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Gambian Isatou Nyang wins Special Jury Prize

Apr 5, 2012, 3:00 PM

Cheruiyot crowned Africa’s Finest in 2011 at UFRESA Awards

Gambian paralympic basketball player Isatou Nyang has won the Special Jury Prize of the African Women Sports Reporters inaugural Africa Female Athlete of the Year Awards ceremony held on 30 March in Abidjan.

The awards programme is aimed at encouraging the region’s talented women often shadowed by their men’s sporting feats.

Isatou was winner of the Sports Journalists Association of the Gambia Paralympic player of the year in its awards ceremony held last year on 2 July 2011.

Isatou, who travelled to Abidjan to collect the African laurel last week, is back home.

Another winner is Vivian Cheruiyot, who had an impressive double Gold at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu that marked an exceptional track and cross-country season, and accolades are still coming her way, according to aips.com.

Cheruiyot was crowned in absentia by the Union of African Women Sports Reporters (UFRESA) and a public online voting as the continent’s finest.

The double world gold winner (5000m and 10000m) and reigning world cross country champion, who was also recently named the Laureus Female 2012 athlete of the year, barely a month after she was crowned Kenya’s top athlete of the just ended season, piped Nigerian football star N’Kwocha Perpetua, who took the runners-up position, and Senegalese wrestler Isabelle Sambou, second runners-up, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time.

The award for most promising female star was awarded to Beninese Océane Ganiero (karate). The trophy for “Peace and Sport” for her peace messages in Northern Kenya through the annual peace run went to Kenyan Tegla Loroupe.

This first edition of the Awards UFRESA recognised the achievements and leadership of the Burundian Football Federation, President Lydia N’sekera, an IOC member and member of FIFA’s women’s football committee, as she was crowned the best administrator.

Founded in 2006 in Warri, Nigeria, UFRESA works for cohesion among its members and draws membership from 300 female sports reporters/writers from 23 African countries.

Journalists from five countries - Nigeria, Senegal, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Benin - were represented at the awards whose chief guests were Maryse Ewandjé, legendary sportswriter Philippe Doucet and French Nicolas Costs, the director of Football Operations of Orange.