PHOENIX, Arizona, November 26. WHILE the women's side of the African Swimmers of the Year award was a no brainer, the men's side was much more competitive this year as part of the Swimming World Magazine annual awards announced in the December issue.
The Female African Swimmer of the Year award might as well be renamed in honor of Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry since she has won the award five times since its inception six years ago. This year, she earned the award again with a gold medal in the 200-meter back at the World Championships. She also took silver in the 400 IM.
Top Five Female African Swimmers of the Year
1. KIRSTY COVENTRY, Zimbabwe
2. Wendy Trott, South Africa
3. Katheryn Meaklim, South Africa
4. Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, Kenya
5. Jessica Pengelly, South Africa
Tunisia's Ous Mellouli and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh became the first tie in the regional awards since Tom Dolan and Lenny Krayzelburg shared the Male American Swimmer of the Year. The victory is the second in a row for Mellouli, who took gold at the 1500 free along with two silver medals at the World Championships this year. Meanwhile, van der Burgh demonstrated he is one of the top breaststrokers in the world setting world records in the stroke on several occasions throughout the year.
Top Five Male African Swimmers of the Year
1t. OUS MELLOULI, Tunisia
1t. CAMERON VAN DER BURGH, South Africa
3. Gerhard Zandberg, South Africa
4. Roland Schoeman, South Africa
5. Chad Ho, South Africa
Announcements So Far:
Nov. 22. Divers of the Year: China's Guo Jingjing, Qin Kai. Story
Nov. 23. Water Polo Players of the Year. U.S. Betsey Armstrong, Serbia's Andrija Prlainovic. Story
Nov. 23. Synchronized Swimmer of the Year: Russia's Natalia Ishchenko. Story
Nov. 24. Open Water Swimmers of the Year. Germany's Thomas Lurz, Great Britain's Keri-Anne Payne. Story