Members of Nigeria’s contingent to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games dominated the list of nominees for the 2016 Nigerian Sports Awards released in Lagos on Tuesday.
Eleven categories will be contested at this year’s event scheduled for Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on December 2.
While four of the categories, namely the Sports Journalist of the Year (Print), Sports Journalist of the Year (Television), Sports Journalist of the Year (Radio) and Photo Journalist of the Year will be contested by media workers, the paralympians are dominant in four of the remaining seven, including the Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year respectively.
Powerlifters Roland Ezeruike, Paul Kehinde and Innocent Nnamdi made the shortlist for the Sportsman of the Year.
Ezuruike and Kehinde won gold in the 54kg and 65kg class respectively in Rio while Nnamdi won bronze in the 72kg event. The trio also made the shortlist for the Special Sports Person of the Year (Men) award.
The Sportswoman of the Year had five nominees, all of them Rio 2016 Paralympians. They include three powerlifters – Bose Omolayo, Josephine Orji, Lucy Ejike – and two field athletes – OnyeLauretta and Flora Ugwunwa.
Omolayo, Orji and Ejike won gold in the 79kg, 86kg and 61kg powerlifting events respectively. Onye won gold in the F40 Shot Put event, while Ugwunwa won gold in the F53/54 Javelin Throw. The five athletes also made the shortlist for the Special Sports Person of the Year (Women).
Powerlifting coach to the Paralympics, Feyisetan Are, will compete with Samson Siasia, who guided the men’s football team to a bronze medal finish at the Rio Olympics and ImamaAmapakabo, who helped Enugu Rangers to a first league title in 32 years, for the Coach of the Year award.
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