6 Exceptional sports personalities contend for the continental award.
The list for the BBC African Sports Personality of the Year 2021 award has been published. Contenders were drafted by a panel of journalists from Africa and the UK. They were selected on the basis of their sporting achievements in the international scene between January and September 2021. The influence of the person’s achievement beyond their particular sport was also taken into consideration.
Nominated personalities are Eliud Kipchoge (athletics), Faith Kipyegon (athletics), Ntando Mahlangu (para-athletics), Christine Mboma (athletics), Edouard Mendy (football) and Tatjana Schoenmaker (swimming).
Eliud Kipchoge is a 37 year old Marathon runner who hails from Kenya. He boasts of 2 gold medals from the Olympic and is the third person to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title. Kipchoge also has a world record of 2:01:39 he set in Berlin in 2018.
Faith Kipyegon is a middle distance runner from Kenya. The 27 year old set an Olympic record in Tokyo as she defended her 1500m title which she won in Rio De Janeiro in 2016. Before this, she had set a world leading time of 3:51.07 (the fourth fastest time in history) at the Diamond league in Monaco.
Ntando Mahlangu is a South African whose discipline is long jump and 200m sprinter. The 29 year old won his first Paralympic medal at the age of 14, this was at the Rio games in 2016 when he won Silver in the T42 200m. He suffered amputation as a result of his underdeveloped legs at age 10.
Christine Mboma is an 18 year old Namibian sprinter. She became the first Namibian woman to ever stand in an Olympic podium when she won silver in the 200m in Tokyo. Her 21.81 seconds was the fastest time ever run by a woman under age 20. She was barred from the 400m race by the World Athletics because her testosterone levels were naturally high.
Edouard Mendy is a Senegalese football goalkeeper who plies his trade for Chelsea in the English Premier League. He signed from Rennes in France to the London Club in September 2020. Mendy kept a record equalling 9 clean sheets in 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League campaign which Chelsea won. The 29 year old also made history by becoming the first African goalkeeper to play in a Champions League final.
Tatjana Schoenmaker is a 24 year old Breaststroke Swimmer who hails from South Africa. She’s a recipient of a gold and silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics. She also in the process set a World and Olympic record in the 200m and 100m breaststroke respectively. Schoenmaker won South Africa’s Olympic medal in women’s swimming since 2000.
Voting for the award ends on Sunday 19 December 2021 at 23:59 GMT. The winner will be disclosed on Friday, January 7. 2022 on Focus On Africa Television and Radio and on the BBC Sport website.
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