category. Prior to that Muripo had won a bronze medal at the World Kyokushin Championships in Bulgaria

Although Manyuchi is making his first appearance among the finalists, the same cannot be said of Muripo who won the Sportsperson of the Year Award in

2011 after winning the world kyokushin title.

Another dark horse for the top award is former award winner tennis ace Cara Black who has also been nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year Award. But first, she will have to battle against the likes of rower Micheen Thorncroft and hockey player Rachel Goromonzi before dreaming of the ultimate prize.

Football coach Ian Gorowa who took the Warriors to the 2014 African Nations Championships and is still unbeaten since taking over from departed Klause Dieter Pagels is the sole nominee for the Coach of the Year Award.

Golfer Brendon De Jonge is the reigning Sportsperson of the Year but the spokesperson of the Sport and Recreation Commission, Tirivashe Nheweyembwa revealed that the golfer has not made the final list as he has not performed well enough to warrant consideration.

Nheweyembwa said they have secured a $50 000 sponsorship from Delta Beverages which will go towards the prize money for the various category winners.

The finalists

Sportsman of the Year:

Charles Manyuchi (Boxing)

Garanganga Takanyi (Tennis)

Samson Muripo (Karate)

Sportswoman of the Year

Cara Black (Tennis)

Micheen Thornycroft (Rowing)

Rachel Goromonzi (Hockey)

Junior Sportswoman of the Year:

Laurelle Brown (Triathlon)

Nicholas Dzenga (Tennis)

Ruvarashe Muzinde(Athletics)

Junior Sportsman of the Year:

Faber Murray Lauchian (Rowing)

Michael Songore (Athletics)

Peter Purcell Gilpin (Rowing)

Junior Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability:

Jennifer Zabamwe (Athletics)

Patience Majoni (Athletics)

Sithole Liana (Athletics)

Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability

Brian Mafuvise (wheelchair tennis)

Emmanuel Musara (Athletics)

Shepherd Banda (Wheelchair tennis)

Sportsman of the Year with a Disability

Daniel Nyuke (Wheelchair Basketball)

Edmund Makutya (Wheelchair racing)

Elford Moyo (Wheelchair racing)

Team of the Year:

National Team Under 19 (Beach Volleyball) Zimbabwe Cricket (Cricket) Zimbabwe Warriors (Soccer)

Coach of the Year:

Ian Gorowa (Zimbabwe senior soccer team)

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