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22.10.2004 Sports News

Gaisah Tops ’em All

By Maurice Quansah

It is well past one year since Ignatius Gaisah won gold for Ghana with new All Africa Games long jump record in Abuja. That good feeling by Ghanaians by that feat and memories of his outstanding performances last still linger on.At a grand setting tomorrow night, Gaisah and other outstanding performers in 2003 will be honoured at the 29th annual SWAG Awards Night at the plush Alisa Hotels (North Ridge), Accra.

Gaisah will be crowned as the Sports Personality of the Year, joining a host of other Ghanaian sporting greats before him who were honoured with SWAG's highest individual honour.The Holland-based star will be in good company, as such luminaries as Barima Azumah Nelson, Abedi Ayew Pele, Anthony Yeboah, Mike Ahey and other national Hall of Famers will witness the coronation by Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the special Guest of Honour at the function.

Like Margaret Simpson at last year's awards night, Gaisah will also be honoured as the Male Athlete of the Year.

Simpson, also a gold medallist and All Africa Games record holder will be on the podium to receive the Female Athlete of the Year, as athletics again take a place of pride at the prestigious awards.For the first time athletics upstaged football for the prestigious Team of the Year award which was won by Ghana's 4x100 metres men's quartet of Christian Nsiah, Eric Nkansah, Aziz Zakari and Leo Myles-Mills who stunned Nigeria to win gold at the All Africa Games.

Akosua Serwaa, the women's 800m silver medallist at Abuja and a finalist at the World Championship in Paris, will receive the Most Promising Star award. After upstaging rivals Hearts of Oak last year to win the premier league title, Kumasi Asante Kotoko will pick three top awards for that effort.

As the man who crafted the league championship, Coca-Cola Top 4 title and the 2003 SWAG Cup victories, Abdul Razak's coaching credentials is given due recognition as he picks up the Coach of the Year award.Kotoko's captain and top goal scorer last season, Aziz Ansah, will receive the Footballer of the Year award - the highest individual football prize.

Now playing professional football in Israel, Ansah's nine league goals played a crucial role in Kotoko scoring a total of 52 goals to automatically win the Top Scoring Club award. Emmanuel Osei Kuffour has hit the twilight of his career and after several years of decicated service. The Hearts of Oak striker will be on hand to receive an award for Decication and Valour.

For the second year running the top scorer's award will be shared, with Kwadwo Poku and Ashantigold's Shaibu Yakubu receiving the Goal-King award, after both players scored 13 goals each in the Premier League. Teenager Yakubu will mount the stage again to receive the Most Promising Star award.

FIFA referee Justice Yeboah, one of the most respected Ghanaian referees, is the Referee of the Year.

Other winners in the competitive category include Casmil Agbenyegah (Volleyball Star), John Zomerlo (Cyclist of the Year), and Mr Ebo Bartels (Chairman of the Year). Gomoa Fetteh Feyenoord Academy are one of three recipients of Special Awards. Sam Arday's Feyenoord are being honoured for development and promotion of football.

SCANCOM Ghana Limited, operators of Spacefon cellular phone service, will receive an award for sponsorship. Veteran sportswriter Nana Addo-Twum, who has covered horse racing for more than three decades will receive an award for promoting the sport.

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