Sport Awards 2019 |29 January 2020
The 10 male finalists
With two days left before the official crowning ceremony of the best athletes for the year 2019, Sports NATION brings you the 10 male finalists who will be competing for the top prize, bragging rights for one year, as well as the sports ambassador title.
Set for Friday at the NSC Multipurpose Hall, Roche Caïman, the traditional Sports Awards of the Year ceremony, most commonly known as the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards, was introduced with the aim of rewarding outstanding athletes from the various local sports federations and associations who have excelled in their respective discipline.
It rewards the best male and female athletes, as well as the best young male and female athletes.
Ivan Moïse – Athletics
Long distance specialist Ivan Moïse started the year 2019 on a perfect note, winning the national cross-country championship’s 10km race in a new national record time of 31 minutes 20.00 seconds (31:20.00).
He also performed well at the 10th Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) in Mauritius where he won the gold medal in the 5000m race, clocking 15:52.27. In the 1000km at the Games, he won the bronze medal after finishing third overall in 31:09.65
Commenting on his 2019 season, soldier Moïse said he is very satisfied as he managed to achieve about 90 percent of his targets set.
“Being in the top five is possible as I have performed quite well, but in the end, it will all depend on the jury and their criteria as all athletes have performed well in their own way,” said Moïse.
Ned Azemia – Athletics
Based in the United States of America, Ned Azemia was not in action in any local competition in 2019.
He was however part of the Seychelles’ track and field team for the 10th Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) in Mauritius where he won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles, while in the 400m race he finished third to bring home the bronze medal.
Not in the country presently, Azemia was not available for comments.
Keddy Agnes – Boxing
Reigning Sportsman of the Year Keddy Agnes had some great moments in 2019, especially at the African Zone 4 boxing championship held in Gaborone, Botswana where he won the gold medal in the +91kg category.
At the 10th Indian Ocean Islands Games in Mauritius, he brought home a silver medal after forfeiting his final bout due to some health issues.
Despite his good performances, Agnes is certain that he will be handing over the cup to another athlete on Friday.
“My performance has been good, especially at international level, but I know that there are some other athletes who have performed better internationally, so, I must admit that I do not stand a chance of retaining the title,” noted Agnes who added that he still stands a chance of being in the top five.
Steven Baccus – weightlifting
In 2019, 42-year-old Steven Baccus maintained his status as the most-decorated Seychellois athlete overall in the 40-year history of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) as he made a sixth appearance at the Games, earning himself three gold medals to bring his count to 18.
At the 10th IOIG in Mauritius, Steven who competes in the 102kg weight category, snatched 130kg and lifted 165kg in clean and jerk for a total of 295kg.
Locally, he competed in the Open Championship where he finished first in his category after snatching 130kg and lifting 155kg in clean and jerk.
“Any position finish will do for me as I do not really focus on ranking, but rather on performance. My target for 2019 was to bring home three IOIG medals and I managed to achieve that. My season has therefore already been crowned, despite a severe injury sustained last year that halted my weightlifting career,” explained Baccus.
Steve Marie – Karate
The 2019 season has been a very colourful one for karateka Steve Marie who is a member of the Northern Tang Soo Do Club.
At the World Tang Soo Do Association Region 14 African Championship, Marie won three gold medals in sparring, open hand hyung and hyung with weapon and also received the senior black belt Grand Champion Cup.
Marie was also successfully graded to a 1st dan black belt.
At the World Tang Soo Do Association Region 11 European Championship, Marie won two gold medals in sparring and open hand hyung. He also claimed a silver medal in hyung with weapon and additionally the Male Black Belt Grand Champion Cup.
“2019 has been the best year in my karate career so far, in terms of performance and achievements. Being in the top 10 is already a great achievement for me, so it does not really matter in which position I end up on Friday. However a top-five-finish will be the cherry on the cake,” said Marie.
Dominic Dugasse – Judo
Eyeing an Olympic qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Praslinois judoka Dominic Dugasse entered the history books in 2019 by becoming the first ever Seychellois athlete to win a medal – bronze – at the African Judo Championship.
The 40th championship took place in Cape Town, South Africa and it also counted as qualifier for the XXXII Olympic Games set for Tokyo Japan later this year.
“My 2019 season has been all right, especially after bringing home the first ever judo medal won at an African Championship. However, my IOIG plan did not work out following a calf injury sustained prior to the Games. In terms of ranking for this year’s sports awards, I see myself finishing third overall behind Rodney Govinden and Jean-Marc Gardette. We have all won medals at continental level. With a gold medal, Rodney is definitely going to be crowned as the best, while Jean-Marc’s silver medal will place him second. As for my bronze medal, it has placed me third overall,” confidently explained Dugasse.
Mathieu Bachmann – swimming
Locally Mathieu Bachmann won four gold medals at the National Open Championships and set a new record in the men’s 50m butterfly. At the National Age Group Championships he won four gold medals and also earned the highest Fina points in 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke.
Internationally, he won eight medals – five gold (three individual and two in relays) and three silver – at the CANA Zone IV Championships, and captured another eight medals – one gold three silver and four bronze (one individual and three in relays) – at the 10th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) held in Mauritius.
“2019 has been a good year, both locally and internationally. The two training camps in South Africa were very good and they really boosted my performances at the IOIG. I am happy to be in the top 10 and as for the final ranking on Friday, I am not sure, but I would be happy to be in the top five,” said Bachmann.
Simon Bachmann – Swimming
Simon Bachmann’s best performance in 2019 was at the 10th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) held in Mauritius where he won five medals.
He won gold in the 1500m freestyle, while his two silver medals came in the 200m and 400m individual medley.
His first bronze medal was in the relay 4x200m freestyle where he teamed up with Dean Hoffman, Mathieu Bachmann and Hayden Ah-Wan to finish third.
His second bronze was in the 400m freestyle.
Presently in France, Simon was unavailable for comments.
Jean-Marc Gardette – Yachting (Windsurfing)
Jean-Marc Gardette had an interesting season in 2019, both at national and international levels.
Locally, he was the grand winner of the Seychelles Yachting Association (SYA) Cup A, before finishing third in the SYA Cup B series.
He also took part in the National Championship series where he finished second overall.
Internationally, Jean-Marc competed in various competitions, namely the Oman Regatta where he finished first out of nine windsurfers, the Thailand Championship (14th out of 23), World Championship in Italy (32nd out of 59), Mauritian Attitude Challenge (13th out of 36) and African Championship in Algeria (2nd out 12).
Despite missing out on the gold medal at the African championships in Algeria, which was also a qualifier 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Praslinois surfer Gardette is satisfied with his performance in 2019.
“It was a good season for me, even though I missed the African Championship gold medal by a single point. I am glad I managed to make into the top 10 and based on the level of the competition, I am sure that my African silver medal is worth a top-five-finish,” noted Gardette.
Rodney Govinden – Yachting (Laser Standard)
Mission accomplished for sailor Rodney Govinden in 2019 as he became the first Seychellois athlete to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after clinching the Laser gold medal at the 2019 African Championship RSX and Laser.
Three first places, five second places, one third place, earning him a nett score of 22 points were enough to book him a place in Tokyo after his two worst finishes – 10th and 11th places – were discarded.
Rodney also brought home a silver medal from the 10th IOIG held in Mauritius.
In 2019 he also took part in various Laser Europa Cup series, registering some very good results – 62nd out of 69 sailors in the French Olympic Week, fifth out of 59 sailors in the Laser Europa Cup, seventh out of 19 sailors in the Laser Europa Cup Netherlands and 125th out of 152 sailors in the European Championship in Porto.
“2019 has been one of my best seasons so far and I think the key behind my success was the training camp at the beginning of the year. I performed well in all competitions and even managed to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. For the sports awards, I can see myself in the top three, but I will not say which position,” humbly explained Govinden.